Posted on: November 2, 2008 3:57 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2008 11:31 pm

1983 - Sixers World Champs

All the talk of the Phillies being in the world series and the Philly teams not being World Champs since 1983 got me thinking about the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers that won the NBA Finals in 1983.

I'd been a 76ers fan for many years and had been disappointed in 1982 when they got pushed around by the Lakers and lost in the NBA finals. I was excited about their chances in the 1982/1983 season and watched when I could during my 3rd year of University.

I'd been working at the Steel company Dofasco in Hamilton on co-op work terms, but they cancelled their co-op program in 1982. The summer term of 1983 I ended up working at General Foods in a small eastern Ontario town called Cobourg. I didn't know any of the other co-op students. They were in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. I was a programming nerd. I initially went out to the bars to watch the games. I ended up meeting most of the other co-ops. Turns out even Chemists like the Sixers.

After a 65-17 regular season the Sixers went into the playoffs expecting to win it all. They had a powerful starting five of Moses Malone, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones. Malone proved to be the catalyst that allowed the Sixers to get over the hump.

During the regular season Malone average 24 point and 15 rebounds. He carried that pace into the playoffs. Toney and Erving added to the firepower contributing 18 points per game in the post season. The Sixers reversed roles and dominated the Lakers during a 4 game sweep in the Finals. Moses Malone was named MVP.

Since then I've become disenchanted with the Sixers. I rooted for them through the Barkley years, but became a Toronto Raptor fan when they joined the NBA for the 1995-96 season.
Posted on: October 22, 2008 11:41 pm

1974 - Switching Allegiances


I can't say when I actually started to be a Minnesota North Stars fan. But by 1974 I was hooked. In the early '70s the Stars hired Lorne 'Gump' Worsley to help solidify a young goaltending corps. At the time the Stars were lead by Dennis Hextall, Danny Grant and Bill Goldsworthy (48 goals in 73-74) and had a goaltender named Cesare Maniago. J.P. Parise and Jude Drouin were my favourite players. Parise worked real hard and could hit real hard. Drouin was more of a smooth skating, quick passing kind of player. They reminded me of players I saw growing up at the old Hamilton Forum watching the Hamilton Red Wings.

Going into the 74-75 season the Stars started making wholesale changes. Danny Grant had been shipped to Detroit, Gump Worsley was let go and Fred Stanfield moved on.  After 38 games Parise and Drouin were traded to the lowly New York Islanders. Danny Grant ended up scoring a career high 50 goals for the Red Wings that season.

The Islanders had finished the 73-74 season with 19 wins, 41 losses and 18 ties. It seemed unfathomable that I could switch allegiances. I was beginning to believe that the North Stars were just a couple of players away from maybe making a run for that elusive playoff position.

I started to follow the progress of Parise and Drouin with the Islanders. In 74-75 they had the beginnings of the team that was to dominate the early '80s. Denis Povin, Clark Gillies, Bobby Nystrom and Billy Smith were all staring to round into form. By the end of the '75 season I was hooked and became an Islanders Fan.

The 74-75 season saw the Islanders finish with a franchise best (at the time) 33 wins, 25 losses and 22 ties. This began a 16 year stretch where the Islanders made the playoffs each year and won 4 consecutive cups from 1980 to 1983.
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