62 years ago, Hal Greer was in his prime in forming a tandem with Wilt Chamberlain as one of the most impactful duos in NBA history.
Wilt’s chip with the Sixers may not have happened if Greer wasn’t playing a very capable Batman to Wilt’s Superman. The tough guy combo guard could score in a multitude of ways as one of the backcourt beasts of his era, and averaged 24 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in his final season with Wilt.
This week (April 14) in 2018, Greer died in Arizona after a brief illness. It didn’t hit mainstream news until a couple of days later.
Those numbers bloated to 27.7 points and nearly 6 rebounds per game during the 1967 playoffs. He’s probably one of the most underrated players in NBA history.
“The Philadelphia 76ers organization mourns the passing of Hal Greer, an NBA champion, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and team legend,” the club said in a statement.
Throughout his 15-year career with the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76ers, Greer solidified his place as one of the greatest basketball players ever. An NBA champion in 1967 and 10-time NBA All-Star, Greer’s legacy includes being the 76ers all-time leader in points, field goals, field goals attempted, games and minutes played, culminating in him being named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.
He was picked with the 14th overall pick in the 1958 NBA draft by the Syracuse Nationals, playing five seasons there before going to Philadelphia. At only 6 foot 2, Greer was known to midrange teams into submission night after night. Name your favorite Hall of Fame guard from the 60s, and it’s a safe bet that Greer gave him bushels of buckets.
Greer’s No. 15 jersey became the first to be retired by the Sixers in 1976 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. Recently, he became the first player to be honored with a sculpture outside of the team’s Legends Walk at the Philly training complex last year.
In addition to his historic contributions on the court, Greer will forever be remembered as a true gentleman who used the tremendous platform to uplift and inspires others. He is and should be remembered fondly.