|1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers season|
|Head coach||Roy Rubin, Kevin Lougherty|
|Place||Division: 4th (Atlantic)
Conference: 8th (Eastern)
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Radio||WCAU-AM (limited broadcasts)|
|Philadelphia 76ers seasons|
|< 1971–72||1973–74 >|
In the 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers season, 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, earning the nickname from the skeptical Philadelphia media of the "Nine and 73-ers". 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 second fewest in NBA history—to the six games won by the Providence Steamrollers in the 48 game 1947–48 season. The 73 losses, although threatened many times, remains the all-time low-water mark for any NBA franchise. Only six seasons earlier, the 76ers had set the NBA record for most wins in a season.
|1||5||Fred Boyd||(G)||United States||Oregon State|
|3||Charlie Tharpe||United States||Belhaven|
|4||Marshall Wingate||United States||Niagara|
|5||Joe Bynes||United States||Arkansas AM&N|
|6||John Glover||United States||Wiley|
|7||Curtis Pritchett||United States||St. Augustine|
|8||Jim Kopp||United States||Rockhurst|
|9||Rod Murray||United States||Cal State-Los Angeles|
|10||Gary Watson||United States||Wisconsin|
By 1972–73. Jack Ramsay left the Sixers and was coaching the Buffalo Braves and Roy Rubin given the head coaching job in Philadelphia. Hired by G.M. Don DeJardin, Rubin had coached at Long Island University the 11 previous seasons.  Part of the problem was attributed to the loss of Billy Cunningham and his 23.3 scoring average, and the loss of Archie Clark a year earlier in a trade with the Bullets.
The Sixers, whose roster included the likes of Manny Leaks, Jeff Halliburton, Mike Price, John Q. Trapp and Dave Sorenson, started the season 0–15 and later lost 20 consecutive games. With the club record at 4–47, Rubin was replaced by Sixers player Kevin Loughery. The new coach inspired the troops to a 5–26 record and a .161 winning percentage, compared with Rubin's .078 mark. The most productive player for the club was guard Fred Carter, who averaged 20 points for a Sixers team that used 19 players by season's end.
|New York Knicks||57||25||.695||11|
Two and a half months after Philadelphia's collapse against the Boston Celtics in the 1968 NBA Finals, Wilt Chamberlain was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. In return, the Sixers received Darrall Imhoff, Archie Clark and Jerry Chambers.
The background of the deal can be traced back to Sixers owners Ike Richman and Irv Kosloff. Chamberlain indicated that Richman promised him part ownership of the club, but Richman died before the deal was completed. When Kosloff became sole owner, he refused to honor the agreement Chamberlain had reached with Richman. This infuriated Chamberlain, and he contemplated retirement. Chamberlain then expressed a desire to play in Los Angeles and suggested a trade. As Chamberlain had hinted at retirement, the 76ers could have lost him and received nothing in return.
After the 1967–68 season, 76ers general manager Jack Ramsay added coaching duties to his job description, replacing Alex Hannum. He decided that Clark, Imhoff and Chambers would be part of a smaller, quicker, fast-breaking team. This plan had never truly materialized. Imhoff spent only two seasons with the 76ers, Clark spent three seasons and Chambers never played for Philadelphia after spending two years in the military before being traded.
Another contributing factor to the poor season was Philadelphia’s first-round draft choices from 1967 through 1972. Selections such as Craig Raymond, Shaler Halimon, Bud Ogden, Harris Ahmad, Al Henry, Dana Lewis and Fred Boyd made no impact with the club.
Ramsay did coax 55 victories out of the first 76ers team he coached in 1968–69. That number dipped into the 40s for the next two seasons and sunk even further to 30 in 1971–72.
|1972-73 Game Log|
Note: GP= Games played; REB= Rebounds; AST= Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; AVG = Average
|Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers seasons|
|Franchise • History • Seasons|