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76ers play one last game at Spectrum

The Philadephia 76ers played one final game at the Spectrum, slated to be torn down this summer.The Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) played one last game at the Spectum Friday night, a last hurrah before the place is torn down this summer to make way for an entertainment district.

It was a nice little bit of nostalgia for the team’s home during the glory days of the Dr. J era, a throwback to those heady days in the late 1960s when the NHL was expanding and a new breed of sports facilities — a renovated Madison Square Garden, Minneapolis’s Met Center, St. Paul’s Civic Center, Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena, Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, Oakland Arena — were coming online.

Today most of them are gone. And, arguably, with good reason: civic architecture of the era wasn’t too inspired, and no money was wasted on amenities like decent clubhouses or workout facilities. (That seemed especially true of the Spectrum, apparently.) The goal was to see how many bodies could be crammed into the space at the lowest cost.

So we won’t shed a team for the loss of the Spectrum; what we’re really lamenting is the fading memory of becoming a basketball fan during the glory days of the NBA, when giants like Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Patrick Ewing, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson were battling the 76ers regularly for supremacy.