For Philadelphians 50 years later, one of the most telling and heartwarming facts about the 1966-67 NBA champions is revealed by all the familiar faces in their team photo.
Those Philadelphia 76ers truly were Philadelphian.
On the court, on the bench and in the front office, the flavor of that powerhouse from the past was as uniquely Philadelphian as scrapple.
Although LeBron James is a notable exception, the era has passed when NBA teams were committed to seeking assistance on the court and at the box office from local talent.
On the 2017 Sixers, for example, the only prominent connection between team and town is Gerald Henderson, an Episcopal Academy alum.
The 76ers owner is a New Yorker, their coach a New Englander, their star center a native of Cameroon. Three players on the roster were born in Illinois. Seven hail from overseas.
By comparison, those 1967 titlists were almost as parochial as a bar-league softball team.
Superstar center Wilt Chamberlain was a Philly native who graduated from Overbrook High. That was also the high school alma mater of starting guard Wali Jones, one of the team's two Villanova alums.
The other Wildcats product was Bill Melchionni, a Pennsauken resident who along with Matt Guokas Jr., a St. Joseph's Prep and College star, were backup, backcourt rookies.
"Back in those days, if you looked at the rosters of most NBA teams, they were composed mostly of players from the East and Midwest," said Melchionni. "There were great parts of the country that didn't have the same kinds of basketball traditions we had here.
"And many of the young black players in the South did not then have the same opportunities as players in the North to develop their games."
Another factor was the NBA's territorial draft, in effect from 1949 through 1966. That peculiar rule allowed teams willing to forfeit a No. 1 draft choice to obtain exclusive rights to a player from their geographical areas.
Though none of the '67 champions came to the Sixers that way, Chamberlain had been a territorial pick of the Philadelphia Warriors in the 1959 draft.
Overall, of the 23 players selected under that rule, including the Cincinnati Royals' Oscar Robertson, 12 have made it to the Hall of Fame.
Since that 76ers championship a half-century ago, increased integration and the growth of the game, both nationally and internationally, have broadened the once-parochial league's demographics.
The '66-67 Sixers' ties to their community extended beyond the roster. The team's tiny front office was comprised entirely of Philadelphians. Owner Irv Kosloff and deceased co-owner, Ike Richman, were both from here, as were general manager Jack Ramsay, trainer/traveling secretary Al Domenico, and public-relations director Rich Iannerella.
Now NBA teams are as likely to have players from Croatia or Turkey as from their own backyard.
And Philadelphia, for all its deserved reputation as a basketball city, has never equaled its output from the 1950s when, in one great burst of talent, future Hall of Famers Chamberlain, Tom Gola, Paul Arizin, and Guy Rodgers emerged. (Interestingly, thanks in part to the territorial draft, all four once played together on their hometown's Warriors.)