Embiid, Simmons Among Franchise's Impressive All-Star Duos

by @SixersHistory's Curtis Harris

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Chicago brings about a fortuitous occurrence for your 76ers.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will once again appear together in the league’s winter classic. This back-to-back All-Star appearance makes the duo the first pair of Sixers to play in the exhibition since Charles Barkley and Maurice Cheeks did so back in 1988.

And where was the 1988 All-Star Game held?

Chicago, of course.

Things will be a little different this time around than in 1988. This year’s star-studded event will be at United Center, whereas 32 years ago, the game was at old Chicago Stadium.

The rules of the game have changed as well. For the first time this year, the NBA is testing a new system where teams can win each of the first three quarters. And the fourth quarter will go untimed as the two squads aim to reach a designated final score.

And back in 1988, the old East-West schism was still in full effect. Now, we have captains drafting teams from a pool of All-Star selections. This season LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the captains, thanks to leading the fan vote.

The top vote-getters in 1988 were Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

Barkley and Cheeks, meanwhile, were both reserve selections for the East. Sir Charles played 15 minutes in his second All-Star Game. He mustered four points and three rebounds. Maurice received only four minutes of playing time in his final All-Star appearance, notching two boards and an assist.

Obviously, we’re hoping for a more productive outing from our All-Stars this year, but the cliché is true: it’s an honor to just be selected. Many deserving players never get an All-Star nod. To get one is fantastic. And to be selected with a teammate, doubly so.

Regardless of production, the cliché is true: it’s an honor for a player just to be selected for the All-Star Game. And to be selected with a teammate, this statement holds doubly true.

Here’s some more franchise history trivia concerning All-Star teammates, showing just how select a group of franchise luminaries Simmons and Embiid are joining.


First All-Star duo? Dolph Schayes and Red Rocha (1952), when the franchise played in Syracuse.

First duo to appear in multiple All-Star Games? Dolph Schayes and Paul Seymour (1953-55), also with the Nationals.

Previous duo before Embiid and Simmons to appear in an All-Star Game? Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo (2002).

Most All-Star appearances by the same duo? Five, by Dolph Schayes and Larry Costello (1958-62).


First All-Star trio? Dolph Schayes, Paul Seymour, and Billy Gabor (1953).

First trio to appear in multiple ASGs? Dolph Schayes, Larry Costello, and Hal Greer (1961-62).

Last time the Sixers had an All-Star trio? Charles Barkley, Maurice Cheeks, and Julius Erving (1987).


First and only All-Star quartet? Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, and Andrew Toney in 1983, the year the Sixers went on to win the NBA title.


Dolph Schayes, Hal Greer, and Julius Erving each played with seven different teammates during their All-Star appearances with the Sixers/Nationals. That’s crazy!

Schayes’ teammates in his 12 All-Star Games were Red Rocha, Billy Gabor, Paul Seymour, Red Kerr, Larry Costello, George Yardley, and Hal Greer.

Hal Greer’s teammates in his 10 All-Star Games were Larry Costello, Dolph Schayes, Lee Shaffer, Chet Walker, Luke Jackson, Wilt Chamberlain, and Billy Cunningham.

Julius Erving’s teammates in his 11 All-Star Games were George McGinnis, Doug Collins, Bobby Jones, Andrew Toney, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, and Charles Barkley.

That’s a lot of great players, with Embiid and Simmons representing the next generation.

Enjoy this weekend’s All-Star festivities!

ProHoops History's Curtis Harris currates all content for @SixersHistory, which you can follow on Instagram and Twitter.


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