The Sixers opened their new season with a 103-97 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game was tightly contested throughout, but the fact the Sixers lost is not the takeaway from last night.
The Sixers and the city of Philadelphia took the first step towards relevancy. The years of heart wrenching, fist clutching, head trauma are done.
There is something real in South Philly.
No, the Sixers aren’t making the playoffs, but last night was the beginning of a bright future.
The Sixers won 10 games last season. 10. The fans that attended last night’s game acted like they won 60.
Not sure what the attendance numbers looked like, but the Wells Fargo Center was electric. Fans rabid for basketball, were looking for something to cling to. They got it.
Three years of being historically bad changes a fanbase. The constant ridicule, the poorly founded assumptions, and all the other useless noise makes a fan lose their mind. But with the mental strain comes one thing, hunger. The Sixers fans are the some of the hungriest in sports. The Sixers fans can best be described as a shaken hornets nest, piss them off and they won’t go away.
From the opening tip until the unfortunate end, the 10-72 fans were loud and proud. “Trust the Process” chants echoed throughout the arena and a player who has played one NBA game got a “M-V-P” cheer. You can’t bring these fans down. The first nationally televised Sixers game in ,what feels like a century, finally showed that the organization is loud and proud. ESPN’s BS representation of the Sixers is over. There was no blooper reel or snarky comments to be made. The season opener was a success. The entire NBA community finally hears and sees Philadelphia.
The Process has received endless criticism from every sports media outlet in the country, and last night was a verification of the dividends it paid.
The heavily maligned Nik Stauskas came out with a new-found fire and hit 5-6 shots and was perfect with his 3 foul shots. His 13 point outing was one of his best as a Sixer.
Robert Covington finally played in front of a national audience and showed he isn’t a subpar player with a bad team.
Second round steals Jerami Grant and Richaun Holmes got to display their defensive talents and rim running abilities, with 16 points and 5 blocks between the two.
Dario Saric, who is “never coming over”, played in his first NBA game and started in it. But the Sixers were so bad he’d never show up right ?…
And last, but certainly foremost, Joel Embiid.
Does anyone want to question his health now ? Or his work ethic ?
Joel Embiid played his first NBA game and was as good as advertised.
Embiid is freakishly talented. He can be the star the Sixers build around.
Oh and by the way he’s 7’2 275 lbs. He was pitted against Steven Adams, not some mediocre big man thrown out there on opening night. Adams is a strong, feisty defender who will give you real issues as a scorer, and JoJo took him to the weigh room. Some of those shots looked like he wasn’t even defended.
As if his skills weren’t enough, the confidence is also through the roof.
He was screaming “He can’t guard me !” about Steven Adams. One game into his career and he doesn’t think one of the best defenders in the game can stick him. How’s that for franchise swag ? Between his hilarious social media presence, supernatural basketball abilities, and on court antics, can you really blame the fans for his MVP chant ? Joel Embiid could very well be the transcendent talent Hinkie was searching for during the tanking years.
20 points, 7 rebounds, and two blocks for a player who has barely played since March of 2014 and is still on a minutes restriction. That’s absolutely comical. He’s not even close to peak basketball form.
The average non-Sixers fan probably thinks I’m delusional by now. Ranting and raving about a loss. Unless you’re a Sixers fan you don’t understand how fun Wednesday night was. Times are changing.
The daydreams of playoffs, sellouts, and unbridled joy finally have some sentiment. It may not be much, but its enough.
Being a Sixers fan is going to be fun again. The Wells Fargo Center will be registering on the Richter scale, before long. It’ll make Oracle Arena look like a day care, or Quicken Loans look like a bingo hall. It won’t be overnight, but soon.
An actual human interaction I had Wednesday afternoon…
“You a Philly fan ?”
“Oh yeah” (Why the **** else would I wear a Sixers jersey ?)
“On purpose ?”
“Yeah” ( No jackass I took a fastball to the head one day and woke up a Sixers fan. Now go root for your useless expansion team that’s done nothing and never will, you concussed &%$@er )
If you’re not a Philly faithful you just won’t understand. If you’re not with us you’re against us. Things will start going our way soon.
If you think I’m wrong then I’ll let my chubby friend speak for me…..