Philadelphia 76ers logo May 11, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of center court with the Philadelphia 76ers logo before game six of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have a storied NBA history, with three NBC championships, five conference titles, and ten players with retired numbers.

Not only that, but the 76ers have produced some of the best NBA players of all time, with several current and future Hall of Famers.

Narrowing this list down to the top 10 of all time wasn’t an easy task because the 76ers have so many greats, even from their days as the Syracuse Nationals. However, there can only be 10, and here is our list of the best 10 Philadelphia 76ers of all time.

10. Bobby Jones, power forward

Bobby Jones was a defensive specialist for the 76ers teams of the 1980s and was a key member of the 1983 title squad. In his 12-year pro career, Jones had eight selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, was awarded the first-ever NBA Sixth Man Award, was a member of the ABA All-Rookie Team, and was a four-time NBA All-Star. He was also elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Julius Erving had high praise for his former teammate. “If I was going to ask a youngster to model after someone, I would pick Bobby Jones. He’s a player who’s totally selfless, who runs like a deer, jumps like a gazelle, plays with his head and heart each night, and then walks away from the court as if nothing happened.”

Philadelphia 76ers guard Maurice Cheeks (10) against Milwaukee Bucks guard Charlie Criss (15).
Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

9. Maurice “Mo” Cheeks, point guard

Just like Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks was a key component in the 1983 Sixers championship team. He was the engine that pushed the 76ers team between 1978 and 1989. Mo was a four-time NBA All-Star, made the NBA All-Defensive team four times, and has his number retired by the franchise. He would end his career averaging 11 points per game (over 12,000 points in his career) and averaging almost seven assists per game, with 7,400 in his career. He also went on to coach the Sixers between 2005 and 2008.

8. Darryl Dawkins, center

Darryl Dawkins played the majority of his NBA career with the 76ers (1975-1982). Known as “Chocolate Thunder,” Dawkins would often bring the house down with his thunderous dunks. But it wasn’t just his slam dunks that made him special, Dawkins was also an all-around good player. His 76ers squads made some runs to the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals but never quite got over the hump to win a title. During the early 1980s, Dawkins would average nearly 15 points and eight rebounds per game. He would end his NBA career with over 8,000 points and over 4,400 rebounds.

7. Billy Cunningham, small forward

Other than Julius Irving, has anyone had as much impact on the 76ers as Billy Cunningham? Coming out of college, Cunningham was a two-time All-American coming out of North Carolina. He played for Philly between 1965 and 1972 and 1974 and 1976 and is the only player on this list to have won a championship as a player (1967) and head coach (1983). As a player, he was a four-time NBA All-Star, part of the NBA’s All-Rookie Team, and part of the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary teams. As a coach, he was the last to lead the 76ers to an NBA title and was the head coach of the NBA Eastern Conference in the All-Star game four times. Cunningham ended his NBA career with over 16,000 points and nearly 8,000 rebounds. He is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts after scoring a basket against the Toronto Raptors in the second half during game six of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Scotiabank Arena.
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

6. Joel Embiid, center

Joel Embiid is the only modern-day 76ers player on the list and his position at No. 5 is well deserved. Since entering the NBA in 2014, Embiid has been the NBA MVP, a six-time All-Star, a two-time NBA scoring champ, and made the NBA All-Rookie team in 2017. He also has been part of the NBA’s All-Defensive Teams. Embiid has been the driving force behind these 76ers almost getting them to the Eastern Conference Finals last year before they lost to the Boston Celtics. He is still a scoring machine, passing fellow 76er Wilt Chamberlin for most 45-point games in the team’s history. If he keeps this up, Embiid is well on his way to becoming a future Hall of Famer.

