Since I've been picking on the New Jersey Devils, it seems only fair to pick on my hometown as well. The announced attendance for tonight's Philadelphia 76ers home game against Charlotte was just 9,317, which is bad enough. The Associated Press game summary put the actual crowd at about 6,000. Without the drawing card of Allen Iverson, now in Denver, and with low expectations for this year's team, basketball fans have found other things to do.
Last year the team averaged 15,011 per game, lowest since the 1995-96 season when the average crowd was just 11,935. Attendance dropped to that point in the years after Charles Barkley was traded, and rose again when Iverson arrived, peaking in 2001-02 with an average of 20,560 coming off the team's appearance in the 2001 NBA finals. As the Sixers struggled in recent years the crowds started to tail off. Now it appears that the team is in for another sizable attendance drop. I'd feel more sad about it if I were a huge NBA fan. -- Joe Guckin