The Philadelphia 76ers, colloquially known as the Sixers, are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at the Wells Fargo Center located in the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. Founded in 1946 and originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA and one of only eight (out of 23) to survive the league's first decade.
The 76ers have had a prominent history, with many Hall of Fame players having played for the organization, including Dolph Schayes, Hal Greer, Wilt Chamberlain, Chet Walker, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, George McGinnis, and Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming under their previous name, the Syracuse Nationals, in 1955. The second title came in 1967, a team which was led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Erving and Malone. The 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Chamberlain, Erving, Malone and Iverson have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the 76ers, for a total of six MVP awards.
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 city of Syracuse, New York. The Syracuse Nationals began to play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was finally gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America (BAA) 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 fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals were beaten by their New York state neighbor Rochester Royals in four games.
In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals struggled, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their record, they made the playoffs, and were swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in three straight games.