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Mr. Andrew Toney

2570 Blyth Lane
Snellville, Ga 30078

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For the Spotlight feature on Andrew Toney in the AN News go to
It includes pictures and other clickable links related to the story.

Spotlight on Former Athlete: Andrew Toney Men's Basketball 1976-1980

Spotlight on Former Athlete: Andrew Toney Men's Basketball 1976-1980

The "Spotlight on Former Athlete" has a new writer. Please welcome Bruce Brown, long-time editor of the Daily Advertiser, who has accepted this responsibility. In addition to his numerous stories in the Daily Advertiser over the years, many viewers of the Athletic Network are familar with Bruce's work as he wrote "Prides of Acadiana" in 1980. Many of its chapters have been used in previous spotlight features. Prides of Acadiana clearly demonstrates his love of the university and its athlete program. We welcome Bruce as an Athletic Network team member and look forward to his spotlight features each month.

By Bruce Brown BBrown@smgpo.gannett.com Dec. 12, 2009

This story is a copyrighted enterprise.

Of all the accomplishments by Andrew Toney, both with Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun basketball program from 1976-80 and later as an NBA champion with the Philadelphia 76ers, perhaps it was a game he missed that speaks most clearly about his character.

Toney was a major piece of the puzzle as first Jim Hatfield and then Bobby Paschal tackled the task of rebuilding Cajun basketball fortunes after the program had been shut down for two seasons for NCAA violations. The sharp-shooting guard finished as the school's second-leading scorer with 2,526 career points, led the Cajuns to a Southland Conference title, and paced his team to the quarterifinals of the National Invitation Tournamentas a senior in 1979-80.

During that senior year 30 years ago, Toney missed a road game at Portland State so he could return to Lafayette and participate in December graduation ceremonies, finishing his undergraduate studies in 3 1/2 years. "I was trying to finish in 3 years," said Toney, who currently lives near Atlanta. "My parents couldn't afford to send me to college, so since I was
getting a free education I wanted to make sure I took advantage of it. My sisters went on to grad school, and our parents always told us to better ourselves."

"The course work was not that bad. The courses I took in high school didn't prepare me for college, therefore there were a couple of classes the first semester that were a challenge. Once I adjusted, it was pretty much a breeze." Paschal gave permission for Toney¹s absence because he knew how much it meant to the former high school star from Birmingham, Ala.

"We had a road trip between semesters," Paschal recalled. "We beat Oregon, and afterward Andrew came to me and said he would like to go back to go through graduation ceremonies. I was proud of him. We lost a game, but it was the right thing to do, for Andrew to be able to come back and graduate. "When he came to us, he indicated to me that he wanted to graduate early. He attended summer school that first year, before his first year. He told me then that his goal was to graduate in a shorter time than any of his sisters. "That¹s hard for anyone to do, but especially an athlete. During semesters, he got special permission to take more than the normal load of (class)hours. He was pretty driven in everything he did."

On the court, Toney regularly worked on his own at Blackham Coliseum, convincing one of the staff members to give him his own key. "I was pretty much always like that, whether it was studying, or basketball or playing golf, "said Toney. "All the time I was at USL and in Philly, I was always the first one there and the last to leave. "Anytime you want to get better, you've got to be willing to put in quality time. Each and every time I went in the gym, I was working on something, and I made sure I accomplished it before leaving. It could have been hitting 14 or 15 shots in a row. Whatever it was, I would do it, no matter how long it took me."

"He was not one who would work hard for show, to work out and make sure everybody knew about it," Paschal said. "He worked hard to get better. He had God-given abilities, and didn¹t waste them."

Toney was the picture of consistency at UL, averaging 21.0, 24.5, 23.3 and 26.1 points per game, scoring 608, 661, 630 and 627 points in his four seasons. In 107 career games, he hit 52.9 percent of his field goals.
"I'm older now, so I don't remember the statistics so much," Toney said. "I remember the rivalries with McNeese and Lamar. The points and all? No. I could always score."

Could he ever. The 1979-80 Cajuns returned from their Oregon trip to host the BayouClassic, and fans were in for a treat as UL defeated Baylor 96-83 and then Auburn 92-75 to win its own event.

"Sports Illustrated sent a guy, Jack McCallum, down to do a story on us centered around Andrew," Paschal recalled. "We had a good game against Baylor and then played Auburn. Auburn had a lot of kids from Alabama on the team, a lot of kids Andrew knew. He ended up scoring 46 against them (one of three times Toney hit that mark at UL). "When the story came out in SI, they had a picture of Andrew in a lab, and it was titled Andrew Toney, "A classy guy with books and a ball."

Toney didn¹t take long to feel at home in south Louisiana, and met his wife, Priscilla, at UL. "I was impressed by the
French culture, and by Cajun food,"Toney said. "For a young kid coming out of Alabama, it was something. I learned how to eat crawfish etouffe. That was pretty intriguing. "I'd had numerous opportunities to go to school in the state of Alabama, but guys who were in front of me told me some things about those state schools. I didn't want to go there."

