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SPORTS NOTES - NBA Trivia - The Philly [Philadelphia] Connection

Wilt Chamberlain - - ( Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper photo by Ed Palumbo photo)


Kobe Bryant - ( Keith Allison - photo)



James Loving - National Radio Text Service




Did You Know??? The Philly [Philadelphia] Connection - Many feel the 1967 Philadelphia 76ers championship team is the greatest ever for one season. The team had more chemistry than meets the eye.


June, 2001 - Update Saturday, June 22, 2019

Philadelphia is famous for several things, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross' house [she made the first American flag], The Philadelphia Art Museum steps that Rocky ran up, cheese steaks and basketball. In our notes we found that our information trail led us to Philadelphia and its renowned basketball history. So…Philadelphia basketball trivia is included in this column.

KOBE BRYANT's father Joe named his son after Kobe beef that is well known in Japan. Joe's nickname is "Jelly Bean." He played eight seasons in the NBA as a forward. Joe aka "Jelly Bean" played with the Philadelphia 76ers (1975 through 1978-79), San Diego Clippers (1980-81 through 1981-82) and the Houston Rockets (1982-83).

With the Sixers he was a teammate of Dr J (Julius Erving). Kobe was born in Philadelphia, August 23, 1978. As you can note he was exposed to a lot on NBA basketball and locker rooms as a child.

Julius Erving (Dr. J) is considered as one of the greatest players ever to play in the NBA. He was in the All-Star game every year that he played professional basketball. The 6-7 forward played 16 seasons of pro ball, five in the ABA (American Basketball Association) and eleven in the NBA.

In 1971 Erving signed as a free agent with ABA's Virginia Squires after his junior year at Massachusetts University. After two seasons the Squires traded Erving to the New Jersey Nets where he played three seasons [1973-74 to 1975-76]. The Nets were ABA champions in 1974 and 1976. The Nets franchise became a part of the NBA for the 1976-77 season. Erving's contract was then sold to the Philadelphia 76ers October 20, 1976.

He was with the Sixers for 11 seasons, the remainder of his playing career. He is the franchise's all-time blocked shots leader [1,293] and was a member of the 76ers 1983 championship team. Dr. J, as they say, and was the leagues Most Valuable player in 1981.

Erving retired after the 1986-86 season. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 and was selected as one of the 50 greatest players in basketball history in 1996. Erving is now the Executive Vice President of the Orlando Magic…


THE PHILADELPHIA CONNECTION: The Philadelphia 1967 NBA championship team has been called by many the greatest team ever in a season. You can't dispute that the Boston Celtics of the 1960's were the greatest team over a period of time.

What is interesting about the Sixers is the closeness of the players and management then and now. Here are some examples.

Jack Ramsey was the team's General Manager. He coached the Sixers Matt Goukas at St. Josephs University. Ramsey coached the Sixers from the 1968-69 season to 1971-72. He later coached the Bill Walton led Portland TrailBlazers to an NBA championship in 1977. Ironically he defeated his former team…the 76ers.
Wilt Chamberlain and Wally Jones attended Philadelphia's Overbrook High School. Though Chamberlain was older they competed against each other in playground competition prior to becoming teammates.

Wally Jones and Billy Melchioni both attended Villanova University in the Philadelphia area. Jones was a teammate at Overbrook High with Walt Hazzard who played on the 1963-64 NCAA title winning UCLA team. He was the tournaments MOP and in 1964 received All-American honors for the second consecutive season, and was named the nation's Player of the Year by the Helms Athletic Foundation/USBWA. # Hazzard finished the season with 1,401 points, at the time UCLA's all time leading scorer.

As a member of the then Baltimore Bullets Jones was selected to the NBA ALL-ROOKIE team which included Willis Reed and Lucious Jackson. Jones and Jackson became teammates on the 1967 Philadelphia 76ers believed by many to be the best ever NBA team for one season.


Chamberlain played for both the Philadelphia 76ers and was originally signed by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959. The Warriors moved to San Francisco for the 1962-63 season. Chamberlain returned to Philadelphia January 15, 1965 in a trade to play for the 76ers.

Melchioni attend Bishop Eustace High School in Pennsauken, New Jersey, just across the river from Philadelphia. His high school coach was Don Casey who later coached Temple University prior to Don Chaney. Casey was also an NBA head coach for the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Jersey Nets.
Billy Cunningham returned as the coach of the 76ers from 1977-78 to 1984-85. He coached the Dr. J led 1983 NBA championship team.
Cunningham, Ramsey and Jones all worked at the same time with the Miami Heat Organization in the 1990's. Cunningham was part owner, Ramsey a broadcaster and Jones VP of Community Relations.
Goukas was the Orlando Magic's first head coach.




Earl "The Pearl" Monroe like Chamberlain is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Monroe is from Philadelphia where he played at John Bartram High School. Monroe was a playground legend from an early age. His high school teammates at John Bartram High School called him "Thomas Edison" because of the many moves he invented. As a member of Winston Salem State University, that won the 1967 NICAA Championship he averaged 41.5 points per game for that season.

The Baltimore Bullets selected him as the # 2 NBA draft pick in 1967. He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in a season in which he averaged 24.3 points per game, and scored 56 points in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. This still stands as the third-highest rookie total in NBA history. Following a trade to the New York Knicks he was a member of their 1973 NBA championship team. Monroe was named one of the 50 players on the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.

Wally Jones (aka) Wali was my teammate at Temple University Prep School. That was between his Overbrook days and his entering Villanova. We scrimmaged John Bartram High School with a very young Monroe in the pre-season before Jones joined our team at mid-season when I was torched (faked out) by some skinny little kid who came off the bench. That kid was Monroe who went on to become an NBA Hall of Fame player and another Philadelphia Connection. So there… I gave away my age. Jones and Monroe got older, but I'm feeling fine… and holding the line…at 29.

Philadelphia 76ers 1967 NBA Championship Team

Standing Wally Jones (3rd from left), Billy Melchioni (4th from left), Matt Goukas (5th from left), Jack Ramsey (extreme right). Sitting/first row - Wilt Chamberlain (1st on left), Lucious Jackson (center # 54) Billy Cunningham (2nd from right).

Temple University Prep Team

18 Wins - 1 Loss - First Row: from left, Arthur Passic,Wally Jones (aka) Wali, Robert Fives, Herman Feldstein, James Loving, Wayman Ray, Wellington Hundley. Standing from left Coach Ray Mullen, Edward Kennedy, Obie Snyder, Albert Williams, Harry Carpenter, Hayward Pugh, and Athletic Director Ralph Kreps

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