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The Philadelphia 76ers are the professional basketball team that call the City of Brotherly Love their home. Founded as the Syracuse Nationals in 1946, the franchise changed names and cities in 1963 and has never looked back. Owners of three championship trophies (one in Syracuse in 1955 and two in Philadelphia in 1967 and 1983), the Sixers are always looking to add another to their collection.
After moderate success in the NBL, the team joined the NBA in 1949 and put up the best record in the league at 51-13 on their way to the NBA Finals, where they were eliminated by the Minneapolis Lakers. They would return following the 1954-55 season (the first to use the shot clock) and capture their first title against the Fort Wayne Pistons in seven games.
The 1963 sale of the team prompted the move to Philadelphia, bringing a team back to Philly one year after the Warriors departed for San Francisco. The Philadelphia 76ers were born and made an immediate impact after acquiring Wilt Chamberlain from the Warriors and were on game away from an NBA Finals berth before being knocked out of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
The 1966-67 season would go down in the record books as Philadelphia started off the year at 46-4 on their way to the best record in the history of the league at 68-13. Getting their revenge against the Celtics, the Sixers beat the Warriors in six games to reign as NBA Champions.
The team would begin to fall off in the next few years as Chamberlain was traded and the 76ers dropped in the standings. It wouldn’t be until 1976 when the team jumped back to prominence. Their deal with the New York Nets brought in Julius Erving and ushered in a new era in Philadelphia basketball. Despite great success, the 76ers were unable to win a championship until the 1982-83 when Erving, alongside Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and Bobby Jones swept the Los Angeles Lakers to become NBA Champions.
Despite adding Charles Barkley to the roster just two years later, this would be the last championship for the Sixers. In fact, the team deteriorated leaving Barkley as the only bright spot. After his trade to Phoenix, Philadelphia went through a dark period until they found their answer in Allen Iverson. The star power of Iverson propelled the team from the bottom of the standings to a premier franchise in the league, culminating with an NBA Finals appearance in 2001 against the Los Angeles Lakers. More great seasons would follow before Iverson was traded to Denver. The Sixers struggled before finally completely falling off in favor of a new idea.
This major rebuilding phased, dubbed “The Process” was a plan to reconstruct the roster via the draft and trades to become a contender once again. This has led to the current team which features big time players in Ben Simmons, Joel Embidd, Tobias Harris, JJ Redick, and Jimmy Butler. Time will tell how this group will be able to put together, but Sixers fans are excited to see this starting five revitalize this franchise and give them hope for hanging another banner from the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center in the near future.
Dr. J (Julius Irving), Wilt Chamberlain, Allen Iverson, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Hal Greer, and Billy Cunningham are among the most revered players in franchise history. A more in-depth look at the history of the Philadelphia 76ers as well as information about the current team can be found by clicking here.