Philly March Madness: (7) Maurice Cheeks vs. (10) Eric Desjardins

Philly March Madness: (7) Maurice Cheeks vs. (10) Eric Desjardins

Over the next few weeks at The700Level, we'll be posting poll matchups as part of our Philly March Madness competition. Examine the cases of the two fine Philadelphia athletes below, and cast your vote at the bottom as to which you think should advance to the next round. And as always, feel free to explain your selection and/or debate the choices in the comments section.


(7) Maurice Cheeks

The man who ran the point for the Sixers for 11 straight seasons, including the 1983 NBA Championship team that reigned as the last Philly team to bring a parade down Broad Street for way, way too long. Mo Cheeks was your classic point guard. Unselfish, a crafty defender, and a quiet unassuming leader on the court. He was named to the NBA's All Defensive first team four times (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986) and selected for the All-Star game four times (1983, 1986, 1987, 1988). His pass-first, team-oriented style of play was often credited for transforming the early 80s Sixers team from a team full of stars -- with the likes of Julius, Moses, Bobby, and Andrew -- into world champions. "If you want to learn the game, watch Maurice Cheeks," legendary Sixers writer Phil Jasner once said. Younger Sixers fans may remember Cheeks more for his time as coach of the Sixers during a dark period in the franchise's history, and, of course, for the time he helped that poor little girl sing the national anthem, but the image of Cheeks capping off the '83 championship win with a dunk against the Lakers is the most vivid basketball memory I have from my childhood, even if it was based off of seeing it on highlight videos. In February 2011, Cheeks was named one of the 12 finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame.


(10) Eric Desjardins

A shutdown defender who won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the team's most outstanding defenseman a remarkable seven times, Eric Desjardins came over to the Flyers from Montreal, a team he won a Stanley Cup with in 1993, alongside John LeClair and Gilbert Dionne in exchange for March Recchi and a draft pick in 1995. In addition to being one of the premier puck movers in the league, Desjardins had a great shot that was a dangerous powerplay asset. Tied with Mark Howe for most career powerplay goals for a Flyers defenseman, he was also great at breaking up plays with his stick, kind of like Kimmo Timonen on the current Flyers team. Desjardins wore the 'C' on his sweater after Eric Lindros was stripped of it in March of 2000. One of just 16 men to hold the honor of being the Flyers captain, Desjardins wore it in 2000-01 before passing it on to Keith Primeau the following season. He was named to play in the NHL All-Star game in three different seasons. Desjardins officially announced his retirement in August 2006 after 11 seasons in Philadelphia. He was honored by the Flyers with Eric Desjardins Night in a game against Montreal in 2007.

See all of the Philly March Madness matchups here.

Who should advance to the next round?online survey

You can play with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in NBA Jam

You can play with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in NBA Jam

He’s on fire.

Ever wonder what it would be like to play NBA Jam with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons? Well now you can.

Thanks to a roster update, spotted by Kotaku, you can now have the fun of matching up Embiid with Simmons, or Embiid with Nerlens Noel or even the more daring combination of Jahlil Okafor with Noel.

Here’s what the player ratings look like for all of the aforementioned players in this reboot of one of the more popular games in the early-90s.

In addition to current NBA rosters, the game also gives you the ability to play with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Kanye West, and yes, even Harambe.

So fire up your computer and match up your favorite two Sixers, or politicians.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

NEW YORK -- Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received a majority of votes for the first time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell , on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

"Anxiety was very, very high," Bagwell said. "I wrote it on a ball tonight. It was kind of cool."

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones and Jim Thome in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Lee Smith, who had 478 saves, got 34 percent in his final time on the ballot. Jorge Posada, Tim Wakefield and Magglio Ordonez were among the players who got under 5 percent and fell off future ballots.