The year 2015 has been a tough one for Sixers fans, and not simply because the team has won just 17 of the 86 games it’s played over the past 365 days. For the second straight year, lady luck did not side with the team on lottery night, as Philadelphia again ended up with the #3 pick in the draft. D’Angelo Russell, the dynamic prospect out of Ohio State whose shooting and playmaking ability made him a perfect fit for the point guard-deprived Sixers was unexpectedly snatched up by the Lakers with the second-overall pick. And the player who bore the weight of our unrealistically high hopes, Joel Embiid, was forced to undergo another offseason foot surgery after his bone failed to fully heal following his first procedure.
But despite all that, there remains a lot to be hopeful about – The potential for the team to hold four first-round picks in this year’s draft, including two that are likely to land in the top-five. The fact that the Kings, with whom the Sixers own the right to swap picks in each of the next two years and from whom Philadelphia is owed an unprotected first-round pick in 2018, are a tire fire. Ish Smith is the GOAT. Nerlens is back to being fun Nerlens. Dario Saric is making kids faint and telling reporters he wants to be in Philly ASAP. And Embiid, while still a massive question mark moving forward, now stands 7’2", has a body that resembles that of Dwight Howard, and effortlessly bangs practice treys at a rate that would make Summer League Furkan Aldemir blush.
We all hope that 2016 will be less tumultuous than the year that preceded it and that the Sixers will use their stockpile of draft picks, more than $60 million in cap space, and the good old-fashioned, basketball-guy pedigree of Jerry Colangelo to take the next step in their rebuild. But no matter what happens, good or bad, there are some things I want to personally try to stay mindful of over the next year. Below are my 2016 Sixers Resolutions. If you’ve got any to add, post them in the comments section.
… to do my best not to let this season become all about #TeamJah vs. #TeamNerlens
… to do my best not to let this season become all about #TeamSam vs. #TeamJerry
… to occasionally take a break from the Sixers when I find myself getting too upset about them
… to remember that this team, as currently constructed, is destined to lose roughly seven times as many games as it wins
… to not engage @HoopsCritic on Twitter, even when his takes are bad and I want him to feel bad
... to celebrate and do some mild gloating if the Sixers do actually make a significant jump in 2016-17 or make a move to acquire a superstar, but not become an insufferable jerk
… to not get irrationally upset about the Sixers not offering [insert D-Leaguer putting up unsustainable numbers or recently waived former lottery pick who is garbage] a 10-day contract
… to not buy a jersey unless it's an Embiid All-Star jersey
… to remember that any lineup Brett Brown puts on the floor is still going to be a lineup comprised entirely of players on the Sixers
… to remain level-headed about Joel Embiid, no matter how chiseled his physique or automatic his corner three become
… to not get too attached to any one draft prospect
… to not try and convert friends and family who are not trusters of the process
… to stop yelling at Isaiah Canaan through my TV set