1946–1963: Syracuse Nationals
In 1946, Italian immigrant
Daniel 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
Upstate New York city of
 The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was finally gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America 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 4th place. In the playoffs, the Nats would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor
Rochester Royals in 4 games.
After a stellar career at Syracuse University,
joined the Nationals in 1948 and played with them for his entire six-year career; he won a championship in 1955.
In their second season,
1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in 5th place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nats would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games.
Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA as the foundation for an absorption was laid. The Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting
 Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed
Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of
Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut,
 leading the Nats to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nats would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in 4 games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the
Basketball Association of America to form the NBA.
Early NBA years: 1949–1963
The Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the
1949–50 season, with a league best record of
51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the
Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the
New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series. In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced fellow NBL alums the
Minneapolis Lakers. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nats lost just their second home game of the season 68–66. The Nats did not recover, as they fell behind 3 games to 1 before falling in 6 games.
Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the
National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In
their second NBA season the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in 4th place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nats played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the 1st place
Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points.
Al Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the
1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record. In the playoffs the Nats knocked off the
Philadelphia Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nats fell to the
New York Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in 4 games.
The Nationals would finish in 2nd place in a hard fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the
1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the
Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history.
The Nationals acquired
Alex Groza, and
Ralph Beard as the
Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the
1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling 2 games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nats would win all 4 games of a round robin tournament involving the 3 playoff teams from the East. In the Eastern Finals the Nats would stay hot beating the
Boston Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the
Minneapolis Lakers in a hard fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout.
joined the Syracuse Nationals in 1949 and played with them for his entire career; he won a championship in 1955.
With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the
Danny Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that often ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nats general manager
Leo Ferris calculated a 24-second shot clock would allow at least 30 shots per quarter speeding up the game and increasing scoring. The Shot Clock was an instant success as scoring was up 14 points per game league wide. In the first season of the shot clock the Nats would take first place in the East with a 43–29 record. After a first round bye the Nats would beat the
Boston Celtics in 4 games to reach the NBA Finals for the 2nd straight season. In the finals the Nats would get off to a fast start, led by forward
Dolph Schayes, taking the first 2 games at home against the
Fort Wayne Pistons.
 However, as the series moved to Fort Wayne the Pistons would spark back to life taking all 3 games to take a 3–2 series lead. Back in Syracuse for Game 6 on the Nats kept Championship hopes alive by beating the Pistons 109–104 to force a 7th game at home. Game 7 would be as tight as the series as
George King sank a free throw to give the Nats a 92–91 lead in the final seconds. King would then steal the inbound pass to clinch the NBA Championship for the Nationals.
Coming off their NBA Championship the Nationals struggled during the
1955–56 season, needing a tiebreaker over the
New York Knickerbockers to avoid finishing in last place and make the playoffs with a 35–37 record. However, in the playoffs the Nats would stun the
Boston Celtics winning the first round series in 3 games by taking the final 2 games. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals played solid basketball again as they pushed the
Philadelphia Warriors to a decisive 5th game. However, the Nationals' reign as champions would end with a 109–104 loss in
The Nationals would get off to a slow start as coach
Al Cervi was fired and replaced by
Paul Seymour. Under Seymour the Nats would rebound and finish the
1956–57 season in second place with a record of 38–34. In the playoffs the Nats would have trouble knocking off the defending champion
Philadelphia Warriors advancing to the Eastern Finals with 2 straight wins. However, the Nats would be swept in 3 straight games by the eventual champions, the
Fort Wayne and Rochester had moved on to Detroit and Cincinnati for the
1957–58 season, leaving the Syracuse Nationals as the last small town team in the big city NBA. That would not matter on the court as the Nats held their own finishing in 2nd place with a 41–31 record. However, in the playoffs the Nationals would fall in the first round as they lost a 3-game series to the Philadelphia Warriors.
The 1958–59 Syracuse Nationals
Despite a mediocre 35–37 record for the
1958–59 season the Nationals would make the playoffs again by finishing in 3rd place. In the playoffs the Nationals would once again rise to the occasion sweeping the
New York Knickerbockers in 2 straight to reach the Eastern Finals, where they gave the eventual champion
Boston Celtics all they could handle, alternating wins before falling by 5 points in Game 7.
joined the Nationals in 1958 and spent his entire 15-season career with the franchise; he won a championship with the team in 1967.
Playing in a league now dominated by superstars like
Bill Russell of the
Wilt Chamberlain of the
Philadelphia Warriors and
Bob Pettit of the
St. Louis Hawks, the Nationals held their own posting a solid 45–30 record, while finishing in 3rd place after the 1959–1960 regular season. However, in the playoffs the Nats would lose a 3-game series to Chamberlain and the Warriors.
With the Lakers relocating from
Minneapolis to Los Angeles before the
1960–61 season, the Syracuse Nationals became the last old NBL team to still be playing in their original city in the NBA. The Nationals would go on to make the playoffs again by finishing in 3rd place with a 38–41 record. The Nationals would prove to be dangerous in the playoffs as they stunned the
Philadelphia Warriors in 3 straight games. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nats would be knocked off once again by the eventual champion
Boston Celtics in five games.
Dolph Schayes missed 24 games during the
1961–62 season and fails to lead the team in scoring for the first time in 14 years, as Hal Greer leads the way with 22.8 ppg. The Nats would go on to finish in 3rd place again with a 41–39 record. In the playoffs the Nats would drop their first 2 games to the
Philadelphia Warriors on the road. Facing elimination the Nats would win the next 2 games to force a 5th game in Philadelphia. However, in Game 5 the Warriors would prove to be too strong as they ended the Nats' season with a 121–104 victory.
With an aging team the Nationals were expected to fade, however with the scrappy play of
Johnny Kerr the Nationals remained a strong contender finishing in 2nd place for the
1962–63 season, with a record of 48–32. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the
Cincinnati Royals, getting off to a 2–1 series lead. However, needing a win to advance to the Eastern Finals again the Nationals would lose 2 straight dropping the decisive 5th game at home in overtime 131–127.
