Philadelphia 76ers: History in the NBA Championships
Philadelphia 76ers History and Highlights.
The Philadelphia 76ers, also referred to as the Sixers, are a team that competes in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. The team has won three NBA championships, the last one, almost 40 years ago, and plays home games at the Wells Fargo Center.
Early Years in the NFL and the NBA
The team was founded in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals and is one of only 8 teams to survive the first decade since the league was founded.
After the foundation, the team started competing in the NBL and was one of the teams that merged with the NBA in 1949.
First NBA Championship
In 1954-55, the Syracuse Nationals won their first NBA championship in the season when the league introduced the 24-second shot clock. The Nationals finished first in the conference with a 43-29 regular season record which gave them a first-round bye.
Following this, the Nationals went on to sweep the Boston Celtics in the second round and move on to their second consecutive finals against the Fort Wayne Pistons. The Nationals would start strong winning the first two games at home but then losing all three in Fort Wayne.
After tying the series score at 3-3, the Nationals won Game 7 by 92-91 with last seconds free throws by George King to win their first NBA championship.
Relocation After Sale to Irv Kosloff and Ike Richman
Eight years after winning their first NBA championship, the team owner Danny Biasone sold the team to investors Irv Kosloff and Ike Richman who decided to move the team to Philadelphia. The previous year, the Warriors moved from Philly to San Francisco and the City of Brotherly Love got a new team.
Where the 76ers Got their Name
A contest was held to select a new name for the team and the winning one was the Philadelphia 76ers. The name comes from the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776 as one of the greatest moments in the history of the United States.
The Years Following Relocation to Philadelphia
A great move by the new team was trading for Wilt Chamberlain, who was already a star in Philly playing for the Warriors. He joined the team in 1964 and three years later, the Sixers won their first NBA championship in Philly.
Led by head coach Alex Hannum, the Philadelphia 76ers had an excellent 1966-67 season with a 68–13 record, the best record in league history at the time. Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, and Hal Greer led the team to the championship defeating the San Francisco Warriors in 6 games in the NBA Finals. That team was voted the best in the league’s history on the 35th anniversary of the league in 1980.
1983: Another NBA Championship
Unfortunately for the Philadelphia 76ers, the team didn’t see much success in the seventies. But that changed at the beginning of the 1980s as the Sixers acquired Julius Erving. Dr. J, as Julius was known, was one of the best players in the league at the time but they needed a big man to win the championship.
The Sixers signed center Moses Malone and the pair led the team to the NBA championship in 1983 sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in the finals.
A Fall From NBA Grace
The next big star for the Philadelphia 76ers was Charles Barkley who was drafted in 1984. As Erving retired in 1987, Barkley become the leader of the team. But, despite his talent, he couldn’t take the Sixers deep in the Playoffs.
After Barkley was traded to Phoenix in 1992, the Sixers were one of the worst teams in the league.
The Allen Iverson and Joel Embiid Resurgences
The 76ers slump all changed in 1996 when the Philadelphia 76ers had the first pick in the NBA Draft. Allen Iverson was selected who later become one of the biggest legends of the club. The point guard led the league in scoring in 4 seasons, won the MVP award but most importantly took the Sixers to the NBA Finals in 2001 where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games.
After Iverson was past his prime and left the team, the Sixers were at the bottom of the league. Despite bad records year after year, the team management had a long-term plan to rebuild the team which finally happened when Joel Embiid was ready to play, after being selected with the first pick at the 2014 NBA Draft. With Embiid leading the team, the Sixers are currently one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference but still have failed to make it to the conference finals.
76ers Star Players
The long history of the franchise has seen many basketball legends such as Dolph Schayes, Hal Greer, Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, George McGinnis, Allen Iverson, and the current leader of the team, Joel Embiid.