Philadelphia has always been tied with basketball and hip-hop culture as a whole, and if you don’t take our word for it, just remember the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, with Will Smith balling in the hood and getting in trouble before being sent to his aunt’s house.
The city of brotherly love has one of the strongest and fiercest fan bases in all basketball world, and now with the Sixers slowly resurging, it feels like basketball has taken over town once again as the main entertainment.
Over the course of history, Philly has seen some great ballers walk through their streets, either because they played on the Sixers (like Barkley or Malone), or because they grew up dreaming to be the next basketball superstar.
Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 players that were born in the city of brotherly love: Philadelphia.
Honorable Mention: Dion Waiters
10. Ray Scott
John “Raymond” Scott was one of the first ballers that made Philadelphia proud, being drafted 4th overall way back then in 1961 by the Detroit Pistons and having quite a decent career as a player and as a coach, winning the 1974 coach of the year award.
Over a 10 year span, the big guy averaged 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 40% from the floor as a PF/C.
9. Larry Cannon
Larry “T” Cannon just played for a handful of seasons in the big leagues (ABA and NBA), retiring with the Philadelphia 76ers after winning a title with the Pacers.
The point guard retired quite early at 26 years old, but was known for being a scoring machine and was even drafted by both the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Floridians, choosing the ladder to start his pro career. He averaged 16.6 points, 2.9 boards and 3.6 dimes per contest.
8. Fred Carter
Yet another guy from the old school makes our list, as Fred Carter, AKA the Mad Dog is also a Philadelphia icon, although not just for good reasons. See, during the worst Sixers season ever (with a lousy 9-73 record), the point guard was the lone bright spot in that disastrous squad, posting averages of 20 points and almost 4 dimes per contest.
7. Cuttino Mobley
Mobley, AKA The Cat; wasn’t one of the most hyped prospects back in the day, even being drafted in the second round at 41st overall by the Houston Rockets out of Rhode Island University. Still, he managed to have a very decent NBA tenure as a combo guard off the bench, averaging 16 points, 3.9 boards and 2.7 dimes per game 43.3% from the floor.
6. Kyle Lowry
The starting point guard for the Toronto Raptors was also born and raised in Philadelphia. Lowry was a late bloomer that was looking like a major bust before crushing all opposition, leading his Raptors to contention alongside DeMar DeRozan. So far, he’s made it to 3 All-Star Games, posting career averages of 14.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game with 1.9 steals per game on 42% from the floor.
5. Rasheed Wallace
“Ball Don’t Lie” and numbers don’t either. Wallace was one of the main forces on a Detroit Pistons squad that even though had no stars was virtually unstoppable due to his hustle and strength. “Roscoe” Wallace won an NBA Championship and made it to 4 All-Stars, averaging 14.7 points and 6.7 rebounds with 1 steal and 1.3 blocks per game.
4. Earl Monroe
Earl Monroe, or as we all know him “Black Jesus” was such a dominant force throughout his very successful basketball career. Over a 12 year career, he managed to win the NBA title with the New York Knicks, averaging 18.8 points, 3 boards, 3.9 helpers and 1.3 steals per game, also winning the Rookie of the Year and making it to the Hall of Fame. Back in the day, he was part of the best backcourt in the NBA alongside Walt Frazier, but he was forced to retire due to a knee injury.
3. Paul Arizin
Paul Arizin, AKA Pitchin Pau was the first great scorer the league ever had, and the ultimate leader of the Philadelphia Warriors, retiring with over 16 thousand career points despite playing just for 10 seasons. Arizin was just unstoppable when driving and won 2 Scoring Titles as well as 1 NBA Championship. Through his career, the small forward posted averages of 22.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
2. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain was a living legend ever since he made his professional debut, completely owning and dominating every single aspect of the game. Although he won just 2 NBA Championship, he’ll go down as the most skilled and dominant player of his era, forcing the league to change the rules and court measures to try and contain him.
Over his career, he averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds with over 4 dimes per game, winning the Finals MVP, the ROY, 4 MVPs and 7 Scoring titles.
1. Kobe Bryant
And obviously, the greatest basketball glory out of Philly has to be Kobe Bryant, although he spent most of his youth years in Italy. The Mamba was constantly booed at Philly due to his love for the Lakers, and he’ll go down as the greatest ever to wear the purple and gold.
Over his 20 year career, Bryant averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game, winning 5 titles, 1 MVP, 2 Scoring Titles, 2 Finals MVPs and making it to 18 All-Stars (with 4 AS MVP) and 12 All-Defensive squads.