Relocation to Philadelphia
The playoff overtime loss on March 26, 1963, would prove to be the last game for the Syracuse Nationals, as investors
Irv Kosloff and Ike Richman purchased the team from
Danny Biasone and moved the team to Philadelphia, filling the void left by the Warriors. Syracuse was the last of the medium-sized cities housing an NBA team, but by then it was apparent that central New York was no longer large enough to support it. The NBA thus returned to Philadelphia one year after the
Warriors had left for San Francisco. A contest was held to decide on a new name for the team. The winning name, chosen by Walter Stalberg, was the "76ers".
 The name comes from the signing of the
United States Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776.
 Newspaper writers liked the name because it was easily shortened to "Sixers" in headlines. The shorter name was quickly accepted by the team for marketing purposes, and for most of the last half-century "76ers" and "Sixers" have been officially interchangeable.
For their first four years in Philadelphia, the 76ers played mostly at the
Philadelphia Arena and
Civic Center-Convention Hall, with an occasional game at
The Palestra at the
University of Pennsylvania. Schayes was named head coach, a post he held for four years (the first as player-coach).
1964–1967: The Wilt Chamberlain era
Wilt Chamberlain joined the Sixers in 1965 and led the team to the NBA title in 1967.
1964–65 season, the 76ers acquired the legendary
Wilt Chamberlain from the Warriors; Chamberlain had been a high school legend at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia and began his career with the Warriors while they still played in Philadelphia. The 76ers would push the Celtics to seven games in the semifinals, with the 76ers trailing 110–109 in Game 7. After
Hal Greer's pass was stolen by
John Havlicek—an infamous blow to 76ers fans, rubbed in by fabled Celtics announcer
Johnny Most when he yelled into the microphone "Havlicek stole the ball!"—the Celtics went on to beat the
Los Angeles Lakers and win the NBA Championship. On December 3, 1965, in the midst of a game at the Boston Garden, co-owner Ike Richman suffered a heart attack and died courtside.
Led by head coach
Alex Hannum, the 76ers had a dream season as they started 46–4,
 en route to a record of 68–13, the best record in league history at the time.
Billy Cunningham, and
Hal Greer, along with all-stars
Lucious Jackson and
Wali Jones led the team to the semifinals. This time the 76ers beat the Celtics in five games. In Game Five of that series, as the 76ers went to victory and the NBA Finals, Philadelphia fans chanted "Boston is dead!"—a symbol that the Celts' eight-year reign as NBA champion had ended.
The Finals were almost anticlimactic, with the Sixers ousting the Warriors in six games to give them their second NBA Championship. The
1966–67 Sixers were voted the best team in league history during the NBA's 35th anniversary celebration.
1967–1976: Fall of the 76ers
1967–68 season, with a new home court in the form of
The Spectrum to defend their championship, once again the 76ers made it back to the NBA Playoffs and in the rematch of the previous year's semifinals, the 76ers held a 3–1 series lead over the Celtics, before the Celtics staged a dramatic comeback to beat the Sixers in seven games.
At the end of the season, the 76ers dealt Chamberlain to the
Los Angeles Lakers for Archie Clark, Darrall Imhoff and Jerry Chambers. At the time, the trade appeared to make some sense from the Sixers' perspective. Chamberlain was making noises about jumping to the
American Basketball Association, and GM
Jack Ramsay didn't want to risk letting Chamberlain walk away for nothing. Nonetheless, the Sixers didn't get nearly enough in return. The man who was in position to take over as the center, Lucious Jackson, suffered a severe injury in 1969 and was never the same player after that. The Chamberlain trade sent the Sixers into a freefall, which Ramsay accelerated by subsequent divestiture of All Star forward Chet Walker to the
While the rapidly declining 76ers continued to contend for the next three seasons, they never got past the second round. In 1971–72, only five years after winning the title, the 76ers finished 30–52 and missed postseason play for the first time in franchise history.
played nine seasons with the Sixers, and would later coach them for eight more seasons.
The bottom fell out in the
1972–73 season. For all intents and purposes, the season ended when Cunningham bolted to the ABA, leaving the Sixers with a roster of Greer and little else. The 76ers lost their first 15 games of the season, and a few months later set a then-record
20-game losing streak in a single season. Their record following the 20-game losing streak was 4–58, and the team at that point had just lost 34 of 35 games. The 76ers finished the season with a 9–73 record, leading the skeptical Philadelphia press to call them the "Nine and 73-ers". Under coach Roy Rubin the 76ers went 4–47. It was his first and, as it turned out, his last NBA coaching job. He was succeeded by player-coach Kevin Loughery, who went 5–26 the rest of the way. The 76ers finished an NBA-record 59 games behind the Atlantic Division champion Boston Celtics. The nine wins by the
1972–73 squad is the fourth fewest in NBA history, and remains the fewest for a full 82 game season. The 73 losses, although threatened several times, remains the all-time low-water mark for any NBA franchise. The 76ers’ 0.110 winning percentage was a record worst at the time, and is still the second lowest in NBA history, broken only by
the 2011–12 Charlotte Bobcats, who finished 7–59 for a .106 winning percentage in a season shortened due to
a lockout. Only six seasons earlier, the 76ers had set the NBA record for most wins in a season. The 76ers of 1972–73 are generally considered to be the worst team an NBA franchise has ever put on the court – although NBA historian Kyle Wright argued in a 2007 study that owing to weaker schedules
the 1992–93 Mavericks and
1997–98 Nuggets, both of whom won eleven games, plus
the inaugural Cleveland Cavaliers who played an extremely weak schedule, were actually poorer teams.
The next year, the 76ers would hire
Gene Shue as their head coach and they slowly came back. In the
1975–76 season, the 76ers acquired
George McGinnis from the
Indiana Pacers of the ABA (after the Knicks tried to sign him, not knowing that the 76ers owned his rights). With him, the 76ers were back in the playoffs after a five-year absence, and even though they lost to the
Buffalo Braves in three games, a "Doctor" would come along and get the team healthy enough to stay in perennial contention. During this period, however, one last personnel misjudgment had effects when the team used the fifth pick overall in the 1975 draft to select
Darryl Dawkins directly from high school. The immensely talented and physically imposing Dawkins seldom, if ever, lived up to his great potential in part because of a perpetual adolescence.
1976–1987: The Julius Erving era
Julius Erving played 11 seasons with the 76ers (1976–1987), and played in four NBA Finals, ultimately winning in 1983.
