CAMDEN, N.J — The Philadelphia 76ers have not been NBA champions in 40 years. The length of their title drought is a topic of conversation as the Sixers prepare to honor the last team to win it all on Monday night. Julius Erving, one of the stars of that team, likes what he sees out of this year's squad.
Erving and other members of the 1982-83 team mingled with the current Sixers after their shootaround as they prepare to host the Chicago Bulls. The Doctor believes that this group has what it takes to end the franchise's drought, noting that the trio of Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey is a dynamic one.
“I think they got a good shot. This is probably the best shot that I've seen in recent years,” Erving said. The Sixers legend noted how close they came in 2019 when the Toronto Raptors defeated them and how poorly the ensuing Jimmy Butler situation played out.
“But this team, they seem to be very resilient,” Erving said. “They are definitely dynamic in terms of having a blend of weapons. Got our big guy, the top scorer in the league. Got Maxey, who's a dynamo. Harden, a former MVP and on any given night can be the dominant player on the floor no matter who they're playing against. Then the role guys. Tobias does what he's supposed to do. I like watching them…I just like that there's a chemistry there and there's an undeniable desire to want to win.”
Bobby Jones, another member of those championship-winning Sixers, is also a believer.
“It's a different team this year than it has been in the past,” he said. “It's a tougher team, it's a more aggressive team. It's a team that, to me, last year and the last several years, had trouble finishing games. This year, they're finishing games.”
With Embiid performing better than arguably anyone right now and the key players around him playing well, Philly has been one of the best teams in the league over the last few months. Philly will look to extend their winning streak to nine games, which would be the longest winning streak of the season, against the Bulls at Wells Fargo Center.