I’ve been stewing over the Sixers’ first-round sweep to the Boston Celtics for over a week now, trying my best to formulate exactly how I was feeling about the entire season. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only real emotion I feel about the situation right now is anger, and I’m sure most fans would tend to agree. While I am mad about how the team played on the court in their four mostly easy defeats, I’m more upset with how we got here.
The Sixers had a plan in progress to reach success under Sam Hinkie. It wasn’t the most visually flattering, but for all intents and purposes it seemed to be working. The NBA had other plans and brought in an entirely new front office to lead things after running Hinkie out of town with torches and pitchforks. It made little to no sense for the NBA to take control like they did, but the team was still in a better position because of Hinkie’s work.
Next came the Colangelo regime and all the madness that came with it. The hiring of Bryan Colangelo after “hundreds of interviews with candidates”, the burner accounts and the constant inability to make the team look even a bit more well run than what had been deemed so destructive in the previous leadership group.
Finally, we have the latest group in charge of the team led by General Manager Elton Brand. With a core that was so close to taking the next step into opening a championship window, he mortgaged the farm for more superstars at the trade deadline. The dream of a championship for that season ended in Toronto, but the future still looked bright.
Throughout all of last offseason, we begged the team to build around their two franchise superstars that were playing in Philadelphia because of Sam Hinkie’s work; they didn’t. Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid’s closest friend and the Sixers big shot maker was shipped off to Miami just months after trading for him, JJ Redick wasn’t re-signed, and the Sixers decided to play bully ball by signing Al Horford. After as disappointing a season as a competitor can have, the Sixers are once again one of the biggest jokes in the entire league. While they still boast Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, it feels like the franchise is back to square one. Some blame should be put on the on-court product, but the ire of everyone should be placed on those who created this mess.
Now, the same ownership group who sells off second-round picks instead of drafting young difference makers to save a few bucks is asking taxpayers to help pay for a brand new stadium they could pay with their pocket change. A front office remodel is underway with the same general manager that has little experience leading the charge and the team wants to hire a new head coach before any significant changes are made to the big decision makers. It’s a mess, and it’s a mess that was created by those at the top.
I know this sounds really negative, but you as a fan should absolutely be mad with where this franchise is. You should be mad at the lack of accountability. You should be mad that the complete mismanagement of assets and ability to build a team could lead to the two superstars on the roster eventually leaving. You should be mad that those of us who watched and stood by the team through all of the embarrassing losses now feel like it was for nothing.
There won’t be any real changes until those at the top are out, and that means ownership as well. If no one else in the organization or around the league is going to hold these people accountable, it’s the least we can do.
You should be mad, because I know I am.