By Theodore N. Beitchman
Today is the 52th anniversary of the worst day in Sixers history.
For it was on July 9, 1968 that Wilt Chamberlain, the greatest player in NBA history, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Archie Clark, Jerry Chambers and Darrell Imhoff.
Wilt, who had led the Sixers to the NBA title in 1967, would go on to take the Lakers to four Western Conference championships in five seasons, and to the NBA title in 1971-72, as the Lakers won 33 straight regular season games and then conquered the New York Knicks for the title.
He retired in 1973 and died in 1999.
The Sixers would spend the better part of the next decade in the wilderness, falling to 9-73 in 1972-73, before signing George McGinniss and then Julius Erving, which began their rise to the 1983 NBA title on a team that included Moses Malone and was coached by Billy Cunningham.
General manager Jack Ramsay made the trade after Wilt asked for it when he learned that a promise co-owner Ike Richman made to Wilt to grant him 5 percent ownership of the team died with Richman in December 1965