The Philadelphia 76ers have a rich history in the NBA, ranking third in both regular-season and post-season wins. The Sixers also have had a long list of Hall of Fame talent over the years. Wilt the Stilt, Dr. J, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, and so many others have played for this storied franchise. In recent years the organization has made a point to honor its past. Retiring Dolph Schayes’ and Moses Malone’s jerseys; inviting former players to “ring the bell” before games. The organization’s past will always be apart of its present and this doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.
The Sixers are going old school this season by with their new “Classic Edition” jerseys. This latest throwback is in honor of Sixer’s great Billy Cunningham and legendary teammate Hal Greer. These jerseys were featured for only part of the 1970-71 season; a season that saw Cunningham make his third consecutive First Team All NBA.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid joined a classic 70’s Mustang in a photoshoot announcing the new look. Simmons (a known classic car aficionado) is prominently featured with the Mustang. Along with these photos, the Sixers posted a video explaining the decision.
The video shows highlights of Cunningham, Greer, and Archie Clark during the 1970-71 season. Referring to Cunningham by his affectionate nickname “the Kangaroo Kid”, the video then transitions to highlights featuring current stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. We see a team blending the past and present while aiming toward the future. We hear our announcer then conclude with” It’s a nod to the 76ers legacy and to the spirit of a city known for reinvention”.
The design is interesting, to say the least. The words “Seventy Sixers” appear across the chest and what’s interesting is that they are in different sizes, fonts, and even textures. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. I wouldn’t describe the jersey as sleek or elegant, but it has a certain appeal even if it is solely because of Kid Kangaroo and Hal Greer.
The “Classic edition” Uniforms will be worn along with four other jerseys this season. Returning are the “Icon” (Blue), “Association” (White), “Statement” (Red), “City” (Grey). This noticeably excludes the “Earned” edition jersey’s (White), which debuted last Christmas and was immediately a fan favorite.
A lot of fans including myself will be disappointed that the “Earned” jerseys won’t appear this year. Then again, I won’t be happy until they bring back the black A.I. jerseys. What do you think of the new jersey? Is there another retro jersey that is more deserving of a comeback? What’s clear is that this is a team that values connecting both players and fans across decades and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Sixers