Toney was a first-round draft choice of the 76ers, and quickly made his mark there, too. Playing 23.6 minutes per game as a rookie in 1980-81, Toney scored 12.9 points per game as instant offense off the bench. He increased that to 16.5 the next year, then scored 19.7 points per game in 1982-83 as the Sixers won the NBA title.

His scoring ability was especially deadly against the rival Boston Celtics, earning him the nickname The Boston Strangler.
"Do I remember Andrew Toney? The Boston Strangler?" said Hall of Famer Larry Bird of the Celtics. "Yeah, I remember him. I wish we¹d had him. He was a killer. We called him The Boston Strangler because every time he got hold of the ball we knew he was going to score. "He was the absolute best I¹ve ever seen at shooting the ball at crucial times. We had
nobody who could come close to stopping him. Nobody."

Lakers coach Pat Riley concurred, saying at the time, "He¹s the greatest clutch player I¹ve ever seen. "Toney¹s career high of 20.4 per game came in his fourth year, before recurring foot injuries slowed him. In eight NBA seasons (468 games), Toney scored 15.9 points per game, hit 50 percent of his shots and 79.7 percent of his free throws.

"When I left USL and got to the Sixers, I found it was much easier than college," Toney said. "Teams weren't double-teaming me, triple-teaming me. I saw all that in college, box and one, triangle and one. It was totally easy. It had been a long time since I'd seen (just ) one guy in front of me. "When I first got there, my role was to come off the bench and they'd call plays for me and I¹d score a lot of points. Then (coach) Billy Cunningham said he wanted me to be a more complete player and that he wanted me to develop my all-around game. I couldn't just go in and do what I wanted. If you'll look, though, I never took that many shots at USL or in the NBA."

Games like those against the Celtics always brought out the best in Toney. "In rivalry games, in college or in the pros, they let me go straight," he said. "Coaches turn you loose. That¹s pretty much what Billy used to do. I had the green light any time. I knew I would get a lot of shots. Billy always did have confidence in me. I had people calling plays for me since
high school. I was always looking to take the big shot."

Those early years in Philadelphia were smoothed greatly by Julius "Dr. J" Erving, the Michael Jordan of his era. "Doc pretty much took me under his wing," Toney said. "When I first got up there, I didn't know anyone in Philly and when Christmas came he took me to New York with him. I was a rookie, and I wasn't married to Priscilla yet. Everywhere I had to go, I¹d go with him. That was nice of him, and we developed a long-lasting friendship. I still hear from him. He lives in the
Atlanta area."

Toney might be considered with Erving and Jordan among all-time greats, if not for the injuries. "I started having the injuries in 1985-86," he said. "The problem was, they didn¹t know how to handle a foot problem back then. I had to go through my attorney, (Lafayette's) Bob Wright, who sent me to a doctor in New York. They know how to handle things like that now, but not then. I had stress fractures in each foot. I started going downhill then. It pretty much got worse. "I've been strong about it for a long time. That's just how it is. I was not going to let them tell me what was wrong with me. I've always been a strong-minded individual."

Toney and Priscilla have daughters Chanel, 27, and Collette, 18, and son Channing, 23. Collette is a student at the University of Georgia. Channing played college basketball, finishing his career, fittingly enough at Alabama-Birmingham. Toney has enjoyed raising a family, but is realistic about the process.

"You never know what you pass along to your kids," he said. "When I played, I was on the road a lot. Basketball keeps you busy on the road. But now that we live in Atlanta, I¹m not on the road as much. I¹ve been able to take part in all three of the kids' activities. Kids grow up quick, and you want to be there for them."

Whatever Andrew Toney decided to do, from working on his jump shot in the early morning hours at Blackham Coliseum to becoming part of a champion Sixers team to raising a family, he has done so with unique clarity. "He was one of the best players I ever coached," Paschal said. "He was very driven. A good athlete, period, who could really focus, whether as a player, a member of a team or in academics. He had tremendous confidence in himself. "He had tremendous natural quickness, unbelievable, and really worked hard to develop his body and strength as a player."

There are a handful of players who could be considered the best in UL¹s basketball history, with Toney among the few. Paschal knows who he would choose. "He¹s the best player in USL history, when you combine character, commitment, ability and how he played the game," Paschal said. "He had tremendous ability. He could not only score, he played defense and always played within the framework of the team."

"Obviously, there are times when you go to your best player, so we¹d go to him, but I would definitely not consider Andrew selfish at all. He always wanted to win, and blended into the team.²" Except for that one night in 1979, when Andrew Toney allowed himself one night for his other self, one who was just as focused in the classroom as he was on the court.

This story by Bruce Brown is a copyrighted enterprise.

Click here for a picture of Andrew and the the 1977-78 Southland Conference Champions http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=8208

Click here for USL's All-American guard shooting over an opponent http://athleticnetwork.net/picpopup.php?piclibID=8402

Click here for Andrew Toney's Athletic Network profile http://athleticnetwork.net/site.php?pageID=55&profID=2857

Click here for the story "Throwback Thursday: Andrew Toney - The Boston Strangler" http://thestartingfive.net/2008/02/07/throwback-thursday-andrew-toney-the-boston-strangler/

Our rich athletic traditions were intrusted to the vision, hope, loyalty and dedicated of these former athletes and we will forever owe them a debt of sincere gratitude. May God Bless each of them and their families.

