The Sixers lost again last night, their millionth in a row, by my count. One more ties the Nets record of consecutive losses to start a season with 18. It's the Wolves in Minnesota on Wednesday, then the Thunder at home for the potential record breaker on Friday.
At this point, would we even recognize a win if we saw one? Or when the clock someday hits 0:00 with PHI displaying a higher integer than the faceless Stormtrooper opponents, would the Sixers' players and coaches and fans just stand eerily quiet and semi-still, like a game of Red Light/Green Light? Would we assume there had been some sort of glitch and grope around the cabinets in our minds for the reset button?
Before last season, I urged you to not watch all of the games. It was a self-preservation thing, as Andrew Lincoln once told us, and there's us and the dead, we survive this by pulling together not apart, as Andrew Lincoln later told us. Those Sixers finished 19-63 and managed to avoid murdering any of us in the process.
The Now Sixers are a different story. They have won no games. They have taken no wives, held no lands, fathered no children. And they have ripplier undertones of unrest and angst below the surface. Though Nerlens Noel is improving game by game, he was not as ready coming in as we had naively hoped. Michael Carter-Williams has his own misguided obligation to throw the team on his back to ineffective results that arise memories of Evan Turner that I'd rather keep sealed in the pensieve. KJ McDaniels's mom has already quit and rejoined Twitter. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is the goddamned worst.
It's been different for me after taking a step back into shadow (like the Balrog) in the bloglife due to this new show I started working on. I've caught maybe half of the Sixers games -- lost 'em all -- and actually wanted them to win. Like bad. Like shotput-my-wireless-mouse-at-the-ceiling-after-a-shitty-no-call bad. It's strange, because sudden outbursts of in-game intensity are, Draft Lottery excluded, reminiscent of a pre-"journalist" me. But it seems that my easing up on the blog hustle, even in Year 1.5 of The Plan, has reignited a certain Fan in me that I thought had died with Willie Green, or at least has been willfully hibernating until the Sixers were a team worth getting remote-throwy for. Last year, Darius Johnson-Odom and company delighted me. This year, I want to trade LRMAM for Damien Wilkins.
So I'm concerned. Not #TeamPanic concerned. Just like, unsettled. Things aren't as good. Last season's unlikely 3-0 start (#BELT #BELT #BELT) helped things, even when the 26-loss streak came to be. No such highlight this year. And the national consciousness as an ouroboroserrific organism is regurgitatingly aware of this. The same jokes get made and made and made again, and it's frustrating. It's gotta have an impact on some of these guys.
Spike and I talked about this a bit on the last Ricky, but we worry what the mood is on the inside. How the fringe players feel about all these losses (hi jakarr) I don't care about, but if Josh Harris and The Gang are bumming about this, that's bad news for everybody. Their patience, which we've been praising for years now, is paramount to this whole operation having a shot. If ownership starts pressing Hinkie to go spend money on Mo Williams and Jared Dudley and Adam Eaton, then we're all in big, big trouble. Hopefully they're not surprised by all the futility, and aren't going to get reactionary this (still) early in the process. But I don't know. And with the other stuff (I don't want to talk about KJ's contract), it's combining to make these Sixers far less ignorantly beautiful than last year.
Really, they just need a win. One win. They've come close, but to finish one out would do a solid number for morale. Everything wouldn't seem as dire with a counting number in the win column. Get the dang monkey off their backs so the national media can return to ignoring them until they're 5-70 in March. That actually seems sorta nice.
(I know this article wasn't about anything. I just wanted to check in with my feels of the day. Okay. Love y'all.)