Philadelphia 76ers center Wilt Chamberlain (13) drives to the basket past Los Angeles Lakers forward Darrall Imhoff (14) at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Credit: Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

5. Wilt Chamberlin, center

Wilt Chamberlin might be better known for his time with the Lakers, but he spent significant time with the Sixers. Outside of Bill Russell, no one dominated the NBA like Wilt. Chamberlin is not only a two-time NBA champion but a four-time regular-season league MVP, Rookie of the Year, Finals MVP, and All-Star Game MVP. He was also selected to thirteen All-Star Games and ten All-NBA Teams (seven First and three Second teams). He won seven scoring, eleven rebounding, nine durability, and nine field goal percentage titles; he is the only center to lead the league in total assists. For years he held many of the 76ers records, including his iconic 100-point performance against the New York Knicks, an NBA record that stands to this day. Wilt ended his NBA career averaging 30 points a game and 23 rebounds per game. Chamberlin is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Philadelphia 76ers center Moses Malone (2) against Milwaukee Bucks center Bob Lanier (16).
Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

4. Moses Malone, center

If Julius Erving was the star of those 1980s 76ers teams, Moses Malone was the soul. Malone wasn’t a flashy player but he didn’t need to be. His work inside the paint for those Philadelphia teams was legendary as a dominant force while Doc handled the outside. A three-time NBA MVP, he is also an NBA Champion and was named NBA Finals MVP in 1983. Malone’s nickname was “Chairman of the Boards” because of how good a rebounder he was. The year the 76ers won the title, he averaged nearly 25 points and 15 rebounds per game. Malone also correctly predicted that they would take out the Los Angeles Lakers in four, or as he said it in his Southern accent “fo, fo, fo, fo.’ Malone retired with nearly 30,000 points and 18,000 rebounds and is the all-time NBA leader in offensive rebounds.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Charles Barkley (34) in action against the Orlando Magic at the Orlando Arena.
Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Charles Barkley, power forward

Before Charles Barkley became a star on “Inside the NBA,” he was known as the “Round Mound of Rebound.” The 76ers No. 1 draft pick in 1984 out of Auburn, Barkley immediately cemented himself as a great scorer and rebounder. After being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1985, he would lead the league in rebounding in 1987. All told, he racked up 11 All-Star appearances (named NBA All-Star MVP in 1991), was named NBA MVP in 1993, and is a member of both the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. Although Barkley never won an NBA title, he did lead the team to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics in his rookie season. Barkley ended his NBA career with nearly 24,000 points and over 12,500 rebounds. He is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Allen Iverson #3 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates after hitting a shot late in the game against the Detroit Pistons in Game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2005 NBA Playoffs at Wachovia Center on April 29, 2005 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2. Allen Iverson, shooting guard

If there was one player that embodied the 76ers through the 1990s and early 2000s, it was Allen Iverson. Iverson was just what the team needed after Barkley left to join the Phoneix Suns. Iverson brought a style and toughness that was needed and came to represent the scrappy Sixers. During his 10-year stint with the franchise, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, league MVP, an 11-time All-Star, including a two-time All-Star MVP, was a three-time scoring champ, three-time steals champ, and is part of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team. Iverson also led Philly to the 2001 NBA Finals against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. He ended his NBA career with 24,368 points and a 26.7 scoring average. Iverson is a member of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Credit: Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

1. Julius “Dr. J” Erving, forward

When you think of the Philadelphia 76ers, the first player that probably comes to mind is Julius Erving, or as he is better known, “Dr. J.”  After a stint with the ABA’s New Jersey Nets, Erving came to the Sixers and not only established himself as a star for the team but also for the league. Along with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, he helped usher in the high-flying NBA 1980s with his slam dunks and cool style. Doc won two ABA titles and an NBA crown, was a three-time ABA MVP and one-time NBA MVP, played in 16 total All-Star Games, and is part of the NBA’s 35th, 50th, and 75th NBA Anniversary teams. He finished his iconic pro basketball career with 30,026 points (24.2/game average), 10,525 rebounds (8.5/game average), and 5,176 assists (4.2/game average). Erving is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.