Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia is one of the top cities in the US to work, rest and play in. There is much to do here, and there is always a warm welcome from Philly residents. One thing people in the city love to get involved with in their spare time is sports.
Top Athletes From Philadelphia
The most obvious example of this is the number of people around the city who follow top leagues like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. Whether it is catching live games, watching them on TV, or following the latest gossip, people across Philadelphia make sports a part of their daily life. It is not just watching games or catching the freshest sports news that people in the city like to do though. Sports betting has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2019, and this means that many sports lovers across Philly add more fun to games by betting on them.
NBA betting, for example, is a great way to get even more involved with 76ers matches and add even more thrills to following the team. As you would expect for such a sports-crazy place, Philly has produced some elite-level athletes over the years. But which four stand out the most?
1. Wilt Chamberlain
There have been many iconic athletes from Philly but basketball’s Wilt Chamberlain still tops the list for many people in the city. Although his elite-level talent on the court goes a long way to explaining this, it is also, in large, partly down to his stints with the Warriors and 76ers. By playing for sides based in his home city, Chamberlain forged a close bond with fans, which has endured over time.
In terms of being one of the top athletes that the city has produced, you also have to look at his skill set and the trophies he has won in his career. Chamberlain, for example, scored 100 points in one single game and is widely seen as one of the best centers the NBA has ever seen. He also won two NBA Championships (with one being for the 76ers in 1967) and was a four-time NBA MVP winner.
2. Bernard Hopkins
Sports in Philadelphia are huge, and boxing is certainly one that people take an interest in. There is just no doubt that the city has produced some fine fighters over time. Smokin’ Joe Frazier, of course, had close bonds with Philadelphia, but he was actually born in South Carolina, so just misses the cut here!
Bernard Hopkins has no such issues, though, and is a Philly native. Known as ‘The Executioner’, Hopkins is regularly listed as one of the greatest fighters ever, and he competed to a ripe old age in boxing terms. This saw Hopkins WBA (Super) title win at 49 over Beibut Shumenov make major headlines!
Hopkins ended his career with 55 wins from 67 bouts⎯with 32 of the victories coming from knockouts. He was known for possessing quick feet, great defensive boxing skills, and being a slick counterpuncher.
Hopkins was also highly regarded for having decent power and good hand speed. After finishing his pro-fighting career, he has remained involved with the sport as part of the Golden Boy Promotions group.
3. Kobe Bryant
Another basketball great who was born in Philly but has now sadly passed on is Kobe Bryant. Similarly to Wilt Chamberlain, he is widely seen as an NBA legend and one of the best players to have ever graced the league. Even a brief look at what he achieved in his 20-year career with the LA Lakers shows why this is true.
Bryant, for example, won five NBA Championships and was an 18-time All-Star and 2-time NBA Finals MVP. On the court, he pretty much had it all and also possessed great leadership qualities to go with his basketball skills. Known for having an accurate shot and great vision, Bryant was also tough in defense and showed a tremendous work ethic when playing. All this made him a real NBA icon and a top, top athlete that Philly produced.
4. Marvin Harrison
Although Philly has given the NBA some top stars over time, this sports-mad city is not just focused on basketball or boxing. Another of the best sportspeople to have ever come out of Philadelphia is the NFL’s, Marvin Harrison.
Harrison played as a wide receiver and was initially drafted by the Colts in 1996. Showing a strong sense of loyalty, he actually stayed with the side his whole career before retiring in 2008. During his time in Indianapolis, Harrison showed all his ball-handling talents, agility, and speed.
In addition, he formed a close bond with quarterback Peyton Manning. Not only did Harrison’s points-scoring ability help the Colts to a Super Bowl XLI win, but he also picked up numerous other accolades over time, such as being an eight-time Pro Bowler.
Philadelphia has a history of creating top athletes
As the above examples show, Philadelphia is not only a city that loves its sports but also one that has given many top sporting stars to the world. Although our list is not an exhaustive one, it still shows just what a record the city has for turning out top athletes.