After trading for Chris Webber, the Philadelphia Sixers finally got a top-notch superstar to help Allen Iverson make a strong run in the playoffs.General manager Billy King and the Sixers? organization acquired Webber from the Sacramento Kings on the last day of the trade deadline, which came as a delightful surprise to Philadelphia fans. In Webber?s 12 years in the NBA, he has always been an impact player, averaging 22.0 points a game for his career. He was injured during the earlier part of the season, but has come on strong as of late for the Kings, averaging 21.3 points a game (19th in the NBA) and 9.7 rebounds per game. Hopefully, Webber will stay healthy and continue to put up good numbers for the Sixers? playoff push.
Along with Webber, the Sixers traded for forwards Matt Barnes and Michael Bradley. In the trade, the Sixers lost forwards Kenny Thomas, Brian Skinner, and Corliss Williamson to the Kings.
In another deal, the Sixers traded Glenn Robinson to the New Orleans Hornets for forwards Rodney Rogers and Jamal Mashburn. Mashburn has only played in 19 games for the Hornets this year, due to injuries, but has averaged 20.1 points a game when he plays.
Rogers will play an important role for the Sixers come playoff time because of his strong presence in the paint. This was a good trade for the Sixers, because getting rid of Glenn Robinson will leave more cap room.
These trades have finally shown that the Sixers are trying to make a move in the Eastern Conference. Before these trades, the Sixers had been sitting in the eighth and last spot to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Now, with the aquisition of Webber, the Sixers look dangerous to other teams.
These trades also show some respect to team leader, Allen Iverson. Iverson has been a strong force in the NBA since he came into the league nine years ago. Throughout his career, the media has always shown Iverson as a great player, but also at times as a bad image for the league. This image, which Iverson brought to the league, is now the new image for the NBA. People are starting to realize this, and now is his ninth season, Iverson is finally getting the respect that he has been deserving of throughout his career.
The Sixers are showing this respect by trading for big time players, such as Webber, to give Iverson a real chance at an NBA title. He has never been supported with any big time players around him, except for the so-so center Dikembe Mutombo, who helped lead the Sixers to the NBA Championship in the 2000-2001 season, which they lost.
This was the right year to give Iverson a good supporting cast, because he is arguably having the best season of his career. Iverson leads the NBA in points per game (29.8) and minutes per game (42.2). He is also third in steals (2.2) and sixth in assists (7.6). He was also this year?s All-Star game MVP and is in the running for MVP of the NBA. He has been putting up numbers like this throughout his career, despite being six feet tall and weighing 165 pounds. He gives everything he?s got when he?s out on the floor.
One of Iverson?s strongest supporters, Miami Heat center Shaquille O?Neil, said that he was one of the Top 10 best players of all time. This is a big compliment coming from a player who is perhaps the biggest force ever to play the game of basketball.
This year, Iverson is finally getting the chance he?s being waiting for throughout his career. With the acquisition of Webber and Iverson?s MVP season so far, the Sixers are now looked at as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
The team that they will probably have the most trouble with is the Miami Heat, ironically the team for which strong supporter Shaquille O?Neal plays for.