Originating as the Syracuse Nationals in 1949, the Philadelphia 76ers have called their current city home since 1963. After the Celtics and the Lakers, the Sixers are among the most successful franchises in NBA history. Between Syracuse and Philadelphia, the franchise has boasted a combined 45 playoff appearances and three NBA Championships. Leading the best players in Philadelphia 76ers franchise history are five Hall of Fame inductees with a combined nine league MVP awards.
Arguably the greatest players in Philadelphia 76ers history is Dr. J, Julius Erving. After the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, Erving joined the 76ers, spending his last 11 seasons with the team. He led the Sixers to the playoffs in every season including four NBA Finals appearances and the 1983 NBA Championship. Dr. J introduced a new level of athleticism to professional basketball that made him dominant in his era. Erving made the All-Star team in all of his 11 NBA seasons, as well as in each of his five ABA seasons. He won the 1981 NBA MVP award, three ABA MVPs, and made five appearances on the All-NBA First Team. In his 76ers career, Erving averaged 22.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks per contest.
An elite player in Philadelphia 76ers history, Wilt Chamberlain filled up stat sheets better than anyone else in NBA history. In four seasons with the Sixers, he averaged 27.6 points, 23.9 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. Chamberlain led the Sixers to win the 1967 NBA Finals. His 23,924 career rebounds give him the highest all-time total in NBA history. A remarkably efficient scorer, particularly considering his era, Chamberlain dominated offensively, leading the league in field goal percentage in each of his four seasons with the Sixers and nine times overall. Of his four NBA MVP Awards, three were won in Philadelphia.
A current television analyst and former face of the Philadelphia 76ers, Charles Barkley began his NBA career with the 76ers, spending his first eight seasons with the franchise. Nicknamed “The Round Mound of Rebound,” Barkley was tough as nails in the paint, averaging 11.6 rebounds per game with the Sixers. He added 23.3 points, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks. In NBA history, Barkley ranks 16th in total rebounds, 18th in points, 18th in steals, and 20th in field goal percentage, winning the 1993 NBA MVP Award and earning spots on 11 All-Star teams.
A member of the original Syracuse Nationals, Dolph Schayes ranks among the most successful players in Philadelphia 76ers franchise history. Schayes started his career when the franchise was founded and remained with the team through its move to Philadelphia in 1963-64, becoming the team’s all-time leader in rebounds. He grabbed 11,256 in his Sixers career for an average of 12.1 per game, adding 18.438 points for an 18.5 average. Schayes led his Nationals and Sixers to the playoffs in all of his 15 NBA seasons and in 1955 he carried the Nationals to win their first NBA Championship. Schayes made 12 All-NBA teams and 12 All-Star teams, eventually being named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973.
Hal Greer is the longest tenured player and all-time leader scorer in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers. Greer was drafted by the Nationals in 1958 and played 15 seasons with the franchise, tallying 21,586 points which rank 26th in NBA history. Greer made a string of ten straight All-Star games and seven consecutive All-NBA appearances in the 1960s. He led the Sixers to a 68-win season and NBA Championship in 1967.
Other top players in Philadelphia 76ers franchise history include Allen Iverson, Billy Cunningham, Red Kerr, Moses Malone, Doug Collins, Andre Iguodala, Fred Carter, Earl Lloyd, Al Cervi, and George Yardley.