THE 76ers FILE
- Home court: Wells Fargo Center
- G.M.: Elton Brand
- Coach: Doc Rivers
- Star: C Joel Embiid
- 2021 Season: 51-31, lost to the Warriors in six games in the Eastern
- Conference semifinals.
- NBA Titles: (3) – 1955, 1967, 1983
- Greatest Player: F Julius Dr. J Erving
Factoid: Since 2018, there’s a snake on the Wells Fargo Center court. It’s inspired by a Ben Franklin in which he urged the colonies to join or die. No wonder Philly fans are so tough. New York is known as the mecca of basketball. Boston has won 17 NBA titles. Chicago had Jordan and the Bulls. Detroit had the Bad Boys. L.A. is the West Coast standard for hoops.
So where is the metro Philadelphia area in this discussion of cities with amazing basketball tradition, history, and remarkable players?
Well, it certainly doesn’t take runner-up to any city. Consider this list of brilliant basketball coaches: Pete Carril, John Chaney, Chuck Daly, Jack Ramsey, Fran Dunphy, Phil Martelli, Rollie Massimino, Speedy Morris, Jay Wright.
Now consider this list of breathtaking players: Paul Arizin, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain (need we go on? Yes!), Kyle Lowry, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Rasheed Wallace.
Philadelphia loves and knows its hoops, and unlike some of the other cities mentioned above that might have a little entitlement in their DNA, the City of Brotherly love makes you earn it every day. They have a star player who embodies that. Joel Embiid is a 7-foot beast who is virtually unstoppable. He’s a 37-percent three-point shooter who dishes four assists per game. Last season he was edged out for MVP honors by Denver’s Nikola Jokic – again. The short-term future for the 76ers is as promising and intriguing as any in basketball. The roster is championship caliber. There hasn’t been a title since 1983. Embiid is a legit MVP candidate. Philadelphia hasn’t had an MVP winner since 2001, when Allen Iverson won it.
You get the feeling Philly is sick and tired of being the runner-up.