21 years ago today, Mark Bradtke — aka the Aussie Arvydas Sabonis — suited up for Rocky’s hometown, the City of Brotherly Love, as Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers lost a heartbreaker to Penny Hardaway’s Orlando Magic.
Unfortunately for Bradtke — Australia’s hairiest and sweatiest export since DK Lillee was knocking the blocks off unsuspecting Poms — it was a night rougher than the guts of a Goolgowi goanna.
The Noarlunga Giant was as ready as ever, but while Iverson (26pts/8ast) duelled Penny (27pts/7ast), Sixers coach Johnny Davis ignored him, playing the Melbourne Tigers legend only 3 bloody minutes.
Usually that’d be enough for Bradtke to put up 40 and 20 with 8 blocks… but the problem was that coach was worse than Brett ‘Binga’ Lee’s bass playing/backing vocals in Six & Out.
Nicole Bradtke’s husband subsequently went 0-1 from the field and 1-of-2 from the free throw line, finishing up with a line of 1 point and 1 rebound in that outrageous 3 minutes of court time.
Unfortunately, even though he was bigger than the Flinders Ranges, Bradtke didn’t a chance to show off his raft of post moves that would put Kevin McHale to shame — or even the passing-savant ability that could see him (it was rumoured) be able to hit a five-buck note from 97-feet away with enough force to turn it into a tenner — because big fella wouldn’t get off the pine again until March.
Jeez. That’s rougher than the head on Colin ‘Funky’ Miller.
#ONYA Big Bradtke!
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