Friday, February 29, 2008

Sixers to honor Andrew Toney

-Courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia, PA - February 27, 2008 - As part of the 76ers Hardwood Classics night on March 10, 2008 against long-time rivals the Boston Celtics, it is only fitting that the team will honor members of the 1982-83 NBA Championship team, highlighted by the return of "The Boston Strangler" Andrew Toney, along with current Sixers head coach Maurice Cheeks, Earl Cureton, Clemon Johnson, Reggie Johnson and Franklin Edwards.

Tickets for this game - which will feature the memorable halftime ceremony - are available for purchase at SIXERS.COM and at the Sixers box office.

During his eight-year career with the Sixers as a backcourt mate with Cheeks, Toney earned a berth on both the 1983 and 1984 Eastern Conference All-Star teams and finished with career averages of 15.9 points, 4.2 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game on .500 shooting from the field. He played a key role in the celebrated 1982-83 Championship team, when he averaged 19.7 points, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game during the regular season followed that up with post-season averages of 18.8 points, 4.6 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. However, Toney may be best remembered for his play against the Celtics, most notably during the deciding Game 7 of the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals when he finished with 34 points.

Toney’s performances against the Celtics once prompted Larry Bird to say, "I wish we had him. He was a killer. We called him ‘the Boston Strangler’ because every time he got a hold of the ball we knew he was going to score. He was the absolute best I’ve ever seen at shooting the ball at crucial times. We had nobody who could come close to stopping him. Nobody."

In his third season as the team’s coach, Cheeks can be seen stalking the sidelines when the Sixers take to the floor today. But before Cheeks the coach there was Cheeks the player. A four-time All-Star, Cheeks was also a key component to the Sixers 1982-83 NBA Championship team. During that fateful season, the feisty point guard averaged 12.5 points per game, 6.9 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game.

Along with Cureton, C. Johnson, R. Johnson and Edwards, the team will also honor General Manager and architect of that 1982-83 squad Pat Williams that evening. Williams’ contributions in bringing the city its last professional championship included orchestrating deals that landed Julius Erving and Moses Malone in Philadelphia. The halftime ceremony will also feature former trainer Al Domenico.

As part of the night's festivities, the Sixers will wear their adidas Hardwood Classics uniforms from that historic 1982-83 season for the third time this year. The replica throwback jerseys will be available for purchase at the Fan Gear store located inside the Wachovia Center.

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