Anyone with information, materials, pictures, memorabilia, etc., of the university's former athletic program participants in is requested to contact Ed Dugas at athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu Thank you.

The Photo Gallery Link located on the left side of the home page at http://www.athleticnetwork.net contains over 8,000 pictures of former and current athletes and support groups. Just click on photo gallery and when the menu appears, click on the sport or support group you wish to view. The years of pictures posted for that team or group will appear and you may click on the year you wish to view. One click on a thumbnail picture or narrative and it is enlarged; a click on the enlarged photo and it reverts back to the thumbnail.

The Athletic Network seeks to post pictures of each team and support group for each year they represented the university.

The stories of the 2008 honorees are still included in the News Page and may be viewed by clicking on "more news" at the bottom right of the News Box, scrolling down, clicking on the title of the story. Those spotlight features which are no longer shown in the News Page, have been moved to the Lagniappe Link of the "History of UL Athletics" located on the left side of the home page.

The Spotlight on Former Athletes announcement has also been placed in the profile of each honoree, excluding the pictures.

The 2009 honorees in the Athletic Network "Spotlight on Former Athletes" include:

January - Tim Thompson Men's Basketball 1957-61.

February - Gene Bacque Baseball 1956 & 57.

March - Dr. Louis "Lou" Bowers Track & Field 1955, Tennis 1956-58, Wrestling Coach 1964-66.

April - Dr. Carter Lomax, Jr. Tennis 1974-76.

May - Johnny Morris, Jr. Football 1927-29,Men's Basketball 1927-30,Track & Field 1928-30, Golf 1927-28, Coaches 1947-49 .

June - S.L.I.I. Athletic Pioneers I
July - S.L.I.I. Athletic Pioneers II

August - 1912 - A Special Year - First L'Acadien

September - Glenn Davis Lafleur Football 1966-69

October - Bill Bass Boxing 1938 & 39, Football 1938-40, Coach 1971-75 & 1983.

November - Tom Nolan Cross Country and Track & Field1971-76, Coach 1978-81.

December - Our Current Military Personnel (M.Cruse,S.Fontenot,K.Kramer,P.Lamy, Jr.,M.Langston)

Ed Dugas, Coordinator
Athletic Network

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Remainder of Table of Contents:
1. Andrew Toney From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
2. Where are they now? Andrew Toney NBA/Sixers website;
3. 1980 NBA Draft - Andrew Toney 8th pick in 1st round;
4. Andrew Toney two-time winner of Southland Conference Player of the Year;
5. Remember the Legend - Andrew Toney;
6. Andrew Toney - The Boston Strangler;
7. Andrew Toney: A Postseason Strangler;
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1. Andrew Toney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Andrew Toney (born November 23, 1957 in Birmingham, Alabama) is an American former professional basketball player who played for the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers from 1980-1988. He was dubbed "The Boston Strangler" by Boston sportswriters during the 76ers' and Boston Celtics' rivalry in the early 1980s because of his ability to single-handedly dominate games against the Celtics including Game 7 of the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals by scoring 34 points in a game.

Toney was a prolific scorer, particularly against the elite teams of the time such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Celtics. It wasn't uncommon for him to put up thirty or more points single handedly against such teams.

Toney was drafted by the Sixers out of Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) with the eighth pick of the 1980 NBA Draft.

He was named to two All-Star teams, in 1982 and 1983, and averaged 15.9 points per game for his career.

Toney was an integral part of the 1982-1983 76er's championship "Fo' fo' fo'" team, considered by many to be one of the greatest teams ever, and will long be remembered as a fan favorite along with such players as the great Dr. J., Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks, etc..

Toney's son Channing currently plays NCAA basketball at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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2. Where are they now? Andrew Toney #22 1980-88

Better known as "The Boston Strangler" Andrew Toney spent eight seasons with the Sixers. He earned his nickname for his incredible heroics against the Boston Celtics, after torching the Celtics for almost 30 points a game in the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to injuries and finished with a career scoring average of 15.9 ppg.
Toney currently lives outside of Atlanta and spends most of his time keeping up with his kids athletic and social events.


--by Mike Lieberman
Posted 4/16/2003

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3. 1980 NBA Draft


1 GSW Joe Barry Carroll Purdue University 705 22838 12455 5404 1264 .474 .000 .747 32.4 17.7 7.7 1.8
2 UTA Darrell Griffith University of Louisville 765 21403 12391 2519 1627 .463 .332 .707 28.0 16.2 3.3 2.1
3 BOS Kevin McHale University of Minnesota 971 30118 17335 7122 1670 .554 .261 .798 31.0 17.9 7.3 1.7
4 CHI Kelvin Ransey Ohio State University 474 11586 5380 901 2480 .454 .132 .782 24.4 11.4 1.9 5.2
5 DEN James Ray Jacksonville University 103 843 334 228 76 .428 .333 .629 8.2 3.2 2.2 0.7
6 NJN Mike O'Koren University of North Carolina 407 8810 3355 1391 856 .490 .271 .651 21.6 8.2 3.4 2.1
7 NJN Mike Gminski Duke University 938 24058 10953 6480 1203 .465 .122 .843 25.6 11.7 6.9 1.3
8 PHI Andrew Toney University of Louisiana at Lafayette 468 12608 7458 1009 1965 .500 .342 .797 26.9 15.9 2.2 4.2

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4. Andrew Toney two-time winner of Southland Conference Player of the Year

The Southland Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is a basketball award given to the Southland Conference's most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1963–64 season. Four players have won the award two times: Jerry Rook, Larry Jeffries, Andrew Toney and Ryan Stuart. No player has ever won three times.

