Broad Street Baller went ballistic with the hugging, tearful, hysterically high-fiving hordes of happy fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday after a 79-78 nail-biter over the Chicago Bulls sent the Sixers into the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2003.
HEAVENLY MOM: No one but no one was happier than Lamont "Monty G" Anderson of South Philadelphia — 380 pounds of pure Sixers love, down from 467 after trainer Kimberly Garrison got him to abuse the machines at the 12th Street Gym.
"We did it!" Anderson screamed with what was left of his once-magnificent voice. "And now we're going to do it! Get out of here! Run around Broad Street! Blow horns all the way! That's how we're going to do!"
He danced out into the South Philly night, proudly wearing his tie-dyed Sixers tee that screamed "HE'S MONTY G!" in case anybody needed to know."
For years, Monty G had a dancing, noisemaker-blowing, Sixer-centric life until his beloved mom, Christina, passed away in March 2011.
"I didn't want to do this no more," he said. "I was ready to give this up. But my mom came to me in spirit and she said, 'The fans love you. You make them feel good. Son, don't stop. Keep doing what you do.' I said, 'You sure, Mom?' She said, 'I'm sure. I'm looking down on you from up here and I'm proud of you.' So here I am."
BRAND FAN: Philadelphia personal-injury lawyer Tom Kline, a lifelong Sixers die-hard, was at an uncharacteristic loss for words to describe how much this season and this night has meant to him. "Let me put it this way," he finally told Baller. "I'm here at the game, and as we speak, I am hosting an event, a cocktail party, in my home at which I am not present. That tell you something?"
Kline, whose floor seats at the end of the opponents' bench practically put him in the Bulls' huddles all night long, said, "Every season has peaks and valleys, but when this team was all but eliminated, they came out of the valley despite no expectations that they could do so." n