The 76ers  dropped another tight, well contested game to Dallas. What else is new ?

Howard Eskin reportedly caught up with Mark Cuban and the Shark Tank panelist said “They have no idea what they’re doing.” And of course Howard knowing everything, also does not approve of the Sixers strategy.

For the first time in my life “The King of Bling ” and wanna-be mayor Howard Eskin actually made me really think critically. I’m not holding my breath for any more of those instances though. Eskin-coatvia ign.com

This whole Sixers process is so unprecedented and so bizarre, can anybody accurately  critique it  ?

I mean it’s not like we can compare it to the last time a team was designed to lose about 60 games a year. The Sixers are in uncharted waters.

If anyone knows what the tanking will lead to, please show me the way to your crystal ball.

The reasons for doubt are warranted given the dismal W-L record of the past few seasons.  It’s really hard to not understand why anyone lacks faith in Sam Hinkie. He has the persona of a wiser-than-thou, numbers worshipping, shark in a suit. Hinkie is a mad scientist. If Victor Frankenstein was alive today, Hinkie and Dr. Frankenstein would be drinking buddies (No where near as cool as, Danny DeVito and George Clooney though). He talks to the media only when required, and always holds his cards incredibly close. It wouldn’t even shock me if he traded his own brother for a 1st round pick in 2038. He covets low salaries and draft picks like he’s collecting baseball cards.

The Hinkie tolerance meter reached dangerous levels when he dumped reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams for a 1st rounder. The success of that trade has yet to be seen, but the willingness to dump a 2nd year player who is obviously a long term NBA contributor is a testament to Hinkie’s unpredictability. MCW commits an ample amount of turnovers and has a nonexistent jump shot, but the positive qualities he possessed definitely outweighed the bad. Not sure he’ll ever develop into an elite point guard, but he’ll always be more than serviceable. If the Lakers draft pick that was acquired for him doesn’t pan out, it will be a huge hit on the résumé of Sam Hinkie.

The optimists of Hinkie’s “process” also have reasons to think positively.

Nerlens Noel overcame an ACL tear and is looking like a double-double machine. He is already one of the most effective and versatile defenders in the league and has shown plenty of toughness and grit. Qualities that will endear him to the Philadelphia fan base.

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via philly.com

Jahlil Okafor looks like the man-child we all expected him to be. He has been scoring at will against NBA veterans. His rebounding and defense are both starting to develop. Big Jah is an absolute weapon and is becoming an all-around player. He could be an all-time great in a city full of rich basketball history.

Nik Stauskas was practically stolen from Sacramento for players I can’t even remember the names of. Jerami Grant was a second round steal. TJ McConnell was passed over by 29 NBA teams in the draft and free agency, en route to becoming a starting NBA point guard. Robert Covington was a diamond in the rough, who has established himself as a quality NBA contributor. Dario Saric will come over this summer and has been absolutely tearing up the European circuit.  And to top it off they could have four 1st round picks in June.

There is no middle ground to judge the success of Hinkie’s plan. Either there will be a ticker-tape parade down Broad Street or its a failure. Simple as that.

Philadelphia is a basketball town. There’s no denying it. The city was electric during the glory days of Dr.J, Mo Cheeks, Moses Malone and company. Everybody rallied around the 2001 SIxers when Allen Iverson led them to an NBA Finals appearance.

Sam Hinkie has brought the professional basketball culture in Philly to its knees begging for mercy, begging for a competitive team. I mean let’s be honest, they can only get better. The darkest days are behind us. It’d be near impossible for it to get worse.

Being overly optimistic or overly negative about the “process” isn’t the way to approach it.

Could everything go south so fast “hell in a handbasket” would be a gentle way of describing it ? Definitely.

Could this be the prelude to a new era of Sixers success? Possibly.

There are just way too many questions to ask that we don’t have answers to.

Why were the Bucks, Knicks, and Timberwolves all as bad if not worse than the Sixers, and have all elevated their game while the Sixers are still stuck in the basement ?

Will Joel Embiid ever be an NBA contributor ?

Does Hinkie have the humility and common sense to steer this team towards the promised land ?

Every once in a while, I’ll day dream about the possibility of confetti raining down through the streets of Philadelphia. The parade for a bunch of players nobody ever gave a chance, led by a coach who weathered the storm and got the job done (Not to mention the best accent ever). The nay-sayers of the tanking will eat their words and marvel how a great team was engineered from almost nothing. I’m praying for the day Sixers fans stop getting picked on,like the fat kid in a dodgeball game. Anyone associated with the Sixers will no longer be an easy target and a magnet for ridicule, and have a reason to finally be proud of their team. giphy

But for every time I’ve reveled in my distant, far off euphoria (which makes me question my sanity) I’ve had thoughts that were the polar opposite.

What the **** am I gonna do if this doesn’t work ? 78445-airplane-movie-pilot-sweating-Hc3R

Imagining the “process” flopping… that’s doomsday for anyone with an inkling of affection for the Sixers. It would be Armageddon. It would mean a few more seasons of yelling at your TV and counting down until draft night. It would feel like the Rocky statue fell apart. It would be torture. Sam Hinkie would need to get accepted into Witness Protection. It would be utterly miserable. funny-gif-ping-pong-sad-Minion

If you’re convinced Hinkie is egregiously trying to reinvent the wheel and simultaneously kamikaze-ing the franchise into a heap of irrelevancy.

Why are you so sure?

If you’re certain that Hinkie is going to reassemble a franchise that he blew apart, and bring them to the apex of professional basketball.

Why are you so sure?

There are so many variables and factors that have slim margins and hinge on specific things falling into place. I mean if the lottery order were different, the team would have an entirely new look.

It just isn’t smart to have a rigid conclusion on the Sixers future. Acknowledging that the future of the organization is far from concrete is the only way to handle the situation properly.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Dory-in-Finding-Nemo-singing-just-keep-swimming
via blogs.disney.com

 

 

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