As of 2009, McNeese and UL-Monroe have the most all-time winners with seven apiece. Only one current member of the Southland Conference has never had a winner, Central Arkansas, which joined the conference in 2006.

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5. Remembering the Legend - Andrew Toney


Remember the Legend - Andrew Toney

Written by Matthew Maurer
Article Index
Remember the Legend - Andrew Toney

It was tough times for a legend in the making, a combination of injury woes and a highly publicized dispute with former Sixer's owner Harold Katz. As the 1980's faded, too many have forgotten just how great a player Andrew Toney was. Growing up in Delaware there were two sets of fans, Washington Bullets (now Wizards) and Philadelphia 76ers. Like many, I was a Sixer fan that loved the whole team, from the talented bench players like Clint Richardson, to starters like Bobby Jones. I knew every player as though they were my extended family.

Few players in Toney's day were as complete and talented as him. In today's terms picture Richard Hamilton's shooting, Jose Calderon's ball handling, Kobe Bryant's competitiveness, Mike Bibby's passing and Reggie Miller's killer instinct. Combine all that with a fundamentally sound game and physical body strength that would make most power forwards envious.
For those who think I'm over-exaggerating Toney's physical strength, look no further than top 50 all time great and teammate, Charles Barkley, who once said in his autobiography Outrageous!, "Toney was amazingly strong, he and Moses were the only ones on the team that could post me up!" Barkley went on to say in the book, "I thought he (Toney) was the best player on the team when I got here. We had Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, and Julius Erving, but the only one I was in awe of was Andrew."

That's high praise for someone who came out of little known Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Lousiana at Lafayette) as the 8th pick in the 1980 draft. During what would be his healthy years, Toney averaged 17.5 points and 4.4 assists per game with two All-star appearances in his first 5 seasons. This is phenomenal considering the Sixers had two 22+ point scorers and Hall of Famers in Moses Malone and Julius Erving. Nevertheless, what made Toney one of the decade's most dominant players was his ability to raise his game when the stakes were high.Current Miami Heat general manager Pat Riley once said, "He's the greatest clutch player I've ever seen. The hell with Jerry West!"

There are a select few players in the NBA that have nicknames that transcend their God given names, like Earvin to Magic, Jordan to Air, and Isiah to Zeke. Boston fans and the national media knew Toney as the "Boston Strangler" for the way he single handily dominated the Celtics. He was to Boston what Reggie Miller was to the Knicks. He had the talent plus a killer heart on the court, sticking the dagger in when it mattered most.

The Sixers loved to run isolation plays on the wing for Toney. His cat quick first step would be the blueprint for future guards Tim Hardaway and Allen Iverson. He was so much of a dominant offensive force that Boston actually traded to acquire defensive stalwart Dennis Johnson, just to guard Toney. Did it work? Absolutely not. Toney continued his stellar performances with regularity.

Former Celtic player and current head of Celtic basketball operations, Danny Ainge once said in a NBATV interview "I tell you, Andrew was giving you nightmares when you thought about playing against him. He was already the Boston Strangler, so by the time I got there, I had heard all the stories about Andrew Toney. I was given all kinds of advice on how to defend him - be physical with him, just hang on to him, fight him and hold him. I learned through my own experience that was the exact opposite way to defend Andrew. I thought it was better to just let him run wherever he wanted and try to let him get bored, because every time he was challenged either mentally or physically, he seemed to respond."

Toney's confidence was one of his biggest attributes, even on a team loaded with legends like Moses and Doctor J., and stars like Cheeks and Bobby Jones. Andrew still displayed the will to take over games.

Former Sixers coach Billy Cunningham once spoke about his willingness in an interview. "We're playing the Lakers, the game is in overtime, and we're down a point. We have the ball with close to 20 seconds left, so I call a timeout. The play was for Maurice to hold the ball and, at a certain point, Andrew would come off a screen for a shot. Now, I know Andrew heard me, but as the play starts, Andrew runs over to Maurice, says give me the ball and takes it from him. I'm livid. Here we've designed a play, and he just takes the ball. So, the clock is running down, and Andrew finally drives to the right of the lane. I'm not exaggerating, but three Lakers come flying at him to block the ball. Andrew lofts a 12-footer over them, banks it off the board, game over. His argument? 'Coach, I hear what you're saying but just give me the ball.' That was Andrew."

