So, here we are. We finally made it. After all the moves, talk, drooling over college prospects, the most wonderful, beautifully awful Sixers season ever is upon us. That previous sentence should tell you how I feel about it. It's gonna be consistently bad basketball, filled with tons of mistakes, missed shots, and waaaaaaaay too much Spencer Hawes. I can't wait for it to start. Here's why:
- It's Sam Hinkie's world now, and we're just living in it. From the moment Hinkie traded away Jrue Holiday for the new Fresh Prince and the Pelicans' top-5 protected 2014 pick on that crazy June night, I have pretty much been basking in the wonder and potential of what the Great and Powerful Hink has started to build with my b-ball team. The biggest reason for my excitement, of course, is that first domino piece that Mr. Hinkie put in place now allows the team to be in pole position to pick 1st in a potentially epic 2014 draft, led by Andrew Wiggins. You know, the guy who can do this and this and this. Of course, even if we can't get him, there's Mr. Randle, Mr. Parker, Mr. Gordon, and a host of other extremely talented and potential stars in the making. (BTW, I know I mentioned this already, but we have TWO potential top 6 picks in next year's draft! God, Sam Hinkie's the man! But, I digress.) The real beauty of this, though, is in addition, we already have two other lottery picks who are potential building blocks, which brings me to my next reason....
- MCW and Flat-Top Noel: Coming This Season at an Arena Near You! (Or maybe not.) These two guys are hopefully the 1st two pieces of an excellent 4-man core being build, with the other 2 coming, again, hopefully, next year. Therefore, it will be interesting and potentially fun then, to see these future stars (needless to say, hopefully) begin their journeys to develop into that. (Now, obviously, with the chance that Noel misses the year very real, his journey may have to wait. However, if it does, I'm fine with it. This is, because with the Sixers this year being so bad, they can afford to take their time with him and he can develop his skills still off the court. Mainly, of course, mo' ping-balls, mo' ping-balls, mo' ping-balls!)
- Evan, Thad, Spence: The Bizzaro Big Three Yep, it's really happening. We have a professional basketball team in real life that has those 3 as its best players. Now, everybody loves Thad. To not love him makes Baby Jesus cry. Evan and Spence, tho, ehh, not so much. Well, they do, but not for the right reasons, too many times. Still, there's great value to seeing them. It's to see how much they can raise their trade value, of course, but it's value. Plus. in Evan's case, there's still a .000000001 percent chance he can become a superstar! Who wouldn't want to miss that? Spence doesn't have that, but he is the team's best outside shooter(!) and he will always be the guy that gave us this. Someone who does that can't be all bad, right? (At this point, just nod and move on to the next section.)
- With This Many Lottery Tickets, We Can't Lose! Now, some of you think I'm referring to our chances at the draft lottery next year. No, no, no. I'm talking about all the misfit former 1st-rounders Santa Hinkie has picked up this off-season. Obviously, not all will work out. (See you in Delaware, Royce!) However, some very well could. I like James Anderson the best of all. He can actually make a shot, which is a big plus. Also, he seems like he could be our Danny Green, someday, you know, when we are actually good. Still, it'll be good seeing which young castoffs can turn out to be a part of our dynastic future.
- Brett Brown and the Chocolate Factory The biggest reason of all to watch this year to me? Seeing what crazy stuff our new fantastically accented coach can come with on a game-to-game basis. For you see, with NO expectations this year, job security (NO way Hinkie's firing him after 1 year), and the not-so-secret goal of bottoming out for Wiggins, Brown has complete freedom to experiment to his heart's delight. What could means, potentially? No idea, which is part of the fun. We could 60 three-pointers tried in a game! We could see Thad starting at center! We could see Spence at point guard! We could even see Evan look like a poor version of LeBron! (Ok, now I'm going too far, I know.)
Still. you get my point. Yes, our 1-2-3-4-5 Sixers will stink up the place this year. Yes, they are going to win very few games (For the record, I got them at 18-64.) However, this will be, I believe, the start of something big for our beloved franchise. For there is actually hope, legitimate hope, that there's a logical plan in place by a decision-maker who knows what he is doing. I feel confident that the days of mediocrity and short-sightedness are over. No more overpaid role players! No more badly designed offense! No more ruining draft selection, because the team is playing for "pride"! Yes, it is a new day for the Sixers. The present doesn't look good, but the future looks brighter than ever, and to me, that's more than enough to get excited for. LET'S GO SIXERS!
Now, get this friggin' season over with, as soon as possible!