The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the oldest franchises in the league. They replaced the Syracuse Nations in 1963, just a year after the Warriors moved out of the city. At the time, the biggest reason for this move was due to Syracuse not being a big enough city to help a team generate profit.
Ever since that move, the 76ers have stayed at Philadelphia. But who owns this organization? Well, today we will take a deep dive at the ownership history of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Philadelphia 76ers: Who are the owners of the franchise?
As of February 2020, the Sixers are worth a staggering $2 billion, according to Forbes. But the team was not worth that high back in 2011, when they went through a majority ownership change.
In 2011, businessman Joshua Harris, along with David S. Blitzer’s group, bought the organization from Comcast-Spectacor for $280 million. While Harris and Blitzer are the co-managing partners of the team, Harris has the majority stake of the organization.
Under Harris’ leadership, the team has come a long way from what they were in 2011. They have young superstars, a renowned head coach, and a great front office as of now. Hopefully, this will aid the Sixers in winning some hardware for the first time in decades.
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History of ownership for the Sixers
The 76ers were previously known as the Syracuse Nationals when the franchise was initially founded in 1946. It was legendary Danny Biasone, most notable for his introduction of a shot clock, who found the team.
He sold the team to Ike Richman and Irv Kosloff in 1963, and thus the organization changed their name from “Nationals” to “76ers”. Under the leadership of the new owners, the team won its first championship in franchise history back in 1967, led by none other than Wilt Chamberlain.
However, following Wilt’s departure, the team went through a bad spell which ultimately forced the owners to sell the organization. Irv Kosloff, the majority owner, sold the team to Fitz Dixon in 1976. Dixon’s stint with the team was pretty brief and just 5 years later, he sold the franchise to Harold Katz for $12 million.
In the next 11 years, under Katz’ ownership, the team won one NBA title and was a contender for some time. However, due to the rise of Michael Jordan and the Bulls, the 76ers could never achieve their full potential. By 1996, Comcast-Spectacor purchased the team from Harold Katz for $120 Million.
Under Comcast-Spectacor, Philly struggled a lot and due to not achieving anything significant for 15 years, then entered Joshua Harris and the Blitzer group in 2011.
Notable minority owners of the 76ers
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
The popular Hollywood star is a Philadelphia native and owns a minority stake in the franchise. While he remains a minority owner of the team with Harris being the principal owner, a story about him being the majority owner back in 2016 caught all the attention of NBA fans. However, later on it turned out to be nothing but an April Fools joke.
Apart from the couple, there are not many notable minority owners, but in total apart from Harris, the team has 12 minority owners, including Will and Jada.
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