Unfortunately, Toney's greatest challenge came when stress fractures developed in his feet. To make matters worse, the Sixers team doctors could not detect the injuries. This led management and former Sixer owner Harold Katz to believe that Toney was faking his injuries to hold out for a bigger contract. The rift between Toney and Katz got so bad that Katz told the NBA to test Toney for drugs. The test came out negative but this only illustrates how intense the feud between the two became.

Toney stayed in the league for 3 more seasons, hobbling along, never staying healthy, and far from the glory days of his offensive dominance and brilliance. Before the 1989 season began Toney retired without much of a farewell or any sort of fanfare. He vowed never to step foot into a Sixers' arena again until Katz was no longer the owner.

Time has helped heal the wounds that Toney felt from his painful departure from the NBA. He's watched his son, Channing Toney, play ball at Brookwood High School and move on to a scholarship with the Georgia Bulldogs. Channing, now a junior, recently transferred to UAB where he'll be eligible for play in mid December 2007. It's been said that, to this day, Channing cannot beat his dad. Just remember the next time you see Cuttino Mobley, Gilbert Arenas or Ben Gordon, none of them could hold a candle to Andrew. There have been few that could take over a game like he once did.

Larry Bird once said "Do I remember Andrew Toney? The Boston Strangler? Yeah, I remember him. I wish we would've had him. He was a killer. We called him the Boston Strangler because every time he got a hold of the ball we knew he was going to score. He was the absolute best I've ever seen at shooting the ball at crucial times. We had nobody who could come close to stopping him. Nobody."

Toney played in a much different era. In the early 1980s, the NBA was a fledgeing league where games were broadcast once per week and highlights barely shown on the evening news. The idea of sports marketing was a foreign concept. Doctor J was once interviewed before a Lakers finals game with a Star Wars cap on, and there was no deal with George Lucas. It was an age of innocence for the NBA.

Unfortunately, due to a shortened career and higher profile teammates, Toney rarely receives the recognition he deserves. For those who played with and against Toney, he'll be remembered as the top clutch go-to player of his era.

YouTube clip of Toney in action during the 1982 NBA Conference Finals.

*This article is sponsored by Film Fatale, Inc.

Readers have left 15 comments.
15. Remember the Legend - Andrew Toney
oowy, Unregistered
I met Toney in 1983 he was at a playground in my neighborhood in SW Philadelphia at the basketball courts, of course. He gave me his autograph and my sister 8yrs old, gave him her autograph. He took the autograph and smiled what a down-to-earth guy.
Posted 2009-09-18 06:13:44
14. Neighborhood Friend
D J , Unregistered
I remember watching Amp playing ball on Gorgas Elementary court until late evening, almost black dark. Buy the time he got to Glenn H.S. has was something to see and when he got drafted by the Sixers, well, you know the rest. He was a good guy to know.
Posted 2009-06-20 23:42:46
13. Great Player !
BigDoug, Unregistered
You should have seen him in high school !
Posted 2009-05-02 20:34:51
12. Andrew Toney
Diane, Unregistered
Best basketball player ever; met him once and heck of a nice guy; his cousin was in my daughter's wedding; glad to hear his son is playing NCAA.....will watch for him
Posted 2009-04-19 20:40:00
11. Remember the Legend - Andrew Toney
Steph, Unregistered
That's Ms. Toney's favorite son.
Posted 2009-04-10 14:58:51
10. Remember the Legend - Andrew Toney
Guest, Unregistered
This dude was great man. Used to see him and play against him when ULL was called southwestern LA. This guy could shoot jump shots from half court like it was nothing. He was built up like a linebacker playing point or shooting guard. I think he messed his feet up running on the streets of lafayette when training in army boots and flak jackets with weights. One thing I really liked about him was that he was not a SOB except on the court. One of the greatest guys you could ever want to know as a person. Long live A. Toney!!!
Posted 2009-03-13 09:49:41
Guest, Unregistered
Posted 2009-03-02 12:59:09
8. Andrew Toney
Guest, Unregistered
I remember the days of real basketball...And Mr. Andrew Toney was one of my favorites...I loved the stance that he took and I am very excited about him being honored ....It took long enough....2009 is the year
Posted 2009-02-28 04:38:01
7. Andrew Toney
Guest, Unregistered
i've heard alot of great stories about andrew. He's my uncle. whats up unc@!!!!!!
Posted 2009-02-08 19:41:54
6. An awesome player
Robert Johnson, Unregistered
Toney was my favorite basketball player growing up. He was just incredible. His injury is tragic as today it would have been easily identified.

Posted 2009-01-05 20:43:47
5. Andrew Toney
Guest, Unregistered
If it were not for Andrew Toney, Dr J would have never won a NBA championship. Andrew Toney is still the man based on how he played the game on the court and carried himself off of the court.
Posted 2008-11-20 12:50:38
4. Andrew Toney
hunior89, Unregistered
Wow, this brings back memories. The 82-83 Sixers are the best all-around team I have seen in my 37 years. i say this as a basketball fan, not a Sixers fan. Best starting 5 in the last 30 years: Cheecks, Toney, Erving, Iavaroni(the weak link, but a grinder), and Malone. To quote Moses, "Fo'Fo'Fo'!
Posted 2008-11-15 01:21:44

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6. Andrew Toney - The Boston Strangler


Throwback Thursday: Andrew Toney - The Boston Strangler
Picture a player in the presence of The Doctor(Julius Erving), a Leader(Moses Malone), the Secretary of Defense(Bobby Jones), and the floor General(Maurice Cheeks).

