If it weren’t for the infamous “double-doink” by Cody Parkey two years ago to send the Eagles to the divisional round, I would actually feel sympathy for Philadelphia fans. But instead, I have found pleasure in their complete organizational meltdown that has occurred over the last 48 hours.
After some of the most brutal years for a single franchise in NBA history, amounting to a grand total of 75 wins over a four-season stretch from 2013-2016, the 76ers future looked bleak. The organization continuously failed to recruit veterans and develop their young pieces… along with the fact that injuries never help as well. Even so, the franchise hung on to one slogan, and one player specifically, to lead them to the promised land… Joel “Trust the Process” Embiid. Though Embiid was drafted in 2014, it was not until years later when he was fully healthy and ready to lead Philly to their “promised land”. In the ensuing years, from 2017-present, the 76ers finally:
1) Brought in star power via Free agency or Trades in Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Al Horford.
2) Gave their stars rotational pieces to compliment their game in JJ Redick, Seth Curry, and Dwight Howard, amongst others.
3) Drafted a young, promising superstar who was garnering all sorts of comparisons, most notably the comparison to Magic Johnson in Ben Simmons.
4) And finally, their MVP candidate, team leader was finally healthy in Joel Embiid.
Where did all of these “great moves” get them? 195 wins in these next four seasons, which truly is nothing to talk badly about… if championships were won in the regular season. This organizations went from the bottom-feeders of the NBA to one of the top-seeded teams year-in, year-out. But even with this being the case, where does it leave them now? Sitting at home with nothing to show for it, and in the midst of a potential organizational overhaul. Now this is where it gets interesting for Philadelphia, as where the hell do they go from here? Do you continue to “Trust the Process”? Or is the answer as simple as ‘hit a reset’?
Normally when a team loses in the playoffs it is as simple as three excuses:
1) Injures plagued our chances (look at the Brooklyn Nets)
2) We are almost there (typically young teams)
3) We don’t have the right coach
The funniest part about the 76ers is that they really cannot use any one of these excuses. Sure, Joel Embiid was playing with a partial meniscus tear, but after watching that series he was still playing at least 90% of his usual self, which is better than 95% of the league anyways. As for option 2, for years the 76ers have been “one year away” but as time goes on you have to wonder… do they even believe that? Cause I sure as hell don’t think so after their team’s reaction’s after the Game 7 loss, where the coach and players alike were throwing subtle jabs at one another (see tweet below). Lastly, the 76ers were adamant that they had “their guy” in Doc Rivers… A coach who is continuously carried to successful regular seasons by some of the most talented teams, and yet continues to fail once it matters. Ridiculous.
Let’s dive into where Philly actually goes from here. First let’s start with Ben Simmons.
I have never seen a player get completely dragged through the mud as fast as Ben Simmons has throughout the course of this series vs. Atlanta. From comparisons to a “Boris Diaw who can’t shoot” all the way to “Willy Caulie-Stein with a handle” and everything in between, he is simply a basketball player who is scared to put the ball in the hoop… you know… the main thing in this game. We all see the videos of him shooting in an LA fitness busting some man who just got off a 9-5’s ass in the summers, while hitting step-back threes and looking like Curry, but as soon as this guy gets on an NBA court he turns into what Stephen A likes to
call a “bonafide scrub”.
But wait Philly it gets better! Your organization just resigned him to a max contract where he earns upwards of $30 million a year, leaving the team in cap-space hell. This also creates a more difficult task if you try to trade him, as who wants to take on that contract for a guy who may not even score? I think of it as a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, leaving two options:
1) Trade him for under market value
2) ACTUALLY FIX HIS JUMPER
By no means am I an expert, but hell if I can shoot better than this “young superstar”, your organization is in trouble. Just shoot 1,000 times a day and figure it out dude, you’re a damn professional.
With that being said, the coach has already said he “doesn’t know right know” if a team could win a championship with Ben Simmons as their Point Guard, so you have got to love the bashing just moments after an excruciating playoff defeat.
Next, the 76ers need to fire Doc Rivers. He is a “has-been” fraud who has one ring to show for his career, even with having all the talent in the world between the late 2000 Celtics, Lob-city Clippers, the Kawhi-PG post lob-city Clippers, and now this 76ers team. Other than the fact that he is a familiar name, there is no other reason why he should continue to be an NBA head coach, as he continuously throws players under the bus and refuses to make in-game adjustments.
Oh, also Joel Embiid’s contract is almost up, so they also have another question that the front office has to answer, do we once again tank or continue “The Process”.
Bottom line, the 76ers are in for the most confusing, hectic, and hell of an off-season, and frankly I cannot wait to see what happens from here on out.
One thing we cannot forget though, Ben Simmons got peer pressured and bullied so bad last night that he has declared that he is not representing his country in the Olympics, as he is solely focusing on “developing his skills”. You love to see that.
This damn league man. There is nothing else like it. Enjoy some funny tweets slandering Ben Simmons below.