Picture Of The Day

Picture Of The Day
Flyers Stanley Cup Champions Parade From The '70s

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Elton Bust

The big news on the front that shouldn't have shocked anyone is that Elton Brand, the 80 million dollar man, is out for the rest of the season - playoffs included. As I have spent a lot of time complaining about Brand ever since we signed him, it got me thinking... is this the worst big name signing in recent memory of Philadelphia sports? I'll be going down what is an unfortunately long list of big name signings and trades that haven't, ah, panned out is the term we will use here. In terms of "recent memory," I will only be including athletes from the past decade.

Elton Brand was the prize of the offseason. When the Sixers locked him up for 5 years and maxed out their salary cap with a cool 82 million dollar deal. Fans were somewhat excited to see the former College Player of the Year, but also a little worried about his ruptured Achilles tendon that he was apparently recovered from. Reason to worry? Hell yes, we just learned. This man is injury prone as can be. His numbers are down from his career averages and the Sixers record has been better without him than with him. Iggy was a different player with him on the court, and not for better. With 4 years left to prove something before his career is over, the verdict is not out on Brand yet. I'll tell you one thing though - Philadelphia is not a place where you are welcomed with open arms when you sustain injury after injury with a contract like Elton has.

Peter Forsberg signed a 2-year 11.5 million dollar contract to bring the Cup back to Philadelphia and finish what he never got a chance to start, when he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques (who later became the Colorado Avalanche) along with Ron Hextall, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round pick in 1993 and 1994, oh and a cool 15 million dollars all in exchange for Eric Lindros. The return of Forsberg, who won two Cups with the Avalanche proved to be a failure, as the Fly Guys lost in 6 games to the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the playoffs. The following year the Flyers had their worst season in team history. Forsberg complained, and I quote, that "my boot doesn't fit." The center's chronic foot problems allowed him to play in just 40 games in the season to forget. I am far from a fan of this diva. Philadelphia is a place for the Chase Utley's and Allen Iverson's who play through injury after injury and give it their all. Peter - a "boot" that doesn't "fit" is not a good excuse to not play for the team that is playing you over 5 million dollars. The only solace in Forsberg came in Scottie Upshall and Ryan Parent, who the Flyers received when they traded "Foppa" to Nashville. Verdict: BUST

Glenn Robinson was brought to the Sixers to be the second option behind Allen Iverson. That sentence recurred a lot over A.I.'s tenure in Philly eh? "Big Dog" posted career lows in points, games, and rebounds in his only season with the Sixers. He was traded to the Hornets the next year. Verdict: BUST

Takeo Spikes was once a big name linebacker for the Bengals and the Bills. When he decided he didn't want to be a part of the rebuilding process in Buffalo, he was shipped here. While his stats were decent, he lived up to his injury prone stamp when he tore his rotator cuff in week 14. No playoffs, no pro bowl, no great memory of Takeo. Verdict: Waste

Freddy Garcia came to the Phillies in a trade with the Chicago White Sox for deemed head case and underachiever Gavin Floyd. Just a year after leading the "other Sox" to their first World Series Championship in 88 years. Add him to an inexperienced and unproven Phillies rotation and hey - what could go wrong? Everything. Freddy started just 11 games. He brought us the infamous 10-million-dollar win, as he went 1-5 before being shut down with a shoulder injury for the rest of the season. Two years removed, Gavin Floyd picks up 17 wins for the Sox and boasts an era in the 3's. Verdict: MEGA-BUST - but I'm not complaining. World Champs baby.

Other names to consider who were not considered stars when they came here...

Adam Eaton - We basically shoved 24 million dollars in his face and told him he was starting. Now in his final year of the contract, he may not even be at spring training.
Chris Webber - Knee problems and dwindling speed and numbers added up to boo induced career with the Sixers.
David Bell - A 4 year 17 million dollar contract for someone who didn't shave, didn't play, looked like a drunken mess at the plate, and was not good enough in the field.
Kevin Millwood - Coming off an 18 win season for the Braves, the Phils traded for this country man. He went 23-18 over two years for the Phils. It seems we paid Millwood enough money throw a no-hitter in the Vet. And that's it. The only memory he provided.
Keith Van Horn - One season, no defense... and yeah. That about sums him up.

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