But among these legends is one who doesn’t have the notoriety, the big school background or the big-time salary. He does however possess big game ability and the heart of a killer. He is The Boston Strangler… he is Andrew Toney.

Before there was Michael Jordan and his dominance; Andrew Toney may have been the best two guard in the NBA. The 8th pick in the 1980 draft out of S.W. Louisiana, Toney at 6′3″ 185lbs. possessed a first step that was lethal - once he was by you, it was only a matter of how he was going to score. He had long range accuracy that many players of today lack. Toney would come off of a screen and fire in the same fluid motion that Rip Hamilton does now or how Reggie Miller used to. He teamed in the backcourt with Maurice Cheeks to form one of the best defensive backcourt combos in the NBA during the early 1980’s.

Although he was on a team that featured Doc, Moses, Mo, Cheeks Bobby Jones and later on Charles Barkley; Toney was the guy that the opposition knew they had to stop in order to beat the 76′ers. Since most of the great players in the NBA then were forwards or centers Toney was a matchup problem for most teams night after night.

We live in a society where we love to give nicknames around, I have found few to be as true to form as The Boston Strangler.

During the early 1980’s - few rivalies in sports could measure up to the 76′ers-Celtics matchups. In 1981 the 76ers blew a 3-1 series led that opened the door to to Larry Bird and the Celtics winning the NBA Title. In 1982 things would be different…sort of the 76ers would once again blow a 3-1 series lead and would face Bird and his gang in a Game 7 in fabled Boston Garden. Toney who averaged 29 points for the series was the catalyst who pushed the 76ers past the Celtics in Game 7. Even the Celtic faithful paid homage with the chant, “Beat L.A.!” “Beat L.A.!” But the 76ers would be denied that elusive title for another season.

In 1983 the puzzle was completed with the addition of Moses Malone as the 76ers would go on to a 67-14 record, with one loss in the playoffs and a three game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.

It seemed from there things would go south in Toney’s career.

In spite of a career best 20 ppg. in the 83-84 season the Sixers would be ousted in the first round by the New Jersey Nets, many of the teams reserves would leave via free agency or trade, the following season Moses Malone was traded. Toney last productive season would be the 84-85 campaign where he averaged 17 ppg.

From that point on Toney was not the same explosive player that we came to love. Stress fractures and nagging bone spurs hampered his game to the point of retirement. The sad part in his story is modern science today wasn’t that modern in the mid-1980’s - Toney would’ve missed maybe a few weeks instead of parts of 2 1/2 seasons. He is one of a few guards that shot 50% for his career, that is outstanding considering that he played in an NBA dominated by big men and relied heavily on his outside shooting.

In recent years his relationship with the organization has been strained largely because of former owner Harold Katz. The only reason Toney’s jersey isn’t hanging from the rafters is because there’s no guarantee that he’ll commit to an appearance.

And you thought Billy King screwed things up?

Looking at the who’s who of 76er greats - Toney’s name may not jump out at you. Unless you’ve sat through some of those spring afternoons and nights against the Celtics and Lakers you can’t put a price tag on what he meant to the franchise and to us as fans.

Those who played with him and against him certainly have not forgotten:

Charles Barkley, former 76ers teammate - “Toney was amazingly strong, he and Moses were the only ones that could post me up!” Charles continued, “I thought he was the best player on the team when I got here. We had Bobby Jones, Moses Malone and Julius Erving but the only one I was in awe of was Andrew.” Taken from Barkley’s book “Outrageous!”

Pat Riley, Former Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers - “He’s the greatest clutch player I’ve ever seen. The hell with Jerry West.”

The highest honor may have come from a man who saw The Strangler first hand.

Larry Bird, Former Boston Celtic Great - “Do I remember Andrew Toney? The Boston Strangler? Yeah. I remember him. I wish we had him. He was a killer. We called him the Boston Strangler because every time he got a hold of the ball we knew he was going to score. He was the absolute best I’ve ever seen at shooting the ball at crucial times. We had nobody who could come close to stopping him. Nobody.”

And that’s coming from a player that’s probably broken my heart more than any woman has.

Quotes taken from NBA Draft.net

Andrew Toney is so obscure that I’m having trouble finding a photo. Please bear with me while I search but feel free to post

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008 at 9:26 pm and is filed under Blogroll, Boston Celtics, Charles Barkley, Julius Erving, LA Lakers, Larry Bird, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, blog roll. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

16 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: Andrew Toney - The Boston Strangler”
scott stirton Says:

April 23rd, 2008 at 10:58 pm
Thanks for the nice piece on Andrew Toney. Do you know what he’s doing now? I hope he’s OK. He was truly special for those years you describe so well. I was a Celtics fan back then, but everyone was in awe/fear of him. Really, I think Bird said the Celtics got Dennis Johnson to have a chance at competing with Toney. Toney had the ill fortune to be a great player before the big money era ushered in with Bird/Magic and finally Jordan. It’s sad to hear that he was not appreciated by Sixers’ management - don’t these suits understand that it’s the players who make the game?