The Sixers finally came all the way back in 1976–77, in large part due to a byproduct of the
ABA–NBA merger. The ABA's last champions, the
New York Nets, were facing having to pay almost $5 million to the Knicks for "invading" the New York area on top of the $3.2 million expansion fee for joining the NBA. When the Sixers offered to buy the contract of the Nets' franchise player,
Julius Erving, for $3 million—roughly the cost of NBA membership—the Nets had little choice but to accept. A few months before that trade, Kosloff had sold the Sixers to local philanthropist
Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr., grandson of
George Dunton Widener and heir to the Widener fortune.
Led by Erving, the 76ers began an exciting ride for the fans of Philadelphia, beating their long-time
rival from Boston in a seven-game playoff to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. There, they defeated the
Houston Rockets, led by future 76er
Moses Malone, in six games to advance to the NBA Finals. In the Finals, they sprinted to a 2–0 series lead over the
Portland Trail Blazers—who were coached by former Sixers coach/general manager Jack Ramsay—only to drop the next four games in a row to give the Blazers the title.
That led to the 1977–78 motto of "We owe you one", which would ultimately backfire when they lost in the conference finals that season to the
Washington Bullets, who went on to win the NBA championship. In the next four seasons, the 76ers would fall short of the NBA Championship, even after Shue handed the coaching reins to former great Billy Cunningham. In the
1980 NBA Finals against the
Los Angeles Lakers, they lost, four games to two. In Game Six, rookie
Magic Johnson played center for the Lakers in place of
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who was out because of a sprained ankle sustained in Game Five) and scored 42 points. In the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals, the 76ers opened a 3–1 series lead over the Celtics only to see Boston come back and win the series in seven games. The following season, the 76ers again faced the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, and again jumped to a 3–1 series lead only to see Boston forge a 3–3 series tie. The 76ers were given little chance of winning as they faced the Celtics in Game Seven at
Boston Garden. This time, they played angry but inspired basketball, pulling away to a 120–106 victory and becoming the 3rd NBA road team to win
Game 7 after leading series 3–1. In the game's closing moments, the Boston Garden fans began chanting "Beat L.A., Beat L.A.", as they realized their team would lose the playoff series to a hated opponent (Philadelphia 76ers), nonetheless openly wished that opponent good luck in the next round against a more hated opponent (the Los Angeles Lakers).
 The team lost the
1982 Finals in six games against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Moses Malone won MVP honors in 1983, the same year he led the 76ers to their first title in 16 years.
Harold Katz bought the 76ers from Dixon in 1981. On his watch, the final piece of the championship puzzle was completed before the
1982–83 season when they acquired center
Moses Malone from the
Houston Rockets. Led by
Hall of Famer
Julius Erving and All-Stars
Andrew Toney, and
Bobby Jones they dominated the regular season, winning 65 games in what is still the second most winning year in franchise history. Malone was named League MVP, and when reporters asked how the playoffs would run, he answered, "four, four, four"—in other words, saying that the 76ers needed to win four games in each of the 3 rounds. The media misinterpreted this and assumed Moses was predicting that the 76ers would sweep all three rounds to win the title, with the minimum 12 games. Malone's accent made his boast sound like "fo', fo', fo'."
However, the 76ers backed up Malone's boast. They made a mockery of the Eastern Conference playoffs, first sweeping the
New York Knicks and then beating the
Milwaukee Bucks in five games. The 76ers went on to win their third NBA championship (and second in Philadelphia) with a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers, who had defeated them the season before. Malone was named the playoffs' MVP. The 76ers didn't quite fulfill Malone's prediction, as their run was actually "fo', fi', fo" ("four, five, four") – a loss to the Bucks in game four of the Eastern finals being the only blemish on their playoff run. Nonetheless, their 12–1 playoff record is tied for the least number of losses in league history with the 2000–01 Lakers, who went 15–1 en route to the NBA Title, coincidentally beating the 76ers in the Finals (after suffering their only defeat that postseason in Game 1), and also with the 2016-2017
Golden State Warriors, who won the title with a 16-1 playoff record. The Philadelphia-based group
Pieces Of A Dream had a minor hit in 1983 with the R&B song "Fo-Fi-Fo", which title was prompted by Malone's quip. This also marked the last championship in Philadelphia until the
Phillies won the
2008 World Series.
Arrival of Charles Barkley
After a disappointing
1983–84 season, which ended with a five-game loss to the upstart
New Jersey Nets in the first round of the
Charles Barkley arrived in Philadelphia for the
1984–85 season. For the next eight seasons, Barkley brought delight to the Philadelphia fans thanks to his humorous and sometimes controversial ways.
 The Sixers returned to the Eastern Conference Finals in Barkley's rookie season, but lost to the
Boston Celtics in five games. As it turned out, they would never again advance as far during Barkley's tenure in Philadelphia. Following the 1984–85 season,
Matt Guokas replaced Billy Cunningham as head coach. Guokas led the 76ers to a 54–28 record and the second round of the
1986 playofs, where they were defeated by the
Milwaukee Bucks in seven games.
On June 16, 1986, Katz made two of the most controversial and highly criticized personnel moves in franchise history, trading Moses Malone to
Washington and the first overall pick in the
1986 NBA draft (which had been obtained from the
San Diego Clippers in a 1979 trade for
Joe Bryant) to the
Cleveland Cavaliers. In return, the 76ers received
Jeff Ruland, and
Cliff Robinson, none of whom played more than three seasons with the team. Cleveland, meanwhile, turned their acquired pick into future All-Star
On the night of the
1986–87 season opener, Julius Erving announced he would retire after the season, which was subsequently filled with tributes in each arena the Sixers visited. On the court, the team suffered through an injury-plagued campaign, but still managed to make the playoffs with a 45–37 record. Their season would end at the hands of the Bucks again, this time in a best-of-five first round series that went the distance.
