The Starting Five for Thursday December 22nd 2011: Will the Sixers Finally Reconcile With Andrew Toney in 2012?

(Photo by: Mike Powell/Getty Images)

Andrew and Michael Cooper in a 1987 game at the Forum

Sixers fan all my life. Wavered a little when Chuck left but AI brought me back hardcore. Had some nice moments covering the team the last 4 years…one being very sentimental. On that particular day, there was disappointment despite the historical adulation of the moment. The Spectrum was saying goodbye to Philly but there was somebody missing and it wasn’t Doc. Andrew Toney was missing. I wanted to meet Toney so the 14 year old kid in me could thank him for helping the team win a championship but obviously it didn’t happen. I thought he would show up from a side tunnel or down from the rafters, or out of the floor…something…but no.

It wasn’t cool. Yeah, I was objectively “working”, but the night was fake in a sense (Cheeks also wasn’t present because he was fired earlier). It was a moment I won’t forget because the smile we all should have had could have been 1983 wider. Admittedly, I was bitter.

Andrew was bitter. He felt the Sixers forced him to play with double stress fractures. He was a beast. I don’t think there has been another player like him since. You’d look up and he’d have 40…and he did this against either the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers.

Then it fell apart. Damn…

The following quote was from a piece Jackie McMullan wrote for the Boston Globe. I couldn’t find the original source but somehow it was printed online in the Baltimore Sun.

“It was a case of playing too long on injured feet,” he says. “I didn’t have any swelling, and the tendency is to convince yourself nothing is wrong. I played on them too long that way, and it caught up with me.”

Then came the contention. The highly publicized dispute between Toney and then owner Harold Katz. I think Katz thought he was faking to get a bigger contract.

It was bad around the team for a while. This was a proud franchise.

It caused the Sixers to place The Boston Strangler on IR, which effectively ended his Philly career after he and Katz settled financially (Katz actually had Toney take a drug test…which he passed), he retired in 1989.

He wanted no parts of the organization after he left. It didn’t matter what the Sixers occasion.

Whenever someone on the 1983 team was honored, rumors spread Andrew might appear…but to no avail.

Mo Cheeks hoped to hire Toney after he accepted the Sixers head coaching job in 2005 but negotiations fell through.

We have to get him back somehow so the fans can properly honor one of the NBA’s greatest shooting guards.

Ok…so maybe since there is new set of ownership maybe this could all be put in the past?

Hopefully…

Yesterday, I tweeted the Sixers CEO  Adam Aron because he’d been so accessible on the social media platform and three hours later he replied. Fans also seemed to be as interested in Toney returning to be honored and replied as well. One even mentioned what Andrew was up to these days.

I have to give it to the new ownership. They have effectively changed the culture before a regular season game is played. They deserve props for doing whatever they can to bring this franchise back to prominence.

All I can say is thank you.

If Andrew doesn’t show, there’s really no one currently to blame and somehow, some way, something hopefully will happen down the line so he can be given that standing ovation we all want to give him.

We’ll see…

To the links:

I can’t see Kobe Bryant missing Christmas Day opener. Can you? He didn’t play last night. (LATimes)

NFL-appointed trainer to be in each press box. The Colt McCoy effect? (Freep)

Jets’ Plaxico Burress enjoying life, family with Giants, Christmas coming up. (NJ.com)

Dalembert signs with Houston Rockets. (Chron.com)

Baylor QB Robert Griffin III named AP Player of the Year. (SportsDayDFW)

Allegations portray a Conlin that fellow columnist never knew (Philly.com)

TCU Wins Poinsettia Bowl…defeats La Tech, 31-24. (gofrogs.com)

A 360 degree look into the Space Shuttle Discovery’s flight deck during decommissioning in the Orbiter Processing Facility (360vr.com)

Picture of the Day: Hubble Captures Nearby Spiral Galaxy. (Atlantic)

First True ‘Alien Earth’ May Be Found in 2012. (MSNBC)

Something Dream Hampton for ya…

and some true lady fire…

We Bops hard baby…

3 Responses to “The Starting Five for Thursday December 22nd 2011: Will the Sixers Finally Reconcile With Andrew Toney in 2012?”

  1. Temple3 says:

    Honoring your own. Well done!

    For what it’s worth, Toney had a higher “true shooting percentage” than Larry Bird, George Gervin, Bernard King, and Oscar Robertson.

    As a Lakers fan back in the day, I could not STAND to see him in the game. He was simply unguardable.

    When you play with a guy who can shoot like that, you always expect the ball to go in, and as a rebounder there is a certain rhythm that you get into because you don’t actually believe he’s ever going to miss. I felt the same way watching him on TV…like boxing out was just going through the motions. There really wasn’t going to be a rebound…there was going to be an inbound.

    Cash money.

  2. MODI says:

    Thanks for this. I didn’t know the Toney backstory, and glad to hear about you contacting ownership and their response

    That is terrible about his feet. With that type of deadly shooting, a healthy Toney is a hall of famer…

  3. [...] Also, I tweeted Adam about the possibility of getting Andrew back. He said he’s been in touch with him. Is that a priority to change the way he may feel about [...]

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