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April 17, 2023

Ranking every Sixers shooting guard ever

Who's the best Sixers shooting guard of all time? We rank them.

If we are looking at 2-guards, the conversation really begins and ends with Allen Iverson.

Yeah, there are a handful of other notable players who have laced it up as a shooting guard in the storied history of the Sixers, but there's no one close to as important, impressive or impactful who has played for the franchise.

Last week in the lead up to the 2023 NBA playoffs we looked at the top centers, power forwards and small forwards in team history. We limited our rankings to players who have played at least 200 games for the 76ers, amounting to about three seasons. 

Before we reveal our rankings, here's a look at some shooting guards whose tenure in Philly wasn't long enough to make our list:

Jerry Stackhouse17519.5 ppg
Jodie Meeks1599.1 ppg
Nik Stauskas1598.7 ppg
J.J. Redick14617.6 ppg
Dick Barnett13514 ppg
Jeff Hornacek13218.1 ppg
Seth Curry10213.6 ppg

Our sports staff ranked the following players at the 2 spot in the lineup. Here's how we think they should be quantified:

1. Allen Iverson (1996-07, 2009)

27.6 PPG | 6.1 APG | 8 All-Star, NBA MVP, 7 All-NBA, 4 Scoring Titles | NBA HOF

Nick Tricome: He was the guy for an entire generation of Sixers fans. Growing up, every kid had his jersey, every kid wanted his Reebok shoes, and when he got traded to Denver, there was probably a huge bump in Nuggets jerseys sales coming out of Philadelphia. 

For years, he wasn't just the Sixers' best player. He was the Sixers, to the point where "The Answer" nickname might've been an understatement. 

The 2001 Finals run absolutely doesn't happen without him, and only he could've produced the most iconic moment of it all for a series the Sixers didn't even win.

2. Hal Greer (1958-73)

19.2 PPG | 5.0 RPG | 10 All-Star, 7 All-NBA, 1967 NBA title | NBA HOF

Evan Macy: Greer was a Sixers lifer who played in an insane 1104 of 1148 possible games over his first 14 NBA seasons with the franchise. He averaged 20 points per game (we'll round up to make it easy) in 10 straight seasons and also made 10 consecutive All-Star games. He was a scorer and the definition of reliability and consistency on a team that many consider to be the best ever, the 1967 title winner. He and A.I. make for a perfect 1-2 punch in these rankings.

3. Andrew Toney (1980-88)

15.9 PPG | 4.2 APG | 2 All-Star, 1983 NBA title

Shamus Clancy: "The Boston Strangler" should go down as one of the best nicknames not in just Sixers history, but in all of Philadelphia sports. In the Sixers' 1982 Eastern Conference Finals win over the Celtics, Andrew Toney averaged a series best 22.1 points per game, including a 34-3-6 stat line in Game 7 at the old Boston Garden. Toney had Hall of Fame talent and late-career injuries cut down on that opportunity for him. Sixers fans of my generation don't sing his praises enough. 

4. Doug Collins (1973-81)

17.9 PPG | 4 All-Star

Shamus: Doug Collins... bad Sixers coach, excellent Sixers player. Collins was a "walking bucket" and a "real hooper" before those phrases entered basketball fans' lexicon. Collins averaged 22.4 points per night during the Sixers' run to the 1977 NBA Finals while shooting 55.7 percent from the floor, too.

5. World B. Free (1975-78, 1986-87)

12.6 PPG

NickIncredible name and a solid Sixer through the first few years of his career, even though his best basketball came later, elsewhere. 

He also became an ambassador for the team after his playing days were done, which included leading summer basketball camps that I went to when I was little. I won an autographed Sixers backboard one year. It was cool. To this day, I still have no idea who signed it and it faded anyway once it had to endure a winter in the driveway, so I'll never know.

6. Hersey Hawkins (1988-93)

19.0 PPG | All-Star, All-Rookie

Evan: I recall growing up in Lancaster, Pa, thinking his name was Hershey, not Hersey. He was an elite scorer for a team that underachieved while Charles Barkley was in town. 

7. Aaron McKie (1997-05)

7.6 PPG | Sixth Man

NickA local product and a difference-maker off the bench, McKie was vital to those Sixers teams of the late 90s and early 2000s, not just for his play, but for what he meant to the locker room, especially Iverson.

“I had guys I grew up with that I loved and cared about and I have a lot of admiration and respect for them, but this is a guy that I met up here on the high level,” Iverson said when he retired. “People say once you get to that level you don’t want any more new friends. I don’t need them, I have enough of them. But don’t close that door because people like him do come along in life, and I just owe a lot to him.”

8. Fred Carter (1971-77)

18.8 PPG

Evan: Carter grew up in the Philly area and wound up being a really underrated shooting guard when he arrived in Philly, anchoring some pretty bad teams in the early '70s. He also shot 43% from the field during his time with the Sixers, not too shabby.

9. Shake Milton (2018-present)

9.3 PPG

Shamus: It says a lot about the history of the Sixers' guard play that Shake Milton is No. 9. He played just over three minutes in the team's playoff win over the Nets on Saturday. 

10. Paul Seymour (1949-60)

9.6 PPG | 3 All Star, 2 All-NBA, 1955 NBA title

Evan: Man, the 1955 Sixers were loaded. Seymour played shooting guard and averaged 12.8 points per game that season. You know where he ranked on the team in scoring? 7th. Not including two players who appeared in three or fewer games, 10 different players scored in double digits that season. Talk about a balanced offense.

The rest...

11Willie Green9.4 PPG
12Bill Gabor9.8 PPG, All-Star
13John Salmons5.1 PPG
14Clint Richardson6.5 PPG
15Billy Kenville6.9 PPG 
16Matt Guokas4.7 PPG

Shamus: Willie Green is the inverse of Doug Collins... a better NBA coach than he was a player. I also recall watching the 2002 NBA Draft and believing John Salmons and Iverson would run the league for the next decade. Matt Guokas? Saint Joe's Prep stand up!

Follow Evan on Twitter:@evan_macy

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