Philadelphia 76ers: Best Players By Position Of The Modern Era

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Editor’s Note: The modern era of the NBA is generally accepted to have begun with the 1979-80 season, the advent of the 3-point line in the NBA. The lists to follow—one for each of the NBA’s 30 teams—will only consider seasons since 1979-80. We continue the series today with the best of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The origins of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise date back to just after World War II. The Syracuse Nationals were formed in the old National Basketball League in 1946 and played three seasons in the league before jumping to the rival, upstart Basketball Association of America.

The Nationals’ move was a precursor of sorts—after the 1949-50 season, the two rival circuits merged and became the National Basketball Association.

The Nationals hung around in Syracuse through the 1962-63 season, when they were moved to Philadelphia and renamed the 76ers, bringing professional basketball back to the City of Brotherly Love after a one-year absence.

The Philadelphia Warriors had left for San Francisco following the 1961-62 season.

The franchise has won three championships, one in the modern era. That came in 1983, ending a frustrating seven-year run for the franchise during which the Sixers lost in the Finals three times.

The Nationals won their only title in 1955 and the 76ers won the franchise’s first title in its new home in 1967.

The franchise’s winningest coach is Billy Cunningham, who went 454-196 between 1977-78 and 1984-85.

In the modern era, the club has had 16 coaches, but only two of them had tenures as long as five seasons. Larry Brown was 255-205 in six seasons from 1997-98 through 2002-03 and Jim Lynam was 194-173 from 1987-88 through 1991-92.

The longest tenured general manager for the 76ers was Pat Williams, who had the job from August 1974 through June 1986. Philadelphia has had 13 general managers in the modern era, the longest-tenured of which were Josh Nash (June 1986-June 1990) and Billy King (May 1998-December 2007).

Current coach Brent Brown has been on the job just one season and is 19-63. The current general manager, Sam Hinkle, took over his duties in May 2013.

And here are the best players, by position, for the Philadelphia 76ers since 1979-80. Players had to have played 200 games for the franchise.


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