The history of the Philadelphia 76ers begins in 1946, starting out as the Syracuse Nationals. The Nationals joined the NBA in 1949 and won their first NBA Championship in 1955. The team remained in Syracuse until 1963 when financial issues forced the team to move to Philadelphia and they were renamed the 76ers. The name “76ers” was chosen to honor the men who helped win our nation’s independence. The team acquired Wilt Chamberlain in 1964 and his acquisition would lead the team to their second NBA Championship in 1966-67. The 76ers began the season 46-4 and would go on to finish 68-13. The record of 68-13 was the best record in the history of league at the time. The success of the 76ers began with acquiring Wilt Chamberlain in 1964 and ended with trading Chamberlain in 1968. After this trade, the 76ers did not win another playoff series until 1976.
In 1976 the 76ers acquired another superstar, Julius “Dr. J” Erving. Dr. J made an immediate impact on the team and led them to the NBA finals for the first time since the 1967-68 season. However, the 76ers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers and in the 1977-78 season the Sixers went by the motto “we owe you one” implying that they owed the fans of Philadelphia a championship. Unfortunately, the Sixers lost in the playoffs that year and were unable to pay their debt to the fans of Philadelphia until 1983. The Sixers added Moses Malone to their roster and long with Dr. J the 76ers dominated the 1983 season and were crowned NBA Champions. After the 76ers won their third championship in 1983, they did not return to the NBA Finals until 2001.
The In 1984 the 76ers acquired Charles Barkley, who would become the team’s next great player. Although Barkley was indeed a star, he never was able to get the 76ers over the hump and into the NBA Finals. Barkley was traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1993 and it appeared that the sun had set on the 76ers. The seasons of 1991 until 1998 are referred to in Philadelphia as the “Dark Ages”. During this time the 76ers were perennial losers and failed to make the playoffs each year. However, out of the darkness came hope in the form of 1996 number 1 overall pick Allen Iverson. Iverson’s best season came in 2001 when he was named NBA MVP and led the 76ers to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1983. Iverson played for the team until 2006 when he asked to be traded. The Sixers have won only one playoff series since Allen Iverson was traded. In 2011 season the Sixers were able to upset the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. The Sixers faced the Boston Celtics in the following round and played a tough 7 game series. Although the Sixers were unable to win the season, the 2011 season gives fans hope for the 2012 season.