Chip Kelly and Sam Hinkie have reeked havoc on the sportswear industry in Philadelphia. Go to any game, or just walk around the city, and your bound to see a litany of now ex-Philadelphia athletes’ gear. It’s gotten to the point that sports radio debates what to do with your LeSean McCoy and Michael Carter-Williams.
The Eagles took things one step further with their mini-controversy pre-draft when they didn’t seem to be selling Sam Bradford jerseys. Around the same time, potentially in a deliberate move to troll their South Philadelphia neighbors, the Sixers began to showcase the fact that you could buy the jersey of every single player on the team at the online shop. Ish Smith’s family rejoiced.
With that capability at our disposal, it would seem silly not to explore which Sixers’ jerseys are worth buying. With contracts in limbo, everyone on the trade block, and the future unclear, spending money on a specific player’s jersey can seem daunting.
I’m here to help. Taking in mind each player’s likelihood to stick around in Philly, their impact to the team, and in many cases, their unintentional comedy potential, I’ve ranked each Sixer jersey by buy-a-bility.
Let’s start at the bottom, with the ones to avoid.
Note: I’m fully aware the Sixers are about to announce new uniforms. That being said, I’m excited to see if the “Every player available” shtick continues. If it does, consider the below still accurate. If not, consider this an examination of the Sixers.com shop bargain bin.
#16: Ish Smith
Sorry, Ish. Your contract is up after this season, and your chances of returning to Philly are merely decent. The main thing going against Ish is his last name. Let’s say you bought this ironically. Two years from now, no one will remember Ish Smith and everyone will think you got a customized jersey with your own name on it.
#15: Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson had a long, somewhat successful career. His dunk contest performance remains among the greatest of all time. He averaged double figure scoring every season he played until this past year. His career earnings are just shy of $100 million. That being said, there’s no reason to buy a J-Rich Sixers jersey. He’s a free agent as well, and even if he returns, your money is better spent finding a Golden State Jason Richardson jersey.
#14: Luc Richard Mbah A Moute
LRMAM is a free agent too, but that goofy last name is worth a little something in unintentional comedy points. Imagine seeing a Mbah a Moute jersey 8-10 years from now? If you see a woman wearing one in the year 2021, propose to her on the spot.
#13: Henry Sims
Henry Sims has one more year left on his deal, so while the LRMAM jersey might get double takes a decade from now, the Hank Sims will get quite the laughs at Wells Fargo Center next season. That’s worth something.
#12: The Bargain Bin
Hey, not everyone is made of money. Nothing wrong with scooping up a jersey for a low price. Bynum and Turner hit pretty hard on the comedy scale and people still remember Jrue fondly. Any of this trio is worth $20, unlike a Spencer Hawes jersey, which the Sixers are still trying to unload for $27.99. That didn’t even make the list.
#11: Glenn Robinson III
This is an unexpectedly high ranking for The Little Dog. He barely played for the Sixers this season, which is saying something. I mean, Jakarr Sampson not only plays for the Sixers, but plays significant minutes out of position (#PointJakarr’d). That being said, GRIII had upside coming out of the draft and seemingly had both the size, shooting, and athleticism to survive in the league as a 3s-and-D guy. He then shot an abysmal 26% from long range and showed very shaky decision making (he had the same number of assists and turnovers).
Now a surprisingly old 21 years old, he faces a big season. If he can straighten his shot out this offseason, there’s plenty of minutes at the 2 and 3 for a shooter, especially with Joel Embiid coming back and clogging the lane. So, is there a chance he’s out of the league before he turns 24? Sure.
But I’ll take my chances he bounces back and resigns with the Sixers. Maybe he’s a rotation guy someday.
#10: Thomas Robinson
Now on to the more impressive Robinson. Thomas, the former 5th overall draft pick, worked wonders on the glass in his time with the Sixers. He averaged 15 rebounds per 36 minutes. FIFTEEN! He posted the ninth best rebounding rate in the league. All 8 guys with a better rebound rate than T-Rob were either 7 feet tall or Reggie Evans, who God put on this Earth to grab basketballs off of backboards.
Problem is, Robinson is a free agent. He could continue rebuilding his stock as a Sixer, or a better team could see him as a specialist they need on their bench. If he’s back, he’s a solid buy.
#9: Hollis Thompson
Hollis is the leader in the clubhouse to be the face of the Tank Years. He’ll be the only player on the floor for all of the Dark Ages of Philly basketball. It’s pretty appropriate too, considering he’s not good at basketball. If you believe in fate, Thompson will get flipped for a second round pick this season.
#8: Furkan Aldemir
We not only live in a world with an NBA player named FURKAN ALDEMIR, but we live in a world where the 8th best jersey on a real NBA team is FURKAN ALDEMIR.
Beautiful times we live in, folks.
#7: Tony Wroten
Of every non-O.L. Sixer (Sixers not named Joel or Noel), Tony is the odds on favorite to have lengthy career in the league. He’ll be able to get to the hoop and finish as long as his body holds up.
#6: Jerami Grant
And now, a ranking of Grant family members:
#5: Jakarr Sampson
Jakarr Sampson is the Kraft Singles of NBA players. Have enough of him and you start to convince yourself he’s almost good.
“Hey, they aren’t bad in a grilled cheese” and “Hey, Jakarr does some nice things now and again” are the same thought.
#4: 3ob Covington
Yes, I pronounce that as “Throb.”
#3. Nerlens Noel
Nerlens is actually good at basketball. Sixers games will actually be worth watching year, in part to see how Noel develops as an elite defender and competent offender. But even more than that….
#2: Joel Embiid
I love Joel Embiid. I really do. I am going to watch the NBA Summer League to watch him. The first 15 Sixers games next season are appointment viewing.
Get it Jo.
#1: The Process
Oh, Sam. Gotta love ya.
The most exciting thing about Sam Hinkie? Has to be what he’ll start doing if this all works. Huge if, but man, the amount of passive aggressive “I told you so” and “Are you not entertained?” will be off the charts.
Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at PalestraBack.com. He has also contributed to SALTMoney.org and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.
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