Though this season has failed to meet the lofty expectations set in August, the Sixers aren't going away quietly. They've unveiled an appealing new drumline, given loyal fans a golden opportunity to "meet and greet" Julius Erving, and recently strung together a number of great games against quality opponents that is putting Sixers basketball back on the map in Philadelphia.
But the crowning achievement goes to Spencer Hawes, who received the key to the city today at the Wawa near Rittenhouse Square from Mayor Michael Nutter.
Hawes, a 5-year pro and True American, is coming off one of the best all-around performances from a big man in recent memory, recording an Olajuwonian 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, and 7 blocks against the Rik Smits-less Indiana Pacers. He's injected new life into a dragging Sixers team who had seemed all but out of the playoff race just a week ago. Now, with some momentum, they're confident they're about to make a big run at a playoff spot.
Nutter said as much midway through his Classic Turkey with Provolone.
"Spencer has been integral towards bringing respect and relevance to the 76ers and this city. We certainly hope he's back in the red, white, and blue next year. I'm proud to hand over the key to our city."
Drinking straight from the lemonade iced tea carton next to him, Adam Aron ensured the Mayor that Spencer will be around for "years and years and years." Doug Collins swayed nearby, drunk off Wawa gasoline.
Spencer has been consistently consistent throughout his NBA career and with his even stronger play of late, there looks to be a maximum contract in his future. Some are calling it a blessing in disguise that Andrew Bynum didn't play a minute this season. Imagine the trouble they'd be in if Bynum were here instead of Hawes.
According to local reports, Spencer will keep the oversized key on his keychain with his car keys, his Betty Boop bottle opener and a Dave Matthews Band lanyard.