As the second half of the season kicks off, I’d like to apologize to Sixers fans for us winning more games than was expected. Our team slogan is, “Together We Build,” but I’m afraid I built our team a little too fast. Like you, I had hoped for frequent and authoritative defeats so that we’d have the best chance for the first pick in this year’s NBA draft. Alas, losing hasn’t come as easy as I thought it would.
The disaster began on opening night against Miami. How we beat the defending champs still remains a mystery. Then we went on to win our first three games and people were talking about the playoffs. Those were dark days, my friends. I set out to construct a team that would win 15 games, 17 tops. Yet it seems a man of my savvy genius can only control so much.
Spencer Hawes was not supposed to hit that buzzer beater to force overtime against Milwaukee. I still shiver when I think about that heart-breaking victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat, but I have to give credit where credit is due. Spencer made an incredible shot, and those Bucks are next to impossible to lose to.
Drafting Michael Carter-Williams was a poor decision, but not for lack of trying to make an actual poor decision. Trust me, I attended his college games, watched film, spoke to coaches, and had scouts eyeing Michael’s every move. The kid was supposed to be mediocre at best, a future NBA journeyman. How was I supposed to know he was going to have rookie numbers that are similar to Magic Johnson’s? I don’t know what to do with the kid. He’s too good, and we’ve already tried faking knee injuries to get him off the court. Twice.
My accidentally brilliant hire of coach Brett Brown hasn’t helped either. His previous head coaching experience was in Australia, so I figured it was a no brainer. 65-70 losses, here we come! Couldn’t have been more wrong. Brown is like this player developmental genius. He’s made legitimate NBA players out of castaways like Tony Wroten and undrafted free agents like Hollis Thompson. Huge air ball on my part, guys.
During the offseason, rumors swirled that I had asked some of our best players to work hard to have career years. As the wins piled up early in the season, people feared that my motivational ploy was to blame. Those allegations could not have been more false. Thad Young and Evan Turner are the foundations of our franchise; if they don’t put up good numbers I can’t trade them for aging players past their prime with expiring contracts.
But I promise you: the winning is over. We’re in last place in our division, we give up more points per game than any other team, and we were completely annihilated by the Clippers and the Warriors last week.
I know our work is not done. Those uninspiring, horrible Bucks remain behind us in the standings. But I will do everything in my power to let them catch us. By the time the trade deadline passes, you won’t be able to name three players on our roster.
I pray our unexpected success has not scared away too many fans. Please know that your Philadelphia 76ers are officially in full tank mode. Together, we will continue to build, loss on top of loss on top of loss.