76ers

Allen Iverson's 10-steal night vs. Orlando was the Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Allen Iverson's 10-steal night vs. Orlando was the Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Beginning today, our sports-crazed folks at NBC Sports Philadelphia will share the best game they’ve ever seen in person in a daily series. 

First up, a dominant playoff performance from Allen Iverson.

The 1999 NBA season was a blur. I mean really. Because of a lengthy lockout, teams played only 50 regular-season games, from February through the beginning of May.

The Sixers’ success that season came seemingly out of nowhere. They went 31-51 the previous season, but went 28-22 in 1999, good enough for a 6-seed in the East.

They drew the Magic in the first round. The teams split the first two games of the 5-game series. Game 3 was the first home playoff game for the Sixers in eight years.

I was between jobs at the moment, but I still had a press pass from my previous employer. I wanted to see this game in person. (What were they going to do, fire me again?)

If you can remember the buzz surrounding the Sixers' first playoff run with this current team two seasons ago, multiply it by 10. You’re still way off. This team had Allen Iverson. They were young and they were hungry.

Between the crowd and the Sixers' defense, the Magic had no idea what hit them. They were forced into 10 turnovers in the first quarter! It never felt, at any point, like the Sixers would loosen their stranglehold on Game 3.

The press seating is folding chairs on metal risers behind one of the baskets. Those risers were shaking from the noise, seemingly the entire game.

Allen Iverson was always dynamic, but in this game, it was as though he was fired from a missile launcher. He was everywhere, with 33 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 10 STEALS. Still an NBA record for a playoff game.

The Sixers were up only eight points after the first quarter, but it may as well have been 58. The Magic were beaten, physically and psychologically. And they knew it. The Sixers knew it. The sellout crowd knew it. And even though their season ended just 10 days later in the conference semifinals, that night was the start of a great era of Sixers basketball.

Check back tomorrow for the next memorable game on our list.

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Sixers' Tobias Harris narrating backyard wild turkeys is quarantine comedy gold

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@tobiasharris/Instagram

Sixers' Tobias Harris narrating backyard wild turkeys is quarantine comedy gold

Tobias Harris is separated from rookie cult hero and internet goofball Matisse Thybulle, which means he had to find other ways to populate his Instagram stories with comedy.

Enter a bunch of wild turkeys in Harris's backyard.

It's unclear where Harris is riding out the NBA's season suspension, but wherever it is, he was greeted Thursday afternoon by a few preening turkeys, a welcome sight for anyone bored of looking at the same eight things in their house every day.

Harris, of course, whipped out his phone and opened up Instagram, and started filming - and narrating - the impromptu wildlife.

You're gonna want to turn your sound on:

Is... is Harris narrating these turkeys' prospective sex lives? He definitely is, isn't he?

It's all amazing, but Harris getting spooked by the aggressive turkey at the end is an absolute highlight for me. Does he not trust the integrity of those windows?!

Again, we don't know where Harris is spending his time away from basketball, but judging by the fowl play, it might be New Jersey. The Garden State is known for its hordes of wild turkeys - there are roughly 20,000 living in the state - and the Sixers' practice facility is of course located in Camden.

Between Thybulle adding a Roomba as a pet, and now Harris's encounter with wild turkeys, it's certainly been an interesting few weeks of social distancing for the Sixers.

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Celtics' Jayson Tatum weighs in on Joel Embiid-Nikola Jokic best center debate

Celtics' Jayson Tatum weighs in on Joel Embiid-Nikola Jokic best center debate

Boston Celtics star guard Jayson Tatum has caused some headaches for the Sixers over the last few years, and will likely continue to do so, but it seems he has a healthy respect for his Philadelphia rivals.

Tatum, who kept busy during social distancing Wednesday night with an Instagram Live, was first asked about the best player in the league, and then asked for his MVP pick, two classic questions - he called LeBron James the best player, and said James was going to win MVP.

Then things got a little more interesting.

Tatum was conducting the IG Live with Pep Stanciel, a basketball skills coach who has worked with NBA players in the past, and Stanciel managed to get Tatum to name the league's best player at each position.

Here's Tatum's all-league starting lineup, per NBC Sports Boston:

Point Guard: Stephen Curry
Shooting Guard: James Harden
Small Forward: LeBron James
Power Forward: Anthony Davis
Center: Joel Embiid

You're not going to hear a lot of complaints about that list from NBA fans, though I bet the most objections would wind up with Embiid as the starting center.

The argument over the NBA's best center has been a hotly-contested topic for a couple years now, with the emergence of Embiid and Nikola Jokic as two position-breaking stars who can sort of do it all. 

Embiid is an unstoppable, bullying presence in the paint who puts opponents in foul trouble and dominates the rim on the defensive end. Jokic is a visionary passer who uses his height and creativity to his advantage, both in the half-court and in transition. 

They're both fantastic, and just different enough that the basketball world has sort of reached a stalemate on who is an all-around better center.

Is Tatum showing his Eastern Conference bias, considering he faces Embiid more often? It's certainly possible. But Embiid is also just really, really good.

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