Tonight, at the NBA Draft Lottery, everything changes. It's the day that Sixers fans have been waiting for since they heard Marc Zumoff utter the phrase "...and here's Brandon Davies checking in for the first time."
We're almost there. (Some of us more literally than others, depending on what time you're reading this.) Tonight, we arrive at the fireworks factory. The question is whether at the end of the night, we'll be setting off those fireworks in celebration, or using them to burn down said factory and several adjacent warehouses.
Still, the Lottery doesn't start until 8PM and that's not counting the ten minutes of pablum before they start opening the envelopes. ("It's prediction time, Jalen, who do you think is going to win the lottery, AND WHY?") Today will be the longest day of your life and you're going to need some help. We've already got you covered with the latter part of your day (PARTY TIME, MILLER'S ALE HOUSE, WE'VE GOT T-SHIRTS AND ZINGERS), but the day is young. Time to buckle down. Here's some tips to get through the day.
1. Breathe. Repeat this step as often as possible. If not, you'll be literally dead, and more importantly, you'll never find out if the Sixers won the lottery.
2. Go back and read Derek's article from yesterday. This is the type of reassurance you need. If the Sixers lose the lottery, all is not lost. That weight being lifted off your shoulders is crucial to your survival, even if you don't necessarily believe it. Also, go back and read Justin's article too. It probably won't help you get through the day any easier, but it's really, really good
3. Get anything you need to get finished done early. You don't want to be working on things at 3PM. You'll be typing out lottery odds into those 1012's your boss asked for like a week ago, which isn't ideal unless you work for Ernst & Young.
More On The Lottery
4. You need some humor as part of your day. We all do. Here's some Sixers-related humor for you. Carve out two minutes to watch the CSN opening video from the Sixers-Heat game on opening night. Marvel in amazement at the brilliance of how CSN crafted the narrative of the oncoming train collision that was the 2013-14 76ers season. In fact, allow me to digress a moment, because I have several thoughts about this video, and I too have to get through today. (If you're not big on 300-word breakdowns of YouTube videos, definitely skip ahead to step 5.) I'll pick up from around the :40 second mark, where we get to "but even the greatest edifice takes time" and I can't stop laughing.
:46 - Two months after this video aired, parts of the Houston Astrodome were demolished. This is the foundation our season was built on.
:58 - LeBron! Harden! Kyrie! These are great players who won't be playing for the Sixers this year!
1:11 - HOW DID EMEKA OKAFOR GET INTO THIS VIDEO?
1:16 - We conclude the "look at all these great players" montage with an Evan Turner layup. I say this without comment.
1:24 - This is my favorite part of the video. All the stars of the Sixers, getting across the "Together We Build" message this season is built on. First, it's Michael Carter-Williams, before playing the game of his life and winning the hearts of Sixers fans everywhere, holding up one finger and saying "from the ground up." You're thinking, sure, that makes sense. That, however, doesn't prepare you for what's next, which is the smiling face of one James Anderson saying "from the ground up" before the most ridiculous green-screen footage rolls of him turning to the camera, smiling again, and putting his hands on his hips like a superhero. I think the video concludes with Spencer Hawes and Nerlens Noel, but I don't know because after the James Anderson cameo I'm laughing too hard to finish.
(I apologize for all of that, but also, you're welcome, because now you're five minutes closer to the lottery. Anywho, moving on.)
5. The idea of the 2013-14 Sixers just made you more anxious for the lottery, didn't it? That one's on me. Let's try a different path. Here, enjoy Beyonce Clown.
6. Go read some Draft Express profiles on projected 2nd-round picks. Pick a couple you really like and keep them in your pocket. This might disappoint you in the long run, but we'll sacrifice that for the instant gratification of knowing that even if tonight is absolutely disastrous, Nick Johnson will still be there waiting on the other side. (I'll never let go, Nick.)
7. Find an envelope. Write a big "1" on the front of it. Now, print out a Sixers logo, and put that in the envelope. Put it in a drawer. Whenever you need a pick me up, get the envelope and pull the logo out. This is the incredible visual you'll be rooting for tonight. Never lose sight of the absurdity of that.
8. Remember that ultimately, this is all subject to the will of a giant tanking octopus.
9a. For those of you in the Philadelphia area, come to the LB/RTRS Lottery Party at Miller's Philly Ale House tonight. The earlier the better. The party starts at 7PM. You don't want to be the one without this incredible t-shirt that I'll be incredibly jealous of. You'll be with friends, and that's what's important on a night like tonight. It's also important to be near a large quantity of alcohol on a night like tonight. (Bring a designated driver as well.)
9b. You're not in the Philadelphia area. You thought about coming in for the party, but the cost of airfare was somewhat prohibitive. Surround yourself with whatever makes you comfortable. Friends. Family. That stuffed animal you totally haven't seen since you were five. Fuzzy Feet, you're in -- we need all the help we can get.
10. Breathe again. Ultimately, it's the only thing you can do. Just breathe, guys. We're almost there.
I'll be covering things for LB at the Lottery. If they land between 2 and 4, you likely won't see me on your television screen. For 1 and 5, I can't make any promises either way.