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The Complete Oral History of the Philadelphia 76ers' First Victory of the 2014-15 Season

On December 3, 2014 A.D., the Philadelphia 76ers won their first game of the 2014-15 campaign, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-77. The victory prevented the Sixers from tying the NBA record for the most losses to begin a season. The following is an oral history of that fateful Wednesday evening in Minneapolis.

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Michael Carter-Williams no longer needs to rely on Ellen episodes for happiness.
Michael Carter-Williams no longer needs to rely on Ellen episodes for happiness.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Zumoff, Sixers play-by-play announcer, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia: To [Sixers head coach] Brett Brown's credit, he and team did a pretty good job of blocking out the noise that came with the streak.

Dave Rueter, Associate Editor, Liberty Ballers: Here's a little inside basketball for you: I actually set up the post-game thread days before the game. Something told me that Wednesday was going to be the night. If the Sixers had tied the record, my plan was to resign from Liberty Ballers and start blogging about old WWE pay-per-views, starting with the '93 Royal Rumble. Still can't believe that Giant Gonzalez took out the Undertaker.

Mike Prada, NBA editor, SB Nation: We were pretty sure that [the Sixers] were going to win at some point, so we pre-wrote an article and saved it as a draft. What's funny is that after the win, we posted the article so quickly, we forgot to update the permalink. It could have been worse, though - at least we didn't do what People did and post an obituary for someone who is still alive.

Zachary Bennett, writer, Canis Hoopus: I was convinced that there was absolutely no way that the Timberwolves were going to lose to the Sixers.

(Shortly after tip-off, the officials were forced to restart the game after it became apparent that the two teams were playing in the wrong direction.)

Zumoff: How fitting was it that the game which ended the streak was one that had to be restarted because the teams were playing in the wrong direction. It was 16 seconds that never happened!

Malik Rose, Sixers color analyst, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia: Mulligan! The NBA's first mulligan!

Sohil Doshi, future doctor/Liberty Ballers writer: I don't know what was worse: The opening sequence, or the fact that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute ran point for the Sixers that night. LRMAM has missed every shot around the basket since the dawn of time.

John Gonzalez, columnist, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia: The game itself? Dreadful. The Sixers scored nine points in the 2nd quarter and still won. I wrote on Twitter that Sixers/Wolves is like watching the Washington Generals play against themselves. I may have exaggerated a bit: I'm pretty sure the Generals have better three-point shooters.

Rueter: The halftime score was 34-32. It felt like I was back in school at Niagara. There should have been a two-hour break between the second and third quarters - I wasn't mentally prepared to watch 24 more minutes of that.

Keith Pompey, Sixers beat writer, Philadelphia Inquirer: Thad Young would have been better off staying in Philly! Seriously.

Spike Eskin, Slipknot fan/program director, 94WIP Philadelphia: It was the ugliest piece of [redacted] game in the history of games.

(The infamous Robert Covington - whose name sounds more like that of a character in 'Dynasty' than an NBA player - knocked down a couple of late threes to help the Sixers seal the deal. The last of those baskets came with the Sixers up one with 1:18 left in the game. Instead of extending the possession, Covington caught everyone off guard when he let it fly with 19 seconds left on the shot clock.)

Robert Covington, small forward, Philadelphia 76ers: Coach said that everyone had a green light at the start of the season, so... *shrugs*

Rueter: I can't lie: The last couple of minutes of that game were pretty tense. Hadn't been that nervous since I lost my virginity.

Zumoff: I never prepare anything to say ahead of time, but like most announcers, I have a standard set of phrases that I'll use in certain situations. If it's a close game, I usually say "Hang on... we're coming in for a landing!" That plane really hasn't gotten off of the ground much this year, though.

Max Rappaport, writer/social media manager, You have no idea how many Vines I had queued up waiting for the final buzzer.

(A late lob from Michael Carter-Williams to Nerlens Noel sealed the deal for the Sixers, and the team escaped the Twin Cities with an 85-77 victory.)

Michael Levin, blogger emeritus, Liberty Ballers: They won. They actually [redacted] won a [redacted] game. I was going to take my pants off and run up and down the street, but I was on a date, and that didn't seem appropriate. I just want to let everyone know that, the Sixers are undefeated whenever I have a date on a game day.

Rose: I knew it all along. Never a doubt. There was a bunch of reporters who were flying into Philadelphia for that Thunder game [the following Friday] who had to cancel their flights!

Bennett: There are no excuses for what happened. I blame myself.

Adam Aron, part owner, Philadelphia 76ers: (fires a confetti gun across the room)

Thaddeus Young, former Sixers forward / current Timberwolves forward: We lost 26 [games] in a row last year, so I know what they were going through. And even though [the streak is] over, all of that losing still wears on you. I feel for those guys. Well... at least the four who I played with last season.

Michael Carter-Williams, point guard, Philadelphia 76ers: For me personally, [the win was] a big relief off my chest. There are only three more weeks of new Ellen [DeGeneres] episodes before she goes away on winter break. I don't know what I would have done if the streak lasted until Christmas.

Sean O'Connor, co-managing editor, Liberty Ballers: Happy that finally, at work, I can stop being asked about losing so many effing games in a row. We can all move on.

Rueter: Could the T'Wolves beat Kentucky?

Howard Eskin, radio host, 94WIP Philadelphia: Hey, Waldo [Hinkie, Eskin's nickname for the Sixers general manager]... Bet your analytics didn't tell you that the Sixers were going to mess up your plan, did they? By the way, I'm selling T-shirts...

Molly Sullivan, Sixers sideline reporter, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia: It had been a while since I did a postgame interview - I wasn't sure I still had it. I got through it, though... can't stop, won't stop.

Gonzalez: It happened... it actually happened! Bless Brett Brown's heart - if [the streak] had gone any longer, his head might have exploded.

Rhea Hughes, radio host, 94WIP Philadelphia: You know why I'm glad the Sixers won? Because Sam Hinkie probably didn't want it to happen.

Aron: (imitates LeBron James's chalk toss by throwing confetti in the air)

John Schnatter, founder/CEO, Papa John's International: We weren't sure what to do. At the start of the season, we had a promotion with the 76ers where we gave fans 50 percent off after every victory. Unfortunately, the team didn't do so well at the beginning of the year, so we switched it up by offering a discount whenever they scored 90 points or more. Thing is... what do you do when a team wins its first game, but doesn't meet the point threshold?

After kicking it around in my head for a few minutes, I called Peyton (Manning, franchisee, Papa John's International), and we decided to offer the 50 percent discount anyway. The fans deserve it - anyone who has watched that team for more than five minutes this season is a saint.

Doshi: At the start of the night, the Sixers were winless. A few hours later, not only was the streak broken, but our very own Mike Levin got a shout out on Fox Sports 1. I've known Mike for years, but I had no idea that he was the lead singer of Maroon 5.

Allen Iverson, former Sixers guard: Losing is tough... I'm proud of my lil' homies for pulling it out. I went to war with some of those guys: Jrue Holiday, Thad Young, Lou Williams... wait, what's that? They don't play for the Sixers anymore? Oh... (long pause)... well, I'm glad the Sixers won anyway.