Life can be dangerous for Philadelphia 76ers first-round draft picks. Rewind to the 1977 NBA Finals when the Portland Trailblazers returned from a two-game deficit to beat the 76ers. In Game 2, the late Darryl Dawkins (a first-round pick in 1975) came down with a rebound alongside the head of Portland’s Bob Gross. Tempers flared and the official Trailblazers enforcer, Mo Lucas, squared off with Chocolate Thunder. Attempting to make peace, Doug Collins, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1973 draft, got in between the combatants and got socked in the kisser for his troubles.
Along with Collins, these are the five best first-round picks for the 76ers. We wish them luck in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft.
1. Doug Collins
An Illinois State star, Collins ended a dry spell for the Sixers in terms of productive first-round picks. The lineup of Bud Ogden (1969), Al Henry (1970), Dana Lewis (1971), and Fred Boyd (1972) didn’t elevate the team to greatness, so Collins represented a step in the right direction. He later coached the Chicago Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, and even the 76ers.
Originally, Collins played for eight seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1981 due to knee and foot injuries. For his career, the shooting guard averaged 17.9 points per game. Collin’s son, Chris, played in Europe before becoming an assistant coach for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock. He later became head coach at Northwestern.