It's hard to believe, but the NBA season is just around the corner. So come with us now as we present five tiny tidbits on each team, just to get you in the mood. Today we continue with the Atlantic Division, so do us a favor and send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 1. Pay No Attention To That Power Forward Behind The Curtain. The 76ers are the NBA's oldest franchise, beginning as the Syracuse Nationals in 1939, the same year that The Wizard of Oz was released. In 1946, they joined the National Basketball League, becoming the league's easternmost team. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA.
• 2. Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine ... Andre Tyler Iguodala, nicknamed "Iggy," wore jersey number 4 until 2005, when Chris Webber arrived and wanted it. Iguodala subsequently switched to number 9, Webber buying him a Rolex watch in return.
• 3. Chairman Of The Board. When he was 17, Allen Iverson and three of his friends were arrested after a fight with some white teenagers, and subsequently convicted of "maiming by mob." Iverson was convicted as an adult on the felony charge (hitting a woman with a chair) and received a 15-year prison sentence (10 years suspended). He spent four months at the Newport News City Farm before Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder granted him a pardon. In 1995, the Virginia Court of Appeals overturned the conviction. The whole thing was a pretty raw deal, actually.
• 4. Breaking From The Pack. Shavlik Randolph played for Duke, but was named after his grandfather Ronnie Shavlik, an All-American center for North Carolina State. As a child, Randolph was an NC State ball boy.
• 5. That 70s Show. Kyle Korver so resembles actor Ashton Kutcher that Shaquille O'Neal refused take the court for a 2004 All-Star Game practice in Los Angeles because he thought he was about to be Punk'd. Korver is also believed to be the only athlete to have had his own bobblehead designed with actual (synthetic) hair. His reaction: "I think it's terrible. Why can't they have fake hair and some real socks?"