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Syracuse Nationals Index

1955 NBA Champion Syracuse Nationals

The 1955 champion Syracuse Nationals. Front row (L-R): Dick Farley, Billy Kenville, Center Row: Earl Lloyd, Captain Paul Seymour, Head Coach Al Cervi, George King Jim Tucker, Rear Row: President Daniel Biasone, Wally Osterkorn, Business Manager Bob Sexton, Dolph Schayes, John Kerr, Billy Gabor Red rocha, Trainer Art Van Auken.

The Philadelphia 76ers franchise actually began in 1949, when six teams from the midwest-based National Basketball League joined the Basketball Association of America to form the 17-team National Basketball Association. One of those teams, the Syracuse Nationals, went 51-13 in their first NBA season under Al Cervi, and won the Eastern Division crown.The team was very successful in Syracuse, reaching the NBA final in both 1950 and 1954 both times losing to the Minneapolis Lakers.They finally broke through in 1955, taking their first, and only, NBA title by defeating the Fort Wayne Pistons 92-91 on April 10,1955, taking the series 4-3.The team posted winning records in 11 of its 14 seasons in Syracuse.

The Nats were purchased by Philadelphian Irv Kosloff and Ike Richman in the spring of 1963, and the NBA approved the franchise shift (May 22) and name change (Aug. 6) from the Nationals to the 76ers, returning professional basketball to Philadelphia.

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