Alison Says:

July 4th, 2008 at 6:13 am
I’ve been Andrews biggest fan since I was in six grade. Now I enjoy watching his son play. Maybe he can become a sixer and become a boston strangler. Just finished reading Pat williams book about the championship team. great book.

Johnson Says:

August 5th, 2008 at 5:15 pm
Toney is now a P.E. and Health teacher in suburban Atlanta. Reportedly, he is also quite the golfer (unlike Charles Barkley).

thebrotherreport Says:

August 5th, 2008 at 5:30 pm
Glad to hear he’s doing well. I miss #22

Rosemary Says:

October 14th, 2008 at 10:58 pm
Andrew Toney was my P.E. teacher at Peachtree Elementary in Norcross, a suburban of Atlanta. Hundreds of kids, now many grown up, looked up to him as a role model. He was everyone’s favorite teacher. He taught respect, dignity, integrity, and pride in doing the right thing. He also taught manners. I remember how he would make you start a sentence over from the beginning if you used “uh” or “um.” I was also in his son’s grade, so he was naturally more attentive to our class.
Toney was aging, and the school was switching things around as a new administration came about after I left. A couple years ago I went by to see him. He was in a suit and tie. “They dressed me up and said I have to teach in a classroom now, Rosemary.” He was switched to teach health. But he told me he took his off block to go out to the P.E. field with his golf clubs, just like he used to.
I had the privilege to know this great man. There were rumors of him being in the NBA, but it wasn’t until my last year that we found him in a book about the 76ers. We brought it to class to show him the picture of him in his short shorts. He said it wasn’t him and took the book away from us, even though it was the library’s. Later I confirmed with another teacher that it was him all along.

KevDog Says:

October 14th, 2008 at 11:44 pm
Toney was Gilbert Arenas before Gilbert Arenas was Gilbert Arenas.

Ed Says:

October 17th, 2008 at 10:29 pm
As a Ragin’ Cajun alum, I had the honor of watching Andrew Toney play for four years. God, what a time to be a student at USL!! We would race for our seats at old Blackham Coliseum, spend the evenings cheering Toney and his teammates on, and hurling abuse at the opposing bench and the refs. There were road trips to Ruston, Monroe, Lake Charles and Beaumont. It may not sound like much now, but the old Southland Conference played some serious basketball.

Dave Feller Says:

November 7th, 2008 at 5:52 am
I also was at USL when Andrew was there (and before him Bo Lamar). I went to every game, sat right behind the visitor’s bench, and we gave everyone hell at Blackham. I had moved to Dallas when he was drafted by Philly, and my best buddy was from Philly, so he wondered who the hell was this guy, Andrew Toney. I told him to watch and before long, twenty-two was a favorite. I think the Sixers really screwed up (Billy and Katz), but I thought Andrew was helping Mo as an assistant for a year (maybe not). He was an awesome player. He finished his degree early. If he was playing today, he would be the signature player for what the NBA wants from its’ players.

In case Andrew ever reads this, and for other USL fans - thanks and Geaux to Hell McNeese!!!!!!

shawn cummins Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 3:19 am
I had the privledge of watching this great player at USL , that first step was lethal, he shamed players so many times. I also played intermural againgst many of the players from andrew’s team, one day he wanted to ride my motorcycle, so he went to start it and the kick start hit him in the ankle. he left limping, I can’t help but think i could have been the one who ruined this great players career. So if you read this Andrew, thanks for all the memories at Blackem. Hope your doing well and come visit us.

shawn cummins Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 3:20 am
email should be shawncummins@att.net

Kirk Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 10:42 pm
I was an athletic trainer at USL when Andrew played. I wrapped a bunch of ankles, but Andrew’s were tough. I remember playing a pick up game off campus one afternoon and Andrew came in and wanted to play. He was on the other team and I was defending at low post when I glanced toward Toney at the top of the key. I turned to look at my man for a second and when I looked back toward Toney, I saw his shoes going past my face. He was so quick and athletic it was scary. I remember his team mates Ted, “Fig” and Manley. If he reads this, I hope you are doing well, because you deserve it! God Bless.

GrandNubian Says:

January 29th, 2009 at 2:38 pm
“In 1983 the puzzle was completed with the addition of Moses Malone as the 76ers would go on to a 67-14 record, with one loss in the playoffs and a three game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.”

That year the Sixers were 65-17 and swept the Lakers in 4 games.

icky Says:

March 26th, 2009 at 3:17 am
a close friend of mine (1981) is a big fan of the sixers…he told me their best player was the ‘doc’…i watched them play on tv(’82 conference finals vs celtics) and disagreed…their best player was #22.

Fire Quinito Says:

April 21st, 2009 at 2:32 pm
NBA Playoff Snapshot: Lone gunman almost drops Boston…

42 points, 1 rebound, 0 assist, 1 steal, 6/11 from the three-point line.

