Yesterday, on this very website, Sean O'Connor wrote a good and important blog thing about the Sixers cult groupthink at Liberty Ballers and like-minded pro-Process destinations:
It's "are you in or are you out?" The Process, and the supporters of The Process, are no longer welcoming - we're actively driving away people by clinging to a certain set of beliefs.
The most disheartening part for me, however, was that the intentions of most for-Process Sixers fans before the rebuild were entirely focused on how to rebuild the team, and everyone knew that the Sixers should probably do so through the draft, but where to go from that point was open to interpretation. That openness is gone.
We should bring that openness back.
But yesterday is dead. Sixers basketball is upon us. In a few hours, the heroes from PHILA will descend onto the court in Boston amid national cries of league disgracing and fan embarrassment and whatever words the Take Artist du jour chooses. This will be the third straight season that the Sixers -- no, screw that, it's mostly been laundry -- that we have had to endure this public outcry.
Despite the fact that in both seasons since Sam Hinkie took over, the team has not been the worst in the NBA. Despite the fact that among the 3,219 players that have cycled through Philly since May 2013, you would be hard-pressed to find many of them who feel actually wronged by this organization. And despite the fact that the Sixers went from this...
And it wasn’t exactly like Hinkie was breaking up a dynasty, either pic.twitter.com/Djw6ejdRIh— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) July 11, 2015
(remembering to subtract two future 1st round picks lit on fire in the Bynum and Moultrie trades)
Sixers asset ranking (take 2) pic.twitter.com/EC7SxKIODV— Hoop76 (@Hoop_76) October 27, 2015
...and people still get legitimately offended by the work this front office has done here. For some special ones, simply because they didn't select Doug McDermott.
To the masses, the Sixers are the enemy. And we the ignorant fuckboys for supporting them. We are destroying the sanctity of the game. The Lakers keep Metta World Peace over Jabari Brown, and we are destroying the sanctity of the game.
The Philadelphia 76ers went from a 10-year hangover after Iverson and Geiger *somehow* lost to Kobe and Shaq to the Doug Collins shitstorm climaxing in the Andrew Bynum Knee Lube Bowl-a-Flamingo Extravaganza with a sprinkle of Evan Turner at #2 by way of Eddie Jordan in between. We have been places, man. Willie Green was on this team through the better part of the 20th century, goddammit.
So when the Sixers hired somebody with a plan, with a different point of view from the asspiss we'd been forced to watch for a generation, it felt so much easier to let go. Lean into it, baby. Just kick back, let that good Process juice flow through your body. We don't worry about the front office making some Matt McCoy/Greg Golson/Arnett Moultrie draft pick or some even worse Nnamdi Asomugha/Adam Eaton/Kenny Thomas signing. We trust the whole dang process! We know -- 2 years in, before the high wears off -- that this thing is not only gonna work, it's working right now.
And anybody who doesn't recognize that is short-sighted and ignorant and on the wrong side of history and la la la la and I feel great.
At one point there may have been a chance for peace. But lo, that time has long since passed. We've suffered too much to turn back now. The Sixers are going to be good, soon, and everyone who has opposed the Sixers rebuild -- your Deadspins, your Simmonses, your pick of the local mainstream media -- will be forced to gaze upon the sins of their past sportswriting selves. The internet is forever. Retweet Armageddon comes for us all.
Sean closed his column with this:
Maybe if we just realized how unimportant the Sixers are, and how silly this all is, we'd all be much less unbearable. Or at the very least, we wouldn't be a cult. I think that's a step in the right direction.
It is, true, in the grand scheme of things, silly and unimportant... Which is why we double the Sam hell down on being unbearably culty and kill our enemies not with kindness, but with patience and understanding and calculated risks.
For we are us. And they, them. And that's good, because one day we will be proven right. We're not there yet, but we will be. And so long as we believe that, we're right already.