1987–1992: The Charles Barkley era
1987–88, with the team's record at 20–23, Guokas was fired and replaced by assistant
Jim Lynam. Lynam finished the season 16–23, to bring Philadelphia's overall mark to 36–46. For the first time since the
1974–75 season, the Sixers failed to reach the playoffs. Philadelphia selected
Charles Smith with its first pick (third overall) in the
1988 NBA draft, then traded his rights to the Los Angeles Clippers for their first pick (sixth overall), and
Hersey Hawkins. In five seasons with the 76ers, Hawkins would average 19 points per game, and was the team's all-time leader in three-point field goals attempted and made when he was traded to the
Charlotte Hornets for
Sidney Green and draft picks in 1993.
In 1988–89, Philadelphia returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence, but was swept in the first round by the
New York Knicks. In 1989–90, Barkley finished second in the league's MVP voting, as the Sixers won the Atlantic Division title with a 53–29 record. After defeating Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs, Philadelphia faced
Michael Jordan and the
Chicago Bulls in the second round. The 76ers fell to the
Chicago Bulls in five games, and would do the same in
1991 after sweeping the Bucks in the first round. In the
1991–92 season, the 76ers went 35–47 and missed the playoffs for the just the second time during Barkley's eight seasons in Philadelphia. On June 17, 1992, Barkley was traded to the
Phoenix Suns for
Tim Perry, and
Andrew Lang, a deal that was met with harsh criticism.
1992–1996: The dark ages
Lynam relinquished his head coaching position to become general manager following the 1991–92 season, and hired
Doug Moe to fill the vacancy. Moe's tenure lasted just 56 games, with the Sixers posting a 19–37 record. Popular former player and longtime assistant coach
Fred Carter succeeded Moe as head coach in March 1993, but could only manage a 32–76 record at the helm. Following the
1993–94 season, the 76ers hired
John Lucas in the dual role of head coach and general manager. The enthusiastic Lucas had been successful as a head coach for the
San Antonio Spurs, and Philadelphia hoped he could breathe new life into the 76ers. It proved disastrous, as the team went 42–122 in its two seasons under Lucas. The acquisition of unproductive free agents such as
Scott Williams and
Charles Shackleford, players at the end of their careers such as
Orlando Woolridge, and
Scott Skiles along with stunningly unwise high draft picks such as
Shawn Bradley and
Sharone Wright were also factors in the team's decline. In fact, Wright would only play four seasons in the NBA while Temple product
Eddie Jones—drafted 4 slots below Wright in 1994 by the L.A. Lakers—had 16 productive seasons as an NBA player.
Starting with the
1990–91 season, and ending with the
1995–96 season, the 76ers had the dubious distinction of seeing their win total decrease each year. The nadir was the 1995–96 season, when they finished with an 18–64 record, the second-worst in franchise history at the time. It was also the second-worst record in the league that year, ahead of only the expansion
Vancouver Grizzlies but behind the
Toronto Raptors, who were also in their inaugural season. That season would turn out to be their last in
The Spectrum. Katz, unpopular among fans since the 1986 trades, sold the team to
Comcast Spectacor, a consortium of
Philadelphia Flyers owner
Ed Snider and
Comcast Corporation, at the end of the 1995–96 season. Snider had been the Sixers' landlord since gaining control of the Spectrum in 1971.
Pat Croce, a former trainer for the Flyers and Sixers, took over as president.
Many 76ers fans call these years "The Dark Ages". However, after many years of misfortune, there was a bright spot. The team won the lottery for the top pick in the
1996 NBA draft. Questions remained, but with the first pick, the Sixers found their "Answer":
1996–2006: The Allen Iverson era
With new ownership, Iverson in place, and the 76ers moving into the
CoreStates Center, things seemed to finally be heading in a positive direction. Croce fired Lucas as both coach and general manager.
Johnny Davis was named head coach, while Brad Greenberg took over as general manager. Iverson was named Rookie of the Year, but Philadelphia's overall improvement was minimal, as they finished with a 22–60 record. Changes had to be made, and after the
1996–97 season, Davis and Greenberg were both fired and the unveiling of a new 76ers team logo and jerseys marked a new era. To replace Davis,
Larry Brown was hired as head coach. Known for a defense-first approach and transforming unsuccessful teams into winners by "playing the right way", Brown faced perhaps his toughest coaching challenge. He often clashed with Iverson, but the 76ers improved to 31 wins in 1997–98. Early in the
1997–98 season, the Sixers traded
Jerry Stackhouse, who had been the third overall pick in the
1995 NBA draft, to the
Detroit Pistons. In exchange, Philadelphia received
Aaron McKie and
Theo Ratliff, defensive standouts who would have an impact in the team's resurgence. Another key figure in the team's rise,
Eric Snow, was added in a trade with the
Seattle SuperSonics in January 1998.
Prior to the
1998–99 season, the 76ers signed
George Lynch and
Matt Geiger, but a lockout delayed the start of the season, which was shortened to 50 games. During the season, Philadelphia acquired
Tyrone Hill in a trade with Milwaukee. The team began its resurgence during this lockout-shortened season, finishing with a 28–22 record and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, marking the first time since 1991 the team reached the postseason. In the first round, Philadelphia upset the
Orlando Magic, three games to one, before being swept by the
Indiana Pacers. The following season, the Sixers improved to 49–33, fifth in the East. Again, the Sixers won their first round series in four games, this time defeating the
Charlotte Hornets. For the second straight year, they were defeated by Indiana in the second round, this time in six games. Though the team was moving in a positive direction, Iverson and Brown continued to clash, and their relationship deteriorated to the point where it seemed certain Iverson would be traded. A rumored trade to the
Los Angeles Clippers fell through, but a complicated four-team deal that would've seen Iverson sent to Detroit was agreed upon, only to see it dissolve due to salary cap problems. When it became clear Iverson was staying in Philadelphia, he and Brown worked to patch things up, and the team would reap the benefits in 2000–01.
Iverson won Most Valuable Player honors in 2001 while leading the 76ers to the NBA Finals.
