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Josh Harris: Owning Sixers ‘incredible experience’ with city ‘depending on you to win’

Harris enjoys "trying to win championships for the city of Philadelphia, which we are hopefully in the process of doing.”

Sixers owner Josh Harris
Sixers owner Josh HarrisRead moreCLEM MURRAY / File Photograph

While in London speaking at the LEADERS Business conference, 76ers managing partner Josh Harris was asked Wednesday why he became a team sports owner.

The self-proclaimed lover of sports discussed growing up playing soccer and wrestling at Penn. The 56-year-old billionaire talked about being passionate about the Sixers winning the 1983 NBA title during his freshman year of college.

So that’s why he jumped at an opportunity to be a co-founder of the investment group (now known as Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment) that purchased the Sixers from Comcast Spectacor in 2011.

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“It’s been an incredible experience, a lot of fun being around the best athletes in the world and engaging with the city of Philadelphia,” he said, “and trying to win championships for the city of Philadelphia, which we are hopefully in the process of doing.”

This past season, the Sixers finished with the Eastern Conference’s best record for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign. However, they suffered a heartbreaking second-round playoff series exit to the Atlanta Hawks.

That marked the Sixers’ fourth consecutive postseason appearance, their longest streak since making five straight playoff trips from 1999 to 2003.

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Since buying the Sixers, HBSE purchased the New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center along with a large stake in London-based soccer club Crystal Palace F.C. of the Premier League.

“Owning a club, the city is really depending on you to win,” Harris said. “That’s different, you know, to when you are a fan, and you can kind of make comments. You are actually involved in the decision-making; you have a lot of responsibility.”