The Philadelphia 76ers is a professional basketball team in the NBA that is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
They are member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The Sixers are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA and they were formerly known as the Syracuse Nationals.
They had been a franchise where great and legendary players had played such as Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone, Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley and Julius Erving. In the whole franchise history, the sixers had won 2 NBA titles.
Franchise History – Early Years
The Syracuse Nationals were from the National Basketball League in the late 1940s and they were part of the seven NBL teams that transferred or merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the National Basketball League. The Nationals had won their first NBA champsionship in 1955 and was led by Dolph Schayes.
In the early 1960s, the Nationals were struggling in housing a professional basketball team that resulted to its transfer to Philadelphia in 1963. In 1964-65 season, they signed Wil Chamberlain from the Warriors. In the semifinals of the Eastern Conference, the Sixers would push the Celtics to the limits by pushing the series to seven games but lost in the last game 110-109.
The 1966-67 season led by coach Alex Hannum, the Sixers had a 46-4 start that ends to 68-13 record. With Chamberlain and other All-Star players on the team leading the Sixers, they advanced through the Semi-Finals of the playoffs and was faced again by the Boston Celtics. They have beaten the Celtics in five games and move to the NBA Finals to face the Warriors. They defeated the Warriors in six games and acquired their second NBA championship.
The next season, 1967-68, they were qualified again for the playoffs and faced the Celtics in the semifinals. They would lead them 3-1 but as the Celtics would have a dramatic comeback that won the series in seven games. In th offseason, the 76ers had a controversial trade that involves its star player Wilt Chamberlain moving to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Archie Clark, Jerry Chambers and Darrel Imhoff.
The 76ers were drastically declining for the next seasons but were able to qualify for the postseason for 3 years but never advanced through the second round. In 1971-72, they dropped into 30-52 record and for the first time, they were not able to be qualified for the playoffs.
Their worst season would be the 1972-73 as they would fall too much with a 9-73 record to be the worst NBA record in the History up until today.
The next season, they hired Gene Shue as the head coach and they would slowly come back and improve. They acquired George McGinnis in 1975-76 season from the Indiana Pacers. With McGinnis leading the team, the Sixers were back in the postseason but lost immediately to the Buffalo Braves in three games.
The 1976-77 season is a notable season for the 76ers as they would get Julius Erving due to the terms from the ABA-NBA merger from the New York Nets.
They would advance to the postseason and defeat the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and advance through the NBA Finals against the Trail Blazers. They would lose in six games in the Finals. The next season, they would maintain to be playoff contender but lost to the Washington Bullets. For the next four seasons, they are one of the top teams but always fall short of the NBA Championship.