The first step towards the total dismantling of the 1983 Championship 76ers team came when Moses Malone was traded to the Bullets in a deal for the younger and less expensive big man Jeff Ruland, a deal widely seen as one of the most disastrous in the city's history. (The franchise's history with big men in general--checkered, to say the least). Malone averaged 24 and 11 for the Bullets the next season, while Jeff Ruland averaged nine and six in just five games--the only games he would play for the next half a decade.
Big Mo no doubt had something to prove to Philly upon his return there on Christmas Day, 1986. Malone went off for 28 points and 21 rebounds--a staggering eleven of them on the offensive end--and threw in three steals and five blocks for good measure, while keeping Sixers center Tim McCormick to 11 points. The Bullets ended up taking the game by a score of 102-97.
Though Moses had some good years throughout the rest of his career in Washington, Atlanta and (to a lesser extent) Milwaukee, his days of playing for championships were long over. Mo made the playoffs four times after leaving the Sixers, and each time his team lost in the first round. The Sixers went on to slightly greater success with Charles Barkley at the forefront, but still didn't make it back to the finals until two decades later. This was one trade that it's pretty clear that just about all involved would rather have a do-over on.
If you watched Monday night's Phillies loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, you probably weren't very entertained -- unless you're a Rockies fan.
But if you followed the game on Twitter and happen to follow the Rockies' account, you may have been slightly more entertained.
They tried something we haven't seen from an opposing team just yet. They tweeted throughout the game using only quotes from the Rocky movie franchise.
Now, you can debate how successful of a move this was but you have to at least give them some points for creativity. And it's not like this was a playoff game with high stakes. This was a relatively boring Monday night game in the middle of May.
You can read our recap of the Phillies' 8-1 loss right here. Or here's how the night transpired on Twitter:
All week on Philly Sports Talk on CSN, we examine how our teams got to this point and where they are in the rebuilding process.
On Tuesday, Sixers Insider Jessica Camerato takes a look at the state of the Sixers.
How did we get here?
By now, you all know about “The Process.” The Sixers last competitive season was five years ago when they reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2012. They began dismantling that group, and the following year, went 34-48 under Doug Collins.
The Sixers then entered a three-year period of dismal basketball with a revolving door of players coached by Brett Brown that culminated in a 47-199 record. During that time, they stockpiled injured players, draft-and-stash prospects and a handful of future picks through transactions made by then-general manager Sam Hinkie.
Hinkie stepped down from his role with a memorable 13-page resignation letter last April. The Sixers hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations, marking a new chapter in the organization.
The 2016-17 season was the first glimpse into the potential of “The Process.” They finished 28-54, including a 10-5 month of January. Joel Embiid made his NBA debut after two years. While he was limited to 31 games because of (another) injury, he quickly proved he can dominate when healthy. Dario Saric came to the NBA two years after being drafted in 2014 and emerged as a Rookie-of-the-Year candidate after Embiid was shut down for the season. The Sixers landed the number one pick in the 2016 draft and are waiting on the debut of Ben Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in training camp. This season, the Sixers established legitimate pieces for their future, rather than players who could be on the summer league team.
Are the Sixers on the right path back to prosperity?
The Sixers are on the right path back to prosperity, and it starts this offseason. They have the third pick in the 2017 draft, with the possibilities of adding another young talent or packaging the pick to land a more established player. The Sixers have flexibility with plenty of cap space — which they could use to acquire a key free agent. The team has maintained they will not rush into making a trade just for the sake of it — Jahlil Okafor’s future with the Sixers is still uncertain — or spending money just because it’s available. The Sixers showed flashes of potential last season. If they gather the right pieces this summer and — a big “and” — they stay healthy, the Sixers will continue to move toward an upward trend of rebuilding with the longer-term goals (this isn't happening overnight) of becoming a contender again.
Coming Wednesday: A look at the Phillies' rebuild