That was Ben Gordon’s line from Tuesday morning’s from Chicago’s 115-118 loss to the Boston Celtics. If not for fellow UConn alum Ray Allen channeling Jesus Shuttleswort…

Shelia J.Montgomery Says:

June 29th, 2009 at 1:52 am
I have been wondering about Andrew and was glad to find some information on this site. I like many of the other folks attending college with Toney and watched him play many of times. I alo remember the big game at USL between Houston and the Sixers. We are big fans of Toney, hear in Louisiana.

gary leavitt Says:

August 30th, 2009 at 4:28 pm
Living in Boston I still rooted for the Sixers. Andrew Toney for the short time he wasn’t injured was better than Magic, all the Celtic guards, Sydney Moncrief (Bucks), Michael Ray Richardson (Nets) etc.

I have my six year old son watch him on you tube to show his quick crossover, facing the hoop straight up, first quick step and ability to hit the banker (lost art).

Doctor J, Andrew Toney, Moses, Bobby Jones, Barkley and Clyde Drexler are my all time favorite NBA players.

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7. Andrew Toney: A Postseason Strangler by David Friedman

Monday, March 23, 2009
Andrew Toney: A Postseason Strangler

This article was originally published in the August 2004 issue of Basketball Digest.

Andrew Toney's career lasted just eight seasons--and he was completely healthy for only four of them--yet he left an indelible impression on anyone who saw him strike fear in the hearts of countless opponents. Pat Riley, who played with Jerry West and coached Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, once marveled, "He’s the greatest clutch player I've ever seen." Veteran broadcaster Dick Stockton called many of Toney’s games for CBS. He compares Toney to Detroit Pistons' great Joe Dumars: "They were guys that were tough defensive guards who were counted on to score."

Despite playing with Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Moses Malone on the Philadelphia 76ers, Toney was frequently the first option in clutch situations. In that sense Stockton sees a similarity between Toney and current Sixers’ guard Allen Iverson. Toney had a sturdier body type and did not shoot as much as Iverson, but Stockton remarks that, like Iverson, "His job was to be productive""to score points even when the defense knew that he was going to get the ball.

During most of Toney's career the three point shot was rarely utilized in the NBA but when the Sixers needed a three pointer Toney delivered. He ranked second in the NBA in three point field goal percentage in 1981-82 and sixth in 1984-85. Toney set up his outside game with his tremendous footwork, including a devastating crossover move.

Toney was also was very adept at delivering a pass. During the 76ers' 1982-83 championship season Erving noted, "He sees things out on the court that other players just don't see. Andrew has such strong wrists that he can throw the pass off the dribble, sideways, behind his head, any way."

Toney averaged 12.9 ppg in the regular season as a rookie in 1980-81, but elevated his production to 19.1 ppg in the Sixers’ seven game loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals. In 1981-82 Toney ranked second on the Sixers with 16.5 ppg. He torched the Lakers for a career high 46 points on March 7, 1982 in a 119-113 win, shooting 21-29 from the field. Two weeks later against the Celtics he set Spectrum records for points in a quarter (25) and three pointers made in a quarter (four).

These performances were just a prelude to the playoffs. Toney cemented his reputation as the "Boston Strangler" by scoring 34 points in the Boston Garden in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals, leading Philadelphia to a 120-106 win. He also had games of 39 and 30 points in the series, averaging a team-high 22.1 ppg while shooting .496 from the field. Toney (26 ppg) and Erving (25 ppg) played brilliantly in the Finals, but the Sixers had no answer for Abdul-Jabbar and fell in six games to the Lakers.

Malone's arrival the next season finally enabled the Sixers to effectively counter Abdul-Jabbar. Toney scored 19.7 ppg in 1982-83, raising that to 22.0 ppg in the Finals sweep of the Lakers. In 1983-84, Malone (22.7 ppg), Erving (22.4 ppg) and Toney (20.4 ppg) each averaged 20-plus ppg in the regular season but the New Jersey Nets shocked the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs, despite a strong effort from Toney (20.6 ppg on .519 shooting).

A nagging ankle injury eroded Toney's effectiveness in 1984-85 and he slumped to 17.8 ppg with a .492 field goal percentage in the regular season and 16.9 ppg while shooting .477 from the field in the playoffs. Everything fell apart for Toney in 1985-86, as stress fractures in his feet limited him to only six games. He gamely tried to return at the end of the season and again in 1986-87, but he never regained his health or his old form.

Toney averaged 24.4 ppg in his two Finals appearances, the 12th best NBA Finals career scoring average. The players ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame or are active players who very likely will make it on the first ballot after they retire (Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan). If Toney had played 10 or 12 fully healthy seasons would he have put together a Hall of Fame caliber career? Stockton would not rule this out: "Possibly. It’s hard to really project…It's interesting that his healthy years corresponded with the Sixers' healthy years." After the premature end of Toney's career the Sixers did not reach the Eastern Conference Finals again until Iverson led the team all the way to the NBA Finals in 2000-01.
Labels: Andrew Toney, Boston Celtics, Dick Stockton, Julius Erving, L.A. Lakers, Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers

Posted by David Friedman

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Basketball- (M):  1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980

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