By Rick Grantham
You have probably heard of the Philadelphia 76ers, but have you heard of the Philadelphia Warriors or the Syracuse Nationals? The Philadelphia Warriors played in the NBA from 1961-1962, before moving to San Francisco. Fortunately for basketball fans in the “City of Brotherly Love,” the Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia, prior to the 1963-1964 season.
The Nationals would become the 76ers. This was due to a “name the team” contest that a man named Walt Stahlberg won. The name “76ers” refers to the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence, in Philadelphia. Here are some other interesting facts about Philadelphia:
– Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag, in Philadelphia
– Benjamin Franklin founded the first United States public zoo, in Philadelphia
– Johann Behrent constructed the first piano in the Americas, in Philadelphia (1775)
– Philadelphia published the United States’ first daily newspaper (1784).
– Philadelphia was the home of ENIAC, the first computer (1946).
The Philadelphia 76ers’ first season was overall a success. Although they lost their premiere game, their 34-46 record was good enough to advance to the playoffs. However, the 76ers lost their first round to the Cincinnati Royals (3-2).
Nevertheless, the 76ers turned around their playoff success, by ’67. During the 1964-1965 season, all-star Wilt Chamberlain made a homecoming to Philadelphia, involving a trade between the 76ers and the Warriors. Chamberlain’s 1966-1967 differed from previous seasons. He passed more often, upon the request of the 76er’s head coach, helping the 76ers to earn a spectacular 68-13 regular season record.
The 1966-1967 playoffs were essentially a walk in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park for the 76ers. They would dispose of the Cincinnati Royals (3-1), and then the Boston Celtics (4-2). In the NBA Finals, the 76ers faced the San Francisco Warriors, who had ironically formerly played in Philadelphia. The 76ers eliminated the Warriors, with relative ease (4-2).
By the 1982-1983 NBA season, the 76ers had again become a powerhouse in the NBA. In addition to their franchise player Julius “Dr. J.” Erving, the 76ers added Moses Malone, from the Houston Rockets. During the regular season, the 76ers earned an incredible 65-17 record.
Prior to the playoffs, Moses Malone made the prediction “Fo, Fo, Fo,” implying that the 76ers would sweep all opponents during the playoffs. The 76ers disposed of the New York Knicks (4-0), the Boston Celtics (4-1), and the Los Angeles Lakers (4-0). Philadelphia finished one game short of making Malone a prophet.
Throughout their history, the Philadelphia 76ers has retired eight players’ jersey numbers:
Charles Barkley – #34 (Forward): 1984-1992
Wilt Chamberlain – #13 (Center): 1964-1968
Maurice Cheeks – #10 (Guard): 1978-1989
Billy Cunningham – #32 (Forward): 1965-1972, 1974-1976
Julius Erving – #6 (Forward): 1976-1987
Hal Greer – #15 (Guard): 1963-1973
Bobby Jones – #24 (Forward) 1978-1986
Moses Malone – #2 (Center): 1982-1986, 1993-1994
The Philadelphia 76ers has made the “City of Brotherly Love” a City of NBA Basketball. They have already won two NBA Championships. Use Philadelphia 76ers merchandise to cheer them on to a third NBA championship!
About the Author: Rick Grantham is an avid sports fan. Most of Rick’s articles focus on
Philadelphia 76ers merchandise
. Many articles are related to
and other sports related topics. Rick is a contributing author to BooYah Village