2000–01 season, the 76ers got off to a hot start by winning their first ten games and were never seriously challenged in the Atlantic Division. Larry Brown coached the Eastern Conference All-Stars, and Allen Iverson was named MVP of the All-Star Game. Shortly before the All-Star break, Theo Ratliff was lost for the season with a wrist injury, one that would later prove to be devastating to his future career. Despite holding a 41–14 record and a comfortable lead atop both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings at the time of the February 22 trade deadline, management felt the team needed an established center to advance deep into the playoffs. On that day, Philadelphia acquired
Dikembe Mutombo from the
Atlanta Hawks in a deal that sent the injured Ratliff along with
Toni Kukoč, and
Pepe Sánchez to Atlanta (Sánchez was reacquired later in the season after the Hawks waived him). The 76ers went on to finish 56–26, good enough for their first Atlantic Division title since 1989–90 and top seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
In the first round of the playoffs, Philadelphia faced Indiana yet again. In Game One, the 76ers wasted an 18-point lead and lost, 79–78, when
Reggie Miller hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds. Philadelphia fought back, however, and took the next three games to win the series. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Sixers squared off against the Toronto Raptors and their superstar,
Vince Carter. The teams alternated wins in the first four games, with Iverson scoring 54 points in Philadelphia's Game Two victory. A Game Five win (with Iverson scoring 52 in a 121–88 rout) and Game Six loss set up a decisive Game Seven, which the 76ers survived as Carter missed a long jump shot at the buzzer for an 88–87 victory that sent the Sixers to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. After the teams split the first two games of the series in Philadelphia, it was learned Iverson would miss Game Three due to various nagging injuries that had plagued him late in the season. Though most predicted a Milwaukee cakewalk, the 76ers kept the game close before falling, 80–74. Philadelphia seemed to gain momentum despite the loss, and they would win Games Four and Five. Milwaukee put any Sixer celebration plans on hold by building up a 33-point lead in the third quarter of Game Six, but the 76ers would make a furious fourth-quarter rally before falling 110–100. Struggling in the series up to that point, Iverson scored 26 points in the final quarter to finish with 46 on the night and appeared to have gotten a second wind. In Game Seven, the Bucks jumped out to a 34–25 second quarter advantage before seldom-used reserve
Raja Bell scored 10 points to spark a 23–4 run that gave Philadelphia the lead for good. Iverson scored 44 points and the 76ers pulled away in the second half, winning by a 108–91 score to put them in the NBA Finals for the first time since 1983. As had been the case in their three previous Finals appearances, their opponent would be the Los Angeles Lakers, who had run up an 11–0 record in the first three rounds of the playoffs and were expected by many to make quick work of a worn-down 76ers squad. Because of a seemingly meaningless loss to the lowly Chicago Bulls in the regular season finale (both the Sixers and the Lakers finished with identical 56–26 records, but Los Angeles was awarded a higher seed based on tiebreakers), the NBA Finals marked the first time in the 2001 playoffs in which the 76ers had to start a series on the road.
Larry Brown, who coached the 76ers from 1997 to 2003, was named Coach of the Year in 2001.
In Game One, the Lakers jumped out to an 18–5 lead, but the 76ers stormed back to take a 15-point lead in the second half. Los Angeles rallied to force a 94–94 tie at the end of regulation before scoring the first five points of the overtime period, but the 76ers closed the game on a 13–2 run for a 107–101 triumph. Iverson hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:19 to go in the extra period, and followed that with a jump shot after which he infamously stepped over
Tyronn Lue after making the basket.
Eric Snow hit a running jump shot in the waning seconds with the shot clock expiring to clinch the stunning victory. The series would come back to Philadelphia even as Los Angeles took Game Two, 98–89. In Game Three,
Shaquille O'Neal fouled out late in the fourth quarter, and the Sixers pulled to within a point with less than a minute to play after trailing by 12 earlier in the second half.
Robert Horry, however, hit a clutch three-pointer in that final minute, and the Lakers prevailed, 96–91. Los Angeles wrapped up the second of what would be three consecutive NBA titles with a 100–86 win in Game Four and a 108–96 victory in Game Five.
In addition to their Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference titles, the
2000–01 76ers featured the NBA's MVP (Iverson), Coach of the Year (Brown), Defensive Player of the Year (Mutombo), and Sixth Man of the Year (
Departure of Larry Brown
The 76ers went into the
2001–02 season with high expectations, but were able to produce only a 43–39 record, sixth in the Eastern Conference. In the first round of the playoffs, Philadelphia was defeated by the Boston Celtics, three games to two. In 2002–03, the 76ers sprinted to a 15–4 start, but a 10–20 swoon left them 25–24 at the All-Star break. After the break, the 76ers caught fire, winning nine in a row at one point, and 23 of their last 33 to finish at 48–34, earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Iverson scored 55 points in the playoff opener against the New Orleans Hornets and the Sixers went on to win the series in six games. In the second round, the Detroit Pistons ended Philadelphia's playoff run in a frustrating six-game series that saw the 76ers lose twice in overtime, and once on a last-second shot in regulation. It would be nine years before the Sixers won another playoff series.
On Memorial Day, 2003, Brown abruptly resigned as head coach, taking over the reins in Detroit a few days later. Brown's Pistons would win the
2004 NBA Championship over the
Los Angeles Lakers, in some ways avenging his loss to them in 2001. After being turned down by
Jeff Van Gundy and
Eddie Jordan, the 76ers hired
Randy Ayers, an assistant under Brown, as their new head coach. Ayers lasted only 52 games and was fired with the team's record at 21–31.
Chris Ford took over, but the 76ers finished the
2003–04 season at 33–49, missing the playoffs for the first time in six years. Iverson, who was at odds with Ford throughout the interim coach's tenure, played only 48 games in a stormy, injury-plagued season.
Arrival of Andre Iguodala
Andre Iguodala was drafted by the 76ers in 2004
2004–05 season, Philadelphia native
Jim O'Brien was named head coach. Iverson was moved back to point guard and flourished, having arguably his finest season. He also impressed many with his willingness to get other players involved in the offense. During this season, Philadelphia acquired
Chris Webber in a trade with the
Sacramento Kings, with the hopes that the team had at long last found a consistent second scoring option to compliment Iverson.
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia's first-round pick in the
2004 NBA draft, was named to the All-Rookie First Team, and the 76ers returned to the
postseason with a 43–39 record. In the first round, they were defeated in five games by the defending NBA Champion Pistons, coached by Larry Brown.
