Philadelphia is always known for having enthusiastic crowds and this past Tuesday night was no exception as the Philadelphia 76ers opened the NBA season against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sixer fans needed this game to spark some sort of excitement after being the laughing-stock of the entire league the last several years.
Openly tanking in hopes of getting franchise players the past few seasons, the Sixers always seem to have bad luck with their draft picks. To top it off Ben Simmons the number one overall pick in this past draft injured his foot and may have to miss the entire season. In any other situation I would not mind this but if there is one team that can’t take anymore despair its Philly. Simmons has to make some sort of appearance even if it means he is out of contention for being rookie of the year to give this fan base some hope.
After years of mediocrity former Sixer General Manager Sam Hinkie implemented a strategy now known as the process which basically means purposely being bad in order to obtain top stars in the draft. At the time Hinkie was criticized for this action because the team was so blatantly bad that it put into question the legitimacy of NBA league rules. The worse the team the higher the draft pick. Hinkie who was relieved from his duties last year now seems like a genius for exploiting a loophole in the NBA structure.
The crowd for the season debut was like one of those ruckus Philadelphia ECW wrestling crowds that entertained themselves the whole night. They had a fan get ejected for giving Westbrook a middle finger as big as KD did this past summer. They booed rapper Designer I suppose because for once the hometown Sixers were not the worst performance of the night. After one game they were chanting MVP for Joel Embiid who had a good long-awaited debut when he was at the free throw line. There were even Trust the Process chants from this crowd who initially hated the idea but have now warmed up to the strategy.
Even though Hinkie is no longer with the team he has had a lasting effect that im pretty sure other general managers will have to implement if it means getting better in a shorter period of time. Last night there was so much talent on display from Embiid, Okafor, Saric and a host of other young players acquired during his time as general manager it is not going to be long before these guys weak havoc across the entire association. Even in a loss you could see that the future is very bright for this franchise. Without struggle there is no progress so don’t knock the process.