Though this has been the case since mid-February, it became officially official a few days ago. The Sixers dealt with injuries, inefficiency, and Sixersing all year long and their gold at the end of the rainbow is a lottery pick, not playoff basketball. Missing the playoffs means they get to keep the lottery-protected pick traded to Miami for Arnett Moultrie this past June. Where they'll finish and who they'll select is a conversation for another post.
It's been a painful season. For the owners. For the players. For Doug Collins. For you. For me. I do not have any tangible reason as to why I give so many shits about this franchise, but I do. I want what is best for them. I want the Sixers to win a championship while I'm still able to write about them. I want this, for whatever reason, quite badly.
But right now, the Sixers aren't good. They aren't okay. They have lots and lots and lots of problems from top to bottom. No one -- not even the downward spiraling Jrue Holiday (still not worried though) -- is safe, nor should they be. Finishing 15-or-so games under .500 guarantees changes will be made. They must be made.
There's a billion places to go if you want to read our feelings on tanking and how to build a contender. The Sixers aren't close to that. Losing games this year and next year is in the best interest of the franchise. Barring any gigantic offseason trade or miraculous advances in modern medicine and contract negotiations to give Andrew Bynum back to us, I will be rooting for the Sixers to lose as much as possible next year.
That's sad. I know it's sad. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a good time watching the Sixers in the playoffs last year. At the time, it was fun. But it was fleeting. It was fleeting and it was fake.
I want the Spurs. I want the Thunder. I want the Bulls. I want years and years and years of contention. I want to forget what it's like to watch futility and ramming my face into shards of Narsil. And I'm happy to sacrifice a year or two years or three years to have five or ten great ones. Instant gratification be damned.
The Sixers have six more basketball games to play before they take six months off. Treasure them.
Because someday, it'll get better. And you may even miss this pain.