Though the 2004–05 76ers exceeded many on-court expectations, there was a great deal of behind-the-scenes tension between O'Brien, his players, and the front office. Shortly after the season ended, O'Brien was fired and replaced by the popular
Maurice Cheeks, who played for the team from 1978 to 1989, and was the starting point guard for the 1983 NBA Champions. However, the coaching change did not help team's fortunes for the
2005–06 season. A 2–10 stretch in March doomed them to missing the playoffs for the second time in three years with a 38–44 record.
With the opening of the
2006–07 season, the 76ers started out hot, going 3–0 for the first time since making it to the Finals five years previously. However, they stumbled through the first half of the season and couldn't quite recover, finishing 35–47, good for 3rd in the Atlantic Division, and 9th in the Eastern Conference (tied with Indiana).
On December 5, 2006, disappointed with the direction the team was headed, Allen Iverson gave the 76ers management an ultimatum: find players who will help support me or trade me. This was confirmed via an in-game interview with team owner,
2006–2012: The Andre Iguodala era
On December 19, 2006,
Allen Iverson, along with
Ivan McFarlin, were sent to the
Denver Nuggets in exchange for guard
Andre Miller, forward
Joe Smith, and two first-round draft picks. Then, on January 11, Sixers GM
Billy King announced that the Sixers and aging forward
Chris Webber had agreed to a buyout of the remainder of his contract. The Sixers would pay Webber $36 million over the next 1½ seasons, which is $7 million less than he would have been paid to play. After the buyout, the Sixers waived Webber, making him a free agent. Webber signed with the
Detroit Pistons shortly thereafter.
The moves allowed the 76ers to make Iguodala the unquestioned leader of the team, and evaluate whether they saw him as a franchise player. The Sixers had started the year 3–0, then went 5–10 before Iverson left the team. They would stumble out to an eight-game losing streak with Iverson deactivated; however, they were able to finish the season on a high note, going 30–29 for the remainder of the season. They finished the year 35–47.
Thaddeus Young was the 76ers' first draft pick in the post-Iverson Era.
The Sixers drafted
Georgia Tech SF
Thaddeus Young with the 12th pick, traded with the
Miami Heat for 21st pick
Colorado State PF
Jason Smith, traded with the
Portland Trail Blazers for 42nd pick
Derrick Byars, and then finally traded with the
Utah Jazz for
On December 4, 2007, the Sixers fired
Billy King and replaced him with Nets GM
With Iguodala, the Sixers clinched a playoff berth with a win over the
Atlanta Hawks on April 4, 2008. It was their first postseason appearance since 2005, as well as the first in the post-Iverson era. However, they were eliminated by the Pistons in six games, with Detroit winning the series 4–2. Even with this elimination, many fans considered this to be a successful season, considering that the Sixers were 12 games under .500 in early February and went on to have a run that led them to the playoffs and a 40–42 record.
Elton Brand signed for five years with the Sixers in 2008
On July 9, 2008, the 76ers signed
Elton Brand to a five-year, $79.795 million contract,
 after trading Rodney Carney
 and renouncing their rights to all their unrestricted free agents.
 Brand had originally opted out of his contract with the
Los Angeles Clippers, looking to re-sign with them.
 But the 76ers offered him more money (he regarded their offer as the "Philly-Max") and a better chance at winning an NBA championship by playing in the
Eastern Conference. This move has been the subject of controversy since there were rumors that he and
Baron Davis had made a friendly agreement to play together for the Clippers.
 The team later signed free agent point guard
Royal Ivey of the
Kareem Rush from the
 and then signed former Sixer
Theo Ratliff after
Jason Smith's injury.
Donyell Marshall was signed on September 2, 2008, after he stated to his agent that he wanted to go back home and end his career in Philadelphia.
 Rush, Ivey, Ratliff and Marshall were all paid the veteran's minimum salary, but they were to be contributors to a team on the rise. During the off-season, they also re-signed
restricted free agents
Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala for five years/$25 million
 and six years/$80 million, respectively.
However, the Sixers couldn't find the form that pushed them to the playoffs last year. The Sixers started the year with a 9–14 record before firing head coach
Maurice Cheeks on December 13. Assistant GM
Tony DiLeo took over and the Sixers gradually improved. They finished the season with a 41–41 record, with a 32–27 record under DiLeo. Brand's first season with the Sixers ended early with a right shoulder injury that required surgery. Despite the loss of Brand, the Sixers earned a playoff berth with a 95–90 win against the Detroit Pistons on April 4, 2009, at home.
In the first round, they faced the
Orlando Magic. Three of the first four games of the series provided late-game heroics. Iguodala and
Thaddeus Young made game-winning shots in Games 1 and 3, respectively, while Orlando's
Hedo Türkoğlu provided the game-winner in Game 4. Just like in the previous year's playoffs, the Sixers led 2–1 after three games, but the Magic won three straight to eliminate the Sixers from the playoffs.
It was also during the season that the Sixers played one home game at their old home, the
Wachovia Spectrum. The Sixers won 104–101 over the
Chicago Bulls on March 13, 2009. The game was played to provide the final curtain call on the Spectrum, which was scheduled to be imploded on New Year's Eve 2009.
Iverson during his second stint
Following the playoff loss, Tony DiLeo returned to his front office job, creating a head coaching vacancy. Former Washington Wizards coach
Eddie Jordan was introduced as the 76ers' new coach on June 1, 2009.
 In the 2009 off-season, the Sixers drafted UCLA point guard
Jrue Holiday with the 17th pick. The Sixers also traded power forward Reggie Evans to the Toronto Raptors for a three-point specialist, small forward
Jason Kapono, who had won back-to-back three-point shootouts in 2007 and 2008.
 The off-season also marked the return of the 1977–97 76ers logo, along with a redesigned court and new uniforms updating the 1980s ones.
On December 2, 2009, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they had signed
Allen Iverson to a one-year prorated $1.3 million non-guaranteed contract.
 The 76ers were 5–13 at the time and had lost
Lou Williams for at least 30 games to injury.
 Iverson made his "re-debut" for the 76ers against the team he was traded to, the Denver Nuggets, to a thunderous ovation from the sell-out crowd, scoring 11 points, with six assists and five rebounds.
