NEIL SIMON PRESENTS THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS -- History of the NBA Finals Part 34

1982-83

To understand the Philadelphia 76ers of 1983, is to understand "Brighton Beach Memoirs", and "Biloxi Blues".

Again...very good movies that are probably only for chicks.

But I liked 'em.

And so did Moses Malone and Dr. J, for they will take the form of the protagonist in these two plays/films -- Eugene Morris Jerome.

Even Eugene isn't played by the same people in each one. Jonathon Silverman and Matthew Broderick share the role of Philly.

These two movies are very much the same, and thus we can intertwine it into one season.

For they have the same premise -- something big and scary and tragic is looming in the distance, and this is what we were already going through in the meantime...

Brighten Beach Memoirs focuses on the personal problems of about eight characters...all the while there's World War II on the verge of developing in a Europe containing the bulk of the family stuck in Poland.

The father is actually sitting in front of the radio already with a nervous breakdown and a shitty heart condition...listening to an account of a conference that's going on in the Sudetenland where Hitler is "welcomed" for another rousing speech.

Faaaaack. 

Biloxi Blues meanwhile is Eugene's trip to boot camp in 1945...and the fears and prejudices of kids who might be going off to war. 

The Philadelphia 76ers were sitting in the viewing room, just laughing their heads off at the highlight videos. Now that they had Moses, these sessions had taken the form of comedy. For they were killing people, and making them look really dumb.

But then the highlights of everybody else switches onto a more somber news reel...that of the Los Angeles Lakers.

They have this new rookie named Big Game James Worthy.

That's what it said on his license.

By the time these highlights of Worthy, Magic, Coop, Wilkes, Kareem, Norm and Horny Bob are finished, the boys are silent, dead serious, and worried.

"Names," the creaky announcer said in talking about the war cemeteries aka beaten Laker opponents. "Yes...Polish, Irish, English and even American names bare these crosses, signifying what they died for, and reminding us of what lies ahead for us to conquer...for true victory."

Da-da-da-daaaaaaaaa....

In the lockerroom later on, somber coach Billy "Epstein" Cunningham would turn to them. "Sports Illustrated estimates...that the casualty rate...for a full-scale invasion of the Forum would be 68 percent. 68 percent us will either be beaten...or routed."

The players looked at him and asked him how many out of 12 of them does that mean.

Cunningham immediately did the complicated math in his head. "Approximately...8.4 of us."

To which the players are left thinking this over, left with very uncomplicated math. 

"Wow," said Dr J. "Only 4.8 of us would have a good game."

"3.8 jerko," said Moses.

They would have a contest. If you knew you were going to be one of those guys who was still on this team by June...what do you want to do in Los Angeles during those two losses? It could be anything you want, any fantasy." 

It started out simple enough.

Mo Cheeks said he'd be a disc jockey at Radio City Music Hall. Then in comes this guy who wants to give me a record deal.

Take the record contract, said Dr. J.

Yeah, says Mo. I take the record contract.

Ha! MORON!!!!!!!

And so it would go on like this for a while. Moses said he'd do....Debra Winger or Arcadia Lake or whoever else was real hot and famous back then...Nicole Eggert?

BOOOOOOM!!!!

(Jerome gives him the A).

This is literally how it went all year. Philadelphia is just cruising.

They even read Jerome's diary which says how Moses is probably going to be the MVP...all the while masturbating in bed.

Billy Cunningham gets drunk, holds out a loaded shotgun, says I might as well kill a few of you, because they can only fire me once.

There was literally nothing to do during the NBA season that was of any drama or concern...not with World War Worthy out there.

So that's why this hub is like a Neil Simon play.

Lot of petty normal family disagreements...but clearly none of them have any real problems because they're putting up 65 victories and just cruising.

For the real panic won't start unless the Nazis raid Cousin Shlomel and his thirty-six kids....

Or the boys go off to war in Biloxi Blues...

And in the end, for all parties concerned, it turns out to be nothing.

Truman dropped the bomb before the Biloxi kids had a chance to go out there and fight, for Worthy broke his leg during a practice, and Norm Nixon would go down around Game 3.

Philadelphia would take the world championship 4-0, uninterrupted.

No sweat.

Everything works out in the end. 

Cousin Sholem got out of Europe, Nora's getting along with her mother, Kate is happy to see Eugene finally, and Stanley gave Eugene a hot picture of a French chick with exposed breasts.

The Philadelphia 76ers were the 1983 NBA World Champions. They had done it.

Puberty was over. 

On-waaaaaaads and up-waaaaaaaaaads!

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