The last few years have been a whirlwind for the Philadelphia 76ers and their fans. Constant roster turnover and the attempt to live up to lofty expectations have made things tough for the team recently. This offseason was a chance for the team to turn over a new leaf and make top-down changes that put the team in a better position to succeed. The decision-makers in the organization proved a lot of doubters wrong when they made constructive hires that have seemingly put the team back in a position to succeed.
For the most part, watching the last two years of Sixers basketball has often felt like a chore. Aside from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the players that fans felt a connection to are no longer on the team. The pace of play has slowed down considerably and the team seems to always play down to inferior competition. The 2017 season feels so far away when you look at where the team is now. That’s the last time watching Sixers basketball felt like fun to me, at least. Not that watching Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid play now isn’t fun, but back then, it felt like the team genuinely liked and fought for each other. Now it feels like a typical job.
As much as the past few offseasons have mattered, this one might be the most important. The hires that upper management had to make told the fans a lot about where they see the team headed. With the hires of Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey, fans can once again feel reassured that their years spent dealing with losing was not for nothing. There is some work to be done with this roster, but for the first time in what feels like forever, there seems to be the right people steering the boat.
The Sixers’ ownership group has deservedly taken a ton of heat for their actions over the last few years, and while myself and many others still want to see more changes made at the top level, there is no debating that they have pushed all the right buttons this offseason. There is a much more clear sense of leadership and structure in the front office now than there has been in quite some time. That reality can only be seen as a positive. Yes, ownership will still be involved, but with Morey now calling the shots, their voices will be much quieter.
Looking back on the 2017 season and seeing how much has changed in such a short amount of time blows my mind. Everything was looking up for the organization, and just a few years later, it felt like a championship window had already been slammed shut. Now boasting one of the brightest front office minds in the league, the Sixers still have work to do. For the first time in years, though, I have some sense of optimism that Daryl Morey and the rest of the front office can get things back on track.