However, the euphoria that greeted Iverson's return to the 76ers faded quickly. On February 22, Iverson announced he was leaving the 76ers indefinitely to attend to his daughter's illness, and a few weeks later the 76ers announced that Iverson would not be returning for the rest of the season.
The 76ers finished the season with a record of 27–55, their first 50-loss season since 1998. Most cited the reason behind this as the players' inability to play within Eddie Jordan's
Princeton offense, with several players unhappy with his system. Hours after the 76ers' last game at
Orlando on April 14, the team fired Jordan after one season. He was the fourth coach to be fired after one season or less since Larry Brown left the team in 2003.
On May 20, 2010, TNT analyst
Doug Collins was named head coach of the 76ers.
 Collins played for the Sixers for his entire NBA career after being the first overall pick in the
1973 draft, and had previously coached the Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, and the Washington Wizards. The 76ers had the sixth-best odds at receiving the top pick in the
2010 draft, and they managed to land the second overall pick, beating out the Warriors, Kings, Timberwolves, and Nets, who all had better odds. They used that draft pick to select Ohio State University's
Doug Collins was hired by the 76ers as head coach in 2010, after previously playing for the team in the 1970s.
The Sixers started the season with an uninspiring 3–13 mark, but started turning things around, to finish with a 41–41 record. They clinched a playoff berth on April 1, 2011, their third in the last four years. The 76ers faced the heavily favored
Miami Heat in the first round, and ultimately fell to them in five games. Although they lost the series, Collins was praised for turning around a lottery team in his first season, as well as winning a playoff game when many pundits predicted that the Sixers would be swept. Collins also finished second in Coach of the Year voting.
On July 13, 2011, Comcast-Spectacor reached an agreement to sell the 76ers to an investment group led by
Apollo Global Management co-founder
Joshua Harris. Harris' group paid $280 million for the franchise. The sale did not include any ownership stake in the Flyers or in Comcast Sportsnet. The Sixers will continue to play their home games at the Wells Fargo Center for the foreseeable future. Actor
Will Smith (a Philadelphia native) and his wife
Jada Pinkett Smith are notable minority owners. The new ownership group decided to retain Head Coach Doug Collins and President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn. Ed Stefanski, who served as the team's General Manager since 2007, was relieved of his duties.
2011–12 season was delayed into December due to the
lockout. The Sixers did not play their home opener until January 6, 2012. The home opener marked the debut of an improved in-game presentation at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers had their best start since the 2000–01 season with a 209 record, battling for the Eastern Conference's best record and taking a firm division lead. The Sixers, however, finished the rest of the season 15–22, giving them a 35–31 record. Attributed to their lack of a true go-to scorer,
the 76ers lost hold of the top-three seed and division championship that they held for most of the season, by going on the losing steak. Nevertheless, they clinched their fourth playoff berth in the last five years on the penultimate play date of the season.
Philadelphia earned the eighth seed in the
2012 NBA playoffs, facing the 1st-seeded
Chicago Bulls. Philadelphia improved from their struggles in the second half of the regular season, beating Chicago 4–2 to win their first series since 2003. This was the fifth time in NBA history that an eight seed has beaten a one seed. They then faced their rival, the
Boston Celtics, in the second round, and were eliminated 4–3. The Sixers once again faced criticism for their lack of a true scorer, as they were not able to keep pace with the Celtics' scoring. They were, however, given credit for winning the regular-season series against Boston and forcing the playoff series to seven games against the Celtics, who had won the last four division championships.
In an effort to re-tool for the upcoming season, The 76ers selected
Maurice 'Mo' Harkless, and
Arnett Moultrie (via trade with Miami) in the
2012 NBA draft. The Sixers then used their amnesty clause on
Elton Brand, traded for
Dorell Wright, signed
Kwame Brown, and
Royal Ivey, and re-signed
Spencer Hawes, while
Lou Williams, and
Jodie Meeks left through free agency.
On August 9, 2012, the 76ers agreed to a four-team trade with the
Los Angeles Lakers,
Orlando Magic and
Denver Nuggets. In the trade that sent six-time All-Star
Dwight Howard to the Lakers, Philadelphia agreed to send 2011 first-round pick
Nikola Vučević, 2012 first-round draft pick
Maurice Harkless, and a future first-round draft pick to Orlando, as well as All-Star
swingman Andre Iguodala to Denver. In exchange, they received
Jason Richardson from the Magic and All-Star center
Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Sixers started the
2012–13 season with high expectations with the help of
Andrew Bynum and the growth of the young Sixers. However, Bynum's debut with the 76ers took a hit when he was sidelined for precautionary reasons, in relation to the
Orthokine knee procedure he received during the off-season. At first it looked like Bynum would be out only shortly, but little success in healing and setbacks pushed Bynum's return date further and further. As a result of many setbacks, on March 19, the Sixers announced that Bynum would have season-ending surgery on both knees.
 Bynum wasn't the only Sixer to suffer through injuries. On February 8,
Jason Richardson also went through a season-ending knee surgery.
Nick Young, and
Royal Ivey also had injuries that sidelined them for weeks. By the end of the season,
Evan Turner and
Spencer Hawes were the only Sixers to play in every game during the season. The Sixers started the season 12–9 but stumbled through a tough stretch and couldn't recover. The Sixers finished the season 34–48, missing the playoffs for the first time since
Doug Collins had taken over as head coach.
On April 18, Collins resigned as 76ers coach, citing his declining health and need to spend time with his grandchildren. He stayed with the team as an adviser.
 Soon after, general manager
Tony DiLeo had "cut ties" with the team. On May 11, it was announced that
Sam Hinkie, who had previously worked for the
Houston Rockets, would replace DiLeo as general manager.
 On July 8, it was announced that Adam Aron had stepped down as CEO, and was being replaced by Scott O'Neil. Aron maintained his position as co-owner of the team.
2013–present: The Process era
Following the 2012–13 season, the Sixers, led by Hinkie, chose to shift in the direction of rebuilding the franchise. In an interview, Sixers guard
Tony Wroten would refer to the major rebuilding culture surrounding Philadelphia as "The Process".
 The first move of this new plan was executed during the
2013 draft, when the Sixers agreed in principle to trade
Jrue Holiday and the 42nd pick in the draft,
Pierre Jackson, to the
New Orleans Pelicans for
Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans' 2014 first-round pick. The trade was later made official on July 12.
