When I was 23 and still semi-athletic, I got bamboozled into playing in a Sunday night rec league down in Delaware County. It was the darkest of days. We went 0-28 in two seasons. We lost by single digits just twice. Our two-guard wore jorts and tried to implement the Triangle Offense at halftime of a game that we were trailing 43-8.
We lost one game to the Baby Blue team by 72 points. We lost another by forfeit after our team got into a fist fight with each other during a time-out. (I wouldn't even know where to begin). The highlight of the second season was breaking my wrist and missing a month of action. Also, the post-game trips to Bennigan's. Another round of potato skins for the boys.
The Sixers play the very formidable Houston Rockets tonight.
They hope to avoid their 26th straight loss, which is like spending eight hours at an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steakhouse and hoping to avoid the meat sweats. The Sixers will lose tonight, and match the '10-'11 Cavs for the NBA record for consecutive losses. It's funny, or poetic, or something anyway, that the Sixers travel to Houston at the precipice of breaking the record. Hinkie's a student of Daryl Morey: two guys willing to step outside the scope of traditional NBA thinking. But the paths they have taken with their respective teams have been much different.
Morey has raised the talent level in Houston without bottoming out, without wiping the slate clean. He has done it with shrewd acquisitions (trading for James Harden), smart draft picks (Chandler Parsons), and freeing up cap space (Dwight Howard); all the while remaining competitive in an unforgiving and relentless Western Conference. Ignoring the lockout season (They went 34-32), the Rockets haven't won more than 55 games or lost more than 40 games since the '05-'06 season. I admire their consistency, all the while lambasting the Sixers and their previous regimes for their mediocrity.
Maybe I'm a hypocrite. At the end of the day, mediocre is mediocre is after all. But Morey has a plan. He has always had one, and it's beginning to pay dividends. The Rockets are 48-22 - twenty-six games over .500. They've taken the next step. The Old SixersTM didn't have a plan, unless you count 40 Wins and Pray for a Rose and Noah Injury as a plan. The improvement, the emphasis on the greater goal was never there. The Sixers merely existed.
You know the Sixers have been especially putrid because of the national attention they've received. Until this year, we've normally just been tucked away into our own little corner of the sports world, alone, playing solitaire and watching old Iverson You Tube clips, coming out only to report an Andrew Bynum rehab update. ***SPOILER ALERT: He never suits up*** It's different now, though. Even friends from Buffalo, who are completely consumed by the equally lousy Sabres, are like, "Dude, the Sixers suck this year, huh? Can't believe we didn't get more for Ryan Miller."
It's been an ugly season- a revolving door of fringe talent and below replacement-level players. Just the other day, my four-year old nephew asked me, "What is a 10-day contract, Uncle Dave?"
Morris, Brown, Dedmon, Orton, Williams, Nunnally, Ware, Blab , Fuller, Welp. It's a "Remember This Guy" wet dream. I've embraced it. I've embraced the losses, the ridicule, the #hotsportstakes condemning tanking practices in the NBA. I'm basking in it. Losing has never felt so good. The Sixers aren't tanking. They're trying; they're trying very hard in fact. They're trying to win an NBA championship. Morey carved out a path for Houston. Hinkie has one for the Sixers. So bring on loss #26. And take the record after loss #27. It's always darkest before the dawn.
Opposing Team's Jersey I Would Buy
Here, we have this gorgeous Calvin Murphy jersey for $183.23. This would be the perfect complement with a nice pair of dark jeans and brown dress shoes for a night out with your significant other.
Prediction: 115-97 Rockets