In the 2015-16 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers won 10 games. They finished one loss shy of tying the NBA record for most losses in a season, a record set by the Sixers in the 1972-73 season where they went 9-73. During this season, Sam Hinkie, the Sixers GM resigned from the team. Hinkie’s work was already done though. When he became GM in 2013, he began trading away the players who had helped the Sixers reach the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals where they lost to the Boston Celtics in 7 games. All-star point guard Jrue Holiday, starters Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thaddeus Young, along with 2014 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams were shipped away for a series of NBA scrubs and draft picks. Hinkie’s plan was to “trust the process.” He stockpiled draft picks and had the team tank year after year in order to build for the future. Hinkie even refused to sign a decent talent instead going for D-League caliber players even though he had more than enough cap space to do so. His strategy of purposely losing games was despised throughout the league and only celebrates by a contingent of Sixers fans. When Hinkie resigned and was replaced with Bryan Colangelo, he had done his damage. Today the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the best young teams in the NBA and looking ready to compete.
For the past four years, the Sixers have held a top 3 draft pick. In 2014 and 2015, with the 3rd pick, they selected centers Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor respectively. In 2016 and 2017, with the 1st pick, they selected Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz respectively. Dario Saric, the Sixers’ 12th pick in 2014, signed with the team last year after excelling overseas. With Okafor likely to start on the bench this upcoming year, they signed shooting guard JJ Redick who will slot directly into the starting lineup.
Obviously, there is a huge buzz surrounding the Sixers this year. Saric and Embiid showed what they can bring to the table last year, and both had very impressive seasons, despite Embiid only playing less than half of the season last year. With Simmons coming back from injury and Fultz looking sharp early in Summer League, Sixers fans came up with a nickname for their team. All over social media, you can see these delusional fans say, “The FEDS are coming!” FEDS in this case starts for Fultz, Embiid, Dario, and Simmons, the young Sixers core. This seems very ambitious, coming up with a nickname for a team that has only played a combined 112 career NBA games. Embiid has been in the league for three years and has only played 31 games. He has been plagued with serious injuries throughout his career. Simmons missed all of last year with a broken foot and has yet to play in an NBA game. Fultz, who was injured during the Summer League a few weeks ago, also was troubled with injuries in college. This makes people wonder how good will the 76ers actually be.
The Philadelphia 76ers are currently way too overhyped and not nearly good enough as they are said to be. Joel Embiid has the potential to be an All-Star center, but he cannot seem to stay healthy. There is a good chance that Embiid will be injured for a decent chunk of this season. Will he ever be able to realize his full potential or will injures slow him down? Instead of playing basketball, the perpetually injured Embiid likes to brag about himself and his team on Twitter. Most recently he has taken shots over Twitter at rookie Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball. The center also nicknamed himself “The Process” a reference to Sam Hinkie and the tanking Sixers. I know you are from Cameroon, but here in America, we don’t create our own nicknames, Joel. For a person who has done absolutely nothing in his professional career, Embiid is incredibly arrogant. He even has more tweets than minutes played in the NBA.
Simmons is one of the most athletic basketball players in the NBA now. He also has the physical tools of speed, strength, and size to dominate in the NBA. However, he can’t shoot. In a league that is rapidly developing into a shooting game, Simmons’ jump shot is unreliable and unpolished. He also has a poor work ethic. During college at LSU, Simmons was criticized for not trying. Not to mention he is almost as injury prone as Embiid.
Fultz had also received criticism for his attitude on the court. Many have accused him of faking injuries which kept him out for a majority of the end of his college season at Washington. The point guard is doubted as a winner as well. He recently claimed that he doesn’t really care if his team wins, and it definitely shows. In his only college season, Fultz won 9 games, none of them coming against good teams. I don’t care how much skill a player has, but if he can’t take over a game against Yale and lead his team to victory, then he has some serious issues. In order to succeed in the NBA, Fultz will have to improve his fight and determination. He must have a burning desire to win and not be content with losing.
To top it all off, Okafor has some of the worst attitude issues in the NBA. Branded as lazy and undisciplined, the backup center has gotten into multiple bar fights and looked very sluggish during games.
I hate to say it, but for some fans, the Sixers are turning into a more hated team than the Golden State Warriors. Both teams are arrogant and unlikeable, but the Warriors have won 2 championships in the past 3 years. The Sixers haven’t made the playoffs in the past 5 years. Tanking for years already doesn’t sit well with NBA fans. And most are getting sick of the “trust the process” chants and Joel Embiid’s big mouth. Here’s a newsflash for the Sixers and their fans: You still suck. Your team is still filled with unproven and injury prone young players. You still haven’t won anything. And come next year, you will still be at home watching the playoffs or getting swept first round at the most. As Stephen A. Smith said, “The Philadelphia 76ers can take their ‘trust the process’ slogan and go to hell with it.”