 The trade was seen by some as somewhat surprising, as Holiday had been the team's marquee player and was coming off a season that saw him make his first
NBA All-Star Game. Additionally, Noel was recovering from an
anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered while in college, strongly indicating that he would not be able to make an immediate impact for the Sixers as he would be inactive to start the season. The Sixers used the 11th pick in the draft to select
Michael Carter-Williams as Holiday's replacement as the starting point guard. The Sixers chose
Arsalan Kazemi with the 54th overall pick, making Kazemi the first
Iranian chosen in the NBA draft.
Following the Holiday trade, many of the team's returning players were either waived or left the team in free agency, most notably
Andrew Bynum; of the 15 players on the team's roster during their final game of the 2012–13 season, only six remained with the team by January 1, 2014. In their place were a number of young prospects, many coming from the
NBA Development League or signing with the Sixers after playing limited roles on other teams. Further moves at the trade deadline on February 20, 2014, saw the exits of veterans
Evan Turner, and
Lavoy Allen, all of whom were key rotational players.
The 76ers, predicted by manyMiami Heat and a
Chicago Bulls team with high expectations. However, the Sixers struggled mightily after that, at one point posting a
26-game losing streak which set a franchise record
 and tied the all-time NBA record for most consecutive losses in a single-season.
 The Sixers finished the season with a 19–63 record, the third-worst in franchise history. Despite that, the Sixers did not have the worst win/loss record in the overall NBA standings: the
Bucks fared worse with a 15–67 record.
to finish with the worst record in the league, had a 3–0 start that included wins over the two-time defending champion
Carter-Williams led all rookies in points, rebounds, assists, and steals, joining
Magic Johnson and
Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to do such a feat.
 He also won the player of the week award in his first week, being the second rookie after
Shaquille O'Neal to accomplish that.
 He went on to win the Rookie of the Year award, becoming the first rookie drafted 10th or later to win the award since
Mark Jackson in 1987 for the
2014 NBA draft, the Sixers selected
Joel Embiid with the third overall pick, and traded with
Dario Šarić, the twelfth pick of the draft. Neither prospect was expected to make an immediate impact for the Sixers, as Embiid was recovering from a
stress fracture in the
navicular bone, while Šarić will likely spend one or more years playing in the
 In the second round, the Sixers selected
K. J. McDaniels,
Jordan McRae, and
Vasilije Micić. The Sixers also traded a second-round pick to re-acquire
Pierre Jackson from the
New Orleans Pelicans.
In the 2014 off-season, the Sixers traded Thaddeus Young to Minnesota in the Kevin Love to Cleveland trade, and received the Heat's 2015 first-round draft pick,
Luc Mbah a Moute and
Alexey Shved, leaving only two players with three years of experience on the Sixers remaining.
In June 2014 the it was announced that the team would move their practice facility and home offices to the
Camden Waterfront, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia in
Camden, New Jersey.
On November 29, 2014, the 76ers lost to the Dallas Mavericks 103–110 and set a franchise record for losses to start the season, as they fell to a record of 0–16.
 After losing their next game against the San Antonio Spurs to make it 0–17, the 76ers were on the verge of tying the NBA record of 18 straight losses to start a season if they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 3, but they broke their losing streak and won their first game of the
2014–15 season with an 85–77 victory at Minnesota.
In three deals at the 2015 NBA trade deadline, the 76ers traded Carter-Williams and McDaniels for
Isaiah Canaan, and three draft picks, including a protected 2015 first round pick originally owned by the
Los Angeles Lakers.
The Sixers finished the season with an 18–64 record, tied with the second-worst in franchise history since 1995–96 when
Jerry Stackhouse drafted in Philly. Despite that, the Sixers did not have the worst win/loss record in the overall NBA standings: the Timberwolves fared worse with a 16–66 record and Knicks fared second with 17–65 record.
On May 19, the 76ers were awarded the third overall pick in the
2015 NBA draft, where they selected
Jahlil Okafor with the third overall pick. The 76ers also signed
J. P. Tokoto with the 58th overall pick. On November 27, the 76ers lost to the
Houston Rockets 116–114, giving them a 27-game losing streak dating back to the previous season, which became the longest losing streak in professional sports. During the same game the Sixers set a franchise record of 16
three pointers made during the losing effort. On December 1, the 76ers beat the
Los Angeles Lakers at home by a score of 103–91, but not before setting a league record 28 consecutive losses dating to the 2014–15 season. In doing so, the 76ers also managed to avoid setting a new NBA record of most losses to begin a season. They instead tied the old record of 18 losses set by the then-
New Jersey Nets in the
On December 8, the 76ers announced that they would hire
Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Board of Directors for
USA Basketball, as the Special Advisor to the Managing General Partner and Chairman of Basketball Operations.
 In the first move the team made after hiring Colangelo, they traded two second-round draft picks to the
New Orleans Pelicans in return for point guard
 After starting 1–30, the 76ers went 7–25 following the trade.
 On March 1, 2016, the 76ers, at the time with a record of 8–51, missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season. The 76ers finished the season 10–72.
On April 6, 2016, Sam Hinkie resigned by way of a 7,000 word letter of resignation.
 On April 10, 2016,
Bryan Colangelo, the son of Jerry Colangelo, was named president of basketball operations.
 In the NBA Draft Lottery, the Philadelphia 76ers earned the first pick in the draft, after they had a 25% chance of earning the spot.
On June 23, 2016, following the
2015–16 season, and after the 76ers were awarded the first overall pick in the 2016 draft, the team selected LSU Point Forward
Ben Simmons first overall. The Sixers also selected French basketball player
Timothé Luwawu and Turkish basketball player
Furkan Korkmaz with the 24th and 26th picks in the
2016 NBA draft respectively.
 Many consider the 2016 NBA Draft a turning point for the 76ers after their three seasons of not being competitive resulted in the franchise garnering the first overall pick, the first time the team owned the first since 1996 when the 76ers selected point guard
Allen Iverson first overall.
 The Sixers subsequently traded for another number one pick in the
2017 NBA draft, choosing