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Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center
The Sixers have played in the same arena since it opened in 1996; it was renamed the Wells Fargo Center in 2010. The venue seats 20,328 basketball fans, the fifth largest seating capacity in the NBA. It has undergone multiple renovations, modernizing their central video board and adding LED displays lining the mezzanine level. The Sixers share the Wells Fargo Center with the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, and the arena has hosted both the NBA Finals (in 2001) and the Stanley Cup Finals (in 1997 and 2010).
Philadelphia 76ers 2019-20 Season
The Sixers are peaking — and are primed to take over as one of the powerhouses of the Eastern Conference. The franchise's call to "Trust the Process" has worked, as their focus on acquiring high draft picks has resulted in assembling a deep roster full of young talent.
In 2018-19, they made the playoffs but lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the eventual NBA Champion Toronto Raptors.
The Sixers are led by Ben Simmons, who was the 2018 Rookie of the Year and has proved to be a matchup nightmare. At 6-foot-10, Simmons has the size of a forward but plays like a point guard. He averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game last season.
Simmons is complemented by center Joel Embiid, who is a similarly difficult matchup. The 7-foot tall Embiid is uncommonly athletic for a player his size and is also capable of knocking down 3-pointers, making him difficult to guard. He averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game last season as he continues to get even better.
The Sixers have surrounded their two cornerstones with a deep and versatile roster that includes Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Trey Burke, Mike Scott, Josh Richardson and others. With their wealth of talent, Philadelphia is primed to make a run in the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia 76ers History
The Sixers are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, founded in 1949 as the Syracuse Nationals. They made it to the NBA Finals in their first year of existence, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. They won their first title five years later, when they beat the Detroit Pistons in the finals in seven games.
The Nationals made the playoffs in each of their first 14 seasons, but they couldn't make the finals again. Investors bought the franchise in 1963 and moved it to Philadelphia, where the city had been without a team for only one year after the Warriors moved to California. They renamed the franchise 76ers in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776.
The Sixers' success continued in Philadelphia, especially after acquiring local fan favorite Wilt Chamberlain in 1964. Chamberlain was named NBA MVP in three consecutive seasons and led the Sixers back to the finals in the 1966-67 season. They defeated the Warriors — Chamberlain's former team and the former inhabitant of Philadelphia — in six games to win their second championship.
In 1968, the Sixers traded Chamberlain to the Los Angeles Lakers and a tumble down the standings followed. They returned to prominence in 1976, when they bought the contract of Julius Erving from the New York Nets.
Erving, who was nicknamed "Doctor J," led the Sixers to the playoffs in 11 consecutive seasons. They made it to the finals four times in that span, but lost the first three. The team subsequently traded for Moses Malone and dominated in his first season. They won 65 games, went 12-1 in the playoffs and swept the Lakers in the finals to win the franchise's third title.
The Sixers have had legendary players since — including Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, and Dikembe Mutombo — but have not won a championship since 1982-83. They have not been back to the finals since 2000-01, when the Iverson-led Sixers lost to the Lakers in five games.