Perfectly Awful


Perfectly Awful

The Philadelphia 76ers' Horrendous and Hilarious 1972-1973 Season

Charley Rosen

216 pages
1 table


October 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

October 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

October 2014


$29.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

During the 1972–1973 basketball season, the Philadelphia 76ers were not just a bad team; they were fantastically awful. Doomed from the start after losing their leading scorer and rebounder, Billy Cunningham, as well as head coach Jack Ramsay, they lost twenty-one of their first twenty-three games. A Philadelphia newspaper began calling them the Seventy Sickers, and they duly lost their last thirteen games on their way to a not-yet-broken record of nine wins and seventy-three losses.
Charley Rosen recaptures the futility of that season through the firsthand accounts of players, participants, and observers. Although the team was uniformly bad, there were still many memorable moments, and the lore surrounding the team is legendary. Once, when head coach Roy Rubin tried to substitute John Q. Trapp out of a game, Trapp refused and told Rubin to look behind the team’s bench, whereby one of Trapp’s friends supposedly opened his jacket to show his handgun. With only four wins at the All-Star break, Rubin was fired and replaced by player-coach Kevin Loughery.
In addition to chronicling the 76ers’ woes, Perfectly Awful also captures the drama, culture, and attitude of the NBA in an era when many white fans believed that the league had too many black players.

Author Bio

Charley Rosen is a contributor to (USA Today Sports) and is the author of more than a dozen sports books, including Crazy Basketball (Nebraska, 2011), Players and Pretenders (Nebraska, 2007), and two books cowritten with NBA coach Phil Jackson.



"The literature of sport usually focuses on championship teams and players. But the road to the top is littered with vanquished foes. The '72–'73 76ers are the ultimate vanquished foe. Great reading."—Wes Lukowsky, Booklist starred review

"Charley Rosen's Perfectly Awful provides an insider's summary of the worst season in NBA history. His anecdotes and knowledge of the game give the reader an enlightening sense of the pre-merger NBA of the early 1970s, and of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, still the team most associated with losing by American sports fans."—Bob Epling, AETHLON

Table of Contents

    Prologue: Always Leave Them Laughing
1. It's Tough to Get Help These Days
2. The Masters of Disaster
3. It's Mister Bluster by Default
4. Prelude to Ignominy
5. Digging the Hole
6. Dis-Rule and the Q-Man Cometh
7. How Low Can You Go?
8. From Bad to Worst
9. Murph to the Rescue
10. Break Up the Sixers
11. Return to Reality
12. The Reluctant Savior
13. If the Shue Fits
14. Remembrances of Things Past
     Epilogue: Over Time

A Note on Sources

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