Shawn Long and Alex Poythress are basketball players who spent a combined total of 24 games with the Philadelphia 76ers this season. You remember that because you watched them play just a few weeks ago.
But fast forward three years from now. You’re sitting at your desk playing a Sporcle quiz titled “Can you name all the Sixers’ players during The Process”. You’re doing pretty well so far. After easily running through the more obvious pieces of the puzzle, your knowledge is finally being put to the test.
You just rattled off Darius Johnson-Odom and Jarvis Varnado, and totally pulled Malcolm Lee out of thin air. You’ve clearly used up a good portion of the space in your brain to remember all of these names, and frankly, its much more than has been allotted for this kind of useless information. You could have used that space to learn how to create something useful, did a little bit better on that final in college, but instead you remember where you were when Hollis Thompson dropped 23 points and converted on all five of his three-point attempts against the Memphis Grizzlies back in December of 2014.
Anyway, there’s a handful of blanks left for you to fill in, and two of them are from the 2017 season, the end of The Process and the beginning of the Sixers’ road to legitimacy. You’re frazzled. It couldn’t have been Kendall Marshall. Glenn Robinson III was long gone by then. Christian Wood should’ve been on that team but was not. The clock is ticking down, and you’re absolutely stumped. You finally give up, and the remaining names you missed pop up on the screen. As you reminisce on the great Andrei Kirilenko stalemate of 2015 and those 22 games Thomas Robinson played pretty well in, you realize those two names you forgot from what should’ve been Ben Simmons’ rookie season were Shawn Long and Alex Poythress.
And in that moment right there, sitting stunned as to how you let that duo slip from your memory, will be the only time their presence in a Sixers uniform will actually matter. That sounds pretty harsh, and a lot more so than intended, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Long and Poythress were brought in for the sole purpose of providing the Sixers with healthy bodies as the rest of the roster dropped like flies and the team crawled to the finish line. Don’t get me wrong, both players had their moments.
There may be an NBA player somewhere inside Long, if you look past his slow feet, mediocre defense and the fact that he fouls like a madman. He has a rather well rounded offensive game, and throws his body around on the boards pretty well for someone listed at just 6 feet 9 inches.
Poythress had that one game against the Indiana Pacers where he shot 5-7 from three.
Philadelphia gave them an opportunity to showcase what they can do, (Poythress averaged 26.2 minutes per game!) and hopefully it was enough to land them auditions on another NBA team this summer or in the preseason. But the Sixers should no longer have use for them, nor players of their ilk.
They’ve been remarkably unlucky with injuries over the past few years, but the hope is that the Sixers can stay healthy enough so they don’t have to rummage through the D-League for spare parts. Philadelphia also possesses enough cap space that they should be able to fill out the roster with legitimate NBA players this summer, making guys like Long and Poythress all the more obsolete.
Long and Poythress should be thanked for their hard work and dedication to a team that had nothing to play for, but I’m swiping left on both. Their services are no longer needed.
Like the most of the random assortment of D-Leaguers before them, they will eventually be forgotten, making that Sporcle quiz all the more difficult.
What would you do with Shawn Long and Alex Poythress?
This poll is closed
Swipe left on both
Swipe right on both
Swipe right on Long, left on Poythress
Swipe right on Poythress, left on Long