Dear Ed Stefanski, Rod Thorn and Doug Collins,
While we do appreciate the hard work you've put in in trying to make this Sixers roster
the best it can possibly be, I feel it's necessary that we clear things up about the
Why is it that we're not coming to the games? Is it because of the other
competitive sports teams? Not really, we Philadelphians love our sports teams equally.
Whether it's the Phillies or Flyers or Eagles or yes, the 76ers we will root them on.
We will root them on, because sports is a part of our tradition, and the 76ers
are the cogs of that tradition. The very name "Seventy-Sixers" refers to the
Declaration of Independence and our freedom and liberty. The Eagles don't
have that kind of claim to fame, or any of the other sports teams.
The 76ers have been in Philadelphia since Wilt Chamberlain, that's a long time.
But if the 76ers are a part of tradition, why is it that the majority of fans have
simply given up on the Sixers? Is it because we miss a "big name"?
Actually, this is an insult. That's saying that we as a fanbase don't understand
the game at all and we just watch for the acrobatic plays of a Dwyane Wade or LBJ, etc.
And those acrobatic plays are all good and well, but we don't watch it just for that.
Or you would've had good attendance with all of the athleticism and fast break style of
play of the past four seasons. And it's not just scoring, I don't speak for
myself when I say I despise Lou Williams, no single player has regressed more in
one season than Lou Williams did, and Doug Collins amplified it by overusing him.
We watch the Sixers, as well as the Phillies, Flyers and Eagles when they win:
period! And in case you haven't noticed, that's not a .500 record. .500 in
baseball would be a lottery team. Similarly in Hockey, and it's not a sure thing if
the Eagles would win the Wild card. The Sixers have been very fortunate to be
in the Eastern Conference. We've failed to take advantage of this good fortune.
Jayson Werth notably called us "fairweather fans", but he's dead wrong. Sure,
we want to see our teams competitive all the time, but even when our teams are
on a losing streak or having a hard time we're there in support. Both comfortingly,
and even if we have to get in their skin, because we KNOW and believe they can do better.
We, as fans simply cannot and we REFUSE to accept mediocrity. Over the past four
seasons, management has touted mediocrity as some kind of accomplishment and
for many of us, we haven't forgotten the 01' Sixers and the fact of the matter
is the 01' Sixers would sweep the '010 Sixers no contest.
Why? For the simple fact that the 01' Sixers had a game plan, they had an identity
on which they leaned on. The '010 Sixers amounted to "We have a bunch of average/
below average guys, let's hope ONE of em pulls something out of their ass so we
can steal a game."
Mr. Thorn, MR. Stefanski, Mr.Collins: What's this team's strength? It's not
inside scoring. Ironically, it isn't even mid-range shooting. Young's
become a inside scoring tweener and really the only capable mid-range shooters
are Brand, Holiday and Meeks.
It's not outside shooting, though we did have two 3pt shooters last year(Holiday/Meeks)
Meeks's weakness of not having a muliti-dimensional impact meant he was a weak link
if his shot wasn't falling.
Defense? Yes, we have enough defenders(Holiday/Brand/Iguodala) and enough
guys understanding a team concept that they could support each other on the defensive
You might be wondering, what's the difference between the 04-07 Pistons
and the Sixers of the past four years? Here's the answer: While the Pistons
might not have been setting the world on fire offensively, between Billups,
Hamilton, Prince, Sheed. They could create offensive opportunities.
Can we create offensive opportunities? To be honest, we can't. In the Heat
series, it wasn't defense that was the problem. On the contrary, we held
Wade/James below their season averages and if you told us the series would've
played out that way defensively we would've all jumped for joy.
But these Sixers simply cannot generate offense, namely in the half-court. In fact,
the fast break is our life support. But we're not the Suns. We don't have a Marion or
a Fyre. We're not the Magic of Rashard Lewis or of Ryan Anderson.
So even our fast break, is incredibly flawed! We don't have a single strength or to
elaborate further: There's not a single area of the game in which this team is even
AVERAGE at, other than defense.
Fans recognize this for what it is, we fully understand this team can't go any farther
and it's about time that you did as well. God send for the group trying to buy the
Sixers. If not for them, you would be singing the motto that in reality, we're
really super good and all we need is a "tweak".
We the fans, are here to tell you the opposite, and we've tried through your checkbooks
but it seems all that's doing is making you even more determined on a flawed path.
We the fans, don't want to make the playoffs as one of those dead-end teams. The
only time it's ever actually good to be a 7th-8th seed is if the team is relatively
young and we can expect upside and don't you dare call Marresse Speights, Craig
Brackins, Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes youth! They are likely never to improve
from where they are, wake up and smell the coffee.
You've no youth movement or no plan. Oh, I know, the game has become "internationalized"
and so we need mediocre jump shooters who can't rebound, right?(or defend at all,
in the case of Paws)
I'm sorry if I seem offensive, but pleading with you guys hasn't done us the trick.
Nor has hitting your checkbooks. So the only place left to hit you is your pride:
You say that you will only make "basketball decisions." Honestly, you guys haven't
been making smart basketball decisions. If Jrue Holiday didn't fall to us,
we would've had to select Eric Maynor, whose a solid enough guard. But has absolutely
We have no center? How about year after year of drafting small forwards!? In fact,
if I were the ESPN draft crew, I would expect the Sixers to select a wing man.
It's become common practice. Thaddeus Young, Rodney Carney, Derrick Byars.
Need I go on?
The Brand Signing was 50/50. And while you overpaid Iguodala, more important matters would be
did Lou Williams REALLY earn that 5 YR/25 Million dollar contract? To be more precise, the likes of
Andres Nocioni and his 6 M dollar contract on the bench!
That's 11 million dollars that could go towards for example Tyson Chandler
my fellow Libertyballers.
If you're going to overpay your starters, your role players need to be paid
properly. You managed to somehow both overpay your starters and your roleplayers.
We may not share your viewpoint, but you've made the decisions and we both know
damn well where they've led us: In the middle of nowhere. So listen to us for a change :)
There's one other circumstance besides winning that will bring Philadelphia fans to
the seats: Hope, hope for the future Those 90 teams were bad, AWFUL.
But that kid Iverson was something, we knew he'd be a heckuva player. Then there's
that Aaron Mckie player, what a pro. Eric Snow, a pure point guard. Ratliff?
The definition of a center. We knew it'd come together, some day.
Now, it's Jrue Holiday's turn. We know he's gonna be a bonafide point guard,
we just don't know how bondafide the kid's gonna be. Evan Turner has a bunch
of untapped potential and he has the desire to reach it, we're incredibly excited
Pull the trigger on Iguodala for #2. And watch fans begin to buy tickets in doves,
not to watch whoever we would end up picking. But we would buy tickets to watch a core
of talented young Sixers develop and bring it together.
Just as they did from 95-'98 leading up to the 01 Finals run.
What a concept, build this team from the ground up. I beg of you, we didn't
rebuild. We retooled. Please, rebuild this time.