We've gone a few days without blowback for our coverage of Sam Hinkie -- if you count billboards as "coverage" -- so it was about time somebody stepped to the plate and took a crack at the Sixers. Enter Tony Bruno, former sports radio host and current proprietor of The Tony Bruno Show podcast.
Thanks to the folks over at Crossing Broad for alerting us to and transcribing Bruno's recent rant about Sixers fans & Hinkie supporters, because I would have missed this otherwise. As always, bold emphasis is mine:
Sam Hinkie is an undeniable fraud. Sam Hinkie, it's not a personal thing, was an unmitigated failure. He got run out of here. He didn't resign. He got his ass run out of here because the NBA laughed at this team ... Adam Silver laughed at the Sixers ... bring in a 90-year-old guy in Arizona to try to save this disaster.
And then these strappers - this vocal minority of a couple hundred guys who sit around and play with themselves at night having visions of Sam Hinkie dance in their heads - these guys are lunatics. They are disturbed. And then get a billboard. They pay their own money to get a billboard to thank Sam Hinkie for 19, 18, and 10 wins. And you wonder why this city's a national joke when it comes to sports? It'd because of idiots who sit around and have their little boy-toy meetings, sit around in circle-jerks, what a bunch of losers.
I've never been more embarrassed of guys like Spike Eskin and all these strapazoids. These guys are a joke. The fact that these guys have major positions in sports is laughable. It's one of the reasons I'm glad I'm not doing sports radio every day. I'm ashamed of what's happened to this business.
Don't give me 'oh you're one of those old school guys.' Yeah, I am. And I know more than you because I'm an old school guy. You're a 20-something punk who doesn't know anything. So if you're a 20-something punk who now thinks because you're studying analytics and you sit and home and masturbate to stats every night and you're ... talking about how 'bout these Golden State Warriors ... you're a frontrunner ... But the world of sports has changed where you're worried about salaries instead of watching the game and enjoying it? That's what's happening in sports.
There's a lot to sift through here. Mainly I'd ask why an adult man is so obsessed with masturbation that he'd evidently link it to a fascination with advanced stats, or why a jokey gesture for an executive who brought about needed change would have Bruno thinking about the bedroom habits of other human beings, but that's neither here nor there.
Principally, I'm most fascinated in Bruno's assertion that Hinkie supporters are the reason for Philadelphia's poor reputation in the sports world. This is an assertion akin to blaming millennials for the state of the job market and economy -- maybe it feels good to shirk responsibility and blame young people for how messed up everything is, but those without the capital or requisite time spent to exert real influence are hardly the source of all woe.
Philadelphia's poor reputation is self-evident. The city has collectively won very little despite throwing significant assets and energy into the idea of being perpetually competitive while also purporting to be home to the most knowledgeable sports fans in America. I've always found this to be a fascinating dichotomy. For a city with so many armchair GM's (pot meet kettle, of course) who claim to know exactly what it takes to reach the pinnacle of any given sport, there's very little empirical evidence that watching their local teams could have given them a semblance of a clue on how to win championships.
The thing about Philadelphia's so-called "glory days" is that they transpired before most of the writers and readers of this site were even alive. You'll have to forgive me if the idea of listening to "old-school guys" seems counter-intuitive when those same guys have failed to put together compelling or competitive teams for 99 percent of my life. Eventually, your conventional wisdom becomes a relic of the past befitting placement in a dumpster, though I understand clinging to long-held possessions is more comforting than dealing with present reality.
"Frauds" are people who reject new information for the sake of holding on to what makes them feel comfortable, whether that's advances in traditional scouting or the implementation of analytics. Sports are like any other high-competition business -- you adapt with the times or become irrelevant.
Teams like the San Antonio Spurs are widely-respected in every circle of sport because they understand the fundamental importance of every avenue they can use to improve their operation. That means scouring for players in Europe, running one of the top stats departments in the league and never discounting character in the evaluation process.
Support of Sam Hinkie's plan is not about "thanking him" for sub-20 win seasons, but feeling rejuvenated by a regime willing to do something other than stand in formation. If you don't agree with individual moves or want to challenge his talent evaluation skills wholesale, have at it, but at least show a fundamental understanding of what this is about.
Being a Sixers fan during my lifetime has been a lot like the scene in Shawshank Redemption where Andy Dufresne crawls through 500 yards of diarrhea sludge in his quest for freedom, only if the sewer pipe never ended and you had to listen to Doug Collins press conferences in perpetuity.
After decades of futility, I'm at least willing to listen if someone says to stop crawling and tries to engineer a new way out, instead of wasting energy continuing to swallow somebody else's shit.