One thing was clear in the Sixers locker room after a 53-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night in discussions with the media: the Sixers did not want to talk about tanking. Echoing the sentiments of guard Michael Carter-Williams, who penned an essay with that theme, the Sixers roster largely avoided questions about the team's winless record.
"I don't want to talk about it," said forward Luc Mbah a Moute, the Sixers' lone veteran to play in the humiliating defeat. "Besides, there are more important things to worry about in the world."
When pressed further, Mbah a Moute explained, "the world that we know is so unexplained and unexplored." Confused, a beat reporter then asked about how the return of Carter-Williams affected Mbah a Moute's game and whether he was excited to play more with him. Mbah a Moute continued, "did you know that the Rosetta mission successfully resulted in the first space landing on a comet recently? It's fascinating. I never imagined we could do that. The world is extraordinary."
Joel Embiid, who has not played this season, was asked about Friday night's game against the Houston Rockets at 8:00 PM EST. He also did his best to defer the tanking discussion.
"Speaking of Rockets, here are more important things to worry about, like why NASA would blow up the Antares rocket soon after it's launch? Why did they hit the self-destruct button so soon?"
Embiid considers Mbah a Moute a mentor and trusted friend. "We watch Cosmos all the time together. Space exploration is such an untapped area. There is so much we don't know about the world around us."
Forward Hollis Thompson, when asked about tanking, went a step further in not acknowledging the team's futility. "there's no way to say this not bluntly: that team, those were aliens." Confused reporters were not sure how to respond. Thompson continued without provocation, "ancient astronaut theorists suggest that we cannot be this bad at basketball. The only way to explain this is that aliens are living amongst us. Those aliens are the Dallas Mavericks."
Thompson, who finished scoreless with one rebound and zero assists, missing all four shots he attempted, followed the media scrum as it backed away from him. "Michelangelo. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids. Albert Einstein. Our Founding Fathers. Mark Cuban. All highly successful people, what do they have in common?," he screamed. Teammate Brandon Davies prevented Thompson from following the media further, who at this point ran out of the locker room.
"They don't understand," mouthed Davies, who scored five points in Thursday's massive defeat, and who is Thompson's best friend on the team and a fellow Ancient Aliens enthusiast. "They'd rather just talk about things that aren't important anyway."