Syracuse Nationals

Syracuse Nationals  

76ers Timeline


Syracuse Team Formation

In 1946, Italian immigrant Danny Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, and the Syracuse Nationals became the largely Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was finally gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America that was based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams largely consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21-23 record, finishing in 4th place. In the playoffs, the Nats would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in 4 games.

Move to Philadelphia

The playoff overtime loss on March 26, 1963 would prove to be the last game for the Syracuse Nationals, as investors Irv Kosloff and Ike Richman purchased the team from Danny Biasone moving the team to Philadelphia to become the 76ers, filling the void left by the Warriors. Syracuse was the last of the medium-sized cities housing an NBA Team, but it was too small for a professional team to be profitable. The NBA thus returned to Philadelphia one year after the Warriors had left for San Francisco. Schayes was named head coach, a post he held for four years as the first player-coach.

Move "The Spectrum"

In the 1967 - 1968 season, with a new home court in the form of The Spectrum to defend their championship, once again the 76ers made it back to the NBA Playoffs and in the rematch of the previous year's semifinals, the 76ers held a 3-1 series lead over the Celtics, before the Celtics staged a dramatic comeback to beat the Sixers in seven games. Opened as the Spectrum in fall 1967, Philadelphia's first modern indoor sports arena was built to be the home to accommodate the existing Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. The Spectrum's seating capacity it eventually accommodated 18,168 for NBA games.

Katz Ownership

Harold Katz bought the 76ers from Dixon in 1982. On his watch, the final piece of the championship puzzle was completed before the 1982 - 1983 season when they acquired center Moses Malone from the Houston Rockets. Led by Hall of Famer Julius Erving and All-Stars Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and Bobby Jones they dominated the regular season, winning 65 games in what is still the second most winning year in franchise history. Malone was named League MVP, and when reporters asked how the playoffs would run, he answered, "four, four, four" in other words, saying that the 76ers needed to win four games in each of the 3 rounds. The media misinterpreted this and assumed Moses was predicting that the 76ers would sweep all three rounds to win the title, with the minimum 12 games. Malone's accent made his boast sound like "fo', fo', fo'."

NBA Finals Winners - 3 NBA Finals Wins

NBA Finals - 1983
The 1983 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1982 - 1983 season. This was the final postseason using the 12-team format, before the NBA expanded the postseason to 16 teams the next season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers defeating the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals. Moses Malone was named NBA Finals MVP.

NBA Finals - 1967
The 1967 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1966 - 1967 National Basketball Association season, and was the conclusion of the 1967 NBA Playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Conference champion San Francisco Warriors and the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers. This was the first championship series in 11 years without the Boston Celtics, who were defeated in the Division Finals by Philadelphia.

NBA Finals - 1955
The 1955 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1954 - 1955 NBA season. The best-of-seven series was won by the Syracuse Nationals, who defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the final game when Syracuse's George King made a free throw with 12 seconds left to put the Nationals up 92-91. King then stole the ball from Fort Wayne's Andy Phillip with three seconds remaining to clinch the victory for Syracuse.

Move to Wells Fargo Center

It was also during the season that the Sixers played one home game at their old home, the Wachovia Spectrum. The Sixers won 104–101 over the Chicago Bulls on March 13, 2009. The game was played to provide the final curtain call on the Spectrum, which was scheduled to be imploded on New Year's Eve 2009. The Wells Fargo Center officially seats 20,318 for NBA.

New Ownership

On July 13, 2011, Comcast-Spectacor reached an agreement to sell the 76ers to an investment group led by Apollo Global Management co-founder Joshua Harris. Harris' group paid $280 million for the franchise. The sale did not include any ownership stake in the Flyers or Comcast Sportsnet. The Sixers will continue to play their home games at the Wells Fargo Center for the foreseeable future. Rapper Will Smith (a Philadelphia native) and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith are notable minority owners. The new ownership group decided to retain Head Coach Doug Collins and President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. Ed Stefanski, who served as the team's General Manager since 2007, was relieved of his duties.

Nationals Primary Logo History No Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Syracuse - Philadelphia

Nationals  - The Nationals refers to the nation as a whole, a way to think of everyone across the country. A very patriotic name.

Wells Fargo Center
1996 - present
The Spectrum
1967 - 1995
Convention Hall & Philadelphia Arena
1963 - 1967

Onondaga War Memorial
1951 - 1963
State Fair Coliseum
1946 - 1951

Comcast Spectacor
1996 - present
Harold Katz
1981 - 1996
Fitz Eugene Dixon, Jr.
1976 - 1981
Irv Kosloff
1963 - 1976
Daniel Biasone
1946 - 1963

Established: 1946

League History:
National Basketball Association
1949 - present
National Basketball League
1946 - 1949

Team History:
Philadelphia 76ers
1963 - present
Syracuse Nationals
1946 - 1963

NBA Championships: 3
1983, 1967, 1955

Retired Numbers:
2 Moses Malone
3 Allen Iverson
4 Dolph Schayes
6 Julius Erving
10 Maurice Cheeks
13 Wilt Chamberlain
15 Hal Greer
24 Bobby Jones
32 Billy Cunningham
34 Charles Barkley
- Dave Zinkoff

  *Red is this team's history

Add comment

Security code