The Philadelphia 76ers have been and currently are the laughing stock of the NBA. The Sixers have won a total of 38 games over the past three seasons, and this season sport a putrid record of 1-21.
The tipping point may have been Monday night when Philly lost to the Spurs (who didn’t play Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard) by 51 points. Now, the NBA has stepped in and forced 76-year-old Jerry Colangelo to take over as Chairman of Basketball Operations in an effort to do something about the mess in the City of Brotherly Love.
Well guess what, you know who’s fault this is? The NBA. I’m honestly surprised it took this long for a team to enact a strategy of losing to get high draft picks because the reality is, if you don’t have LeBron James, Steph Curry, or are a Gregg Popovich coached team, chances are you’re not winning a title right now.
Fun fact: If the NBA didn’t reward you for losing, the Sixers wouldn’t be tanking every season to put together a young core of elite level talent. (And yes, Philly has made their share of mistakes along the way, but that doesn’t mean their plan isn’t a good one).
So instead of forcing a credible executive upon a team, the NBA should have changed its system where having the worst record in the NBA means you have the best chance at obtaining the oh so valuable first pick in the draft. And maybe what the Sixers are doing will force NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to change the system, but that doesn’t seem very likely.
The Sixers could have done what the Nets tried to do, which was convince themselves that if they mortgaged their future to win right now (which seems to be exactly what the NBA wants), they’d be able to compete with LeBron James and other high caliber talent. The Nets’ attempt failed miserably and now Brooklyn could only dream of being in a position to draft arguably the best player to come along since LeBron, LSU freshman Ben Simmons (The Nets’ draft pick for this season sits in the hand of the Boston Celtics).
I actually think if the Sixers are allowed to follow through with their plan, they may compile enough talent, that when mixed with veteran leadership, can become a consistent force in the Eastern Conference. But the NBA says you should win now, when for the Sixers, the benefits of losing outweigh the benefits of winning.
The NBA should have backed off, taken a good look at themselves in the mirror, and changed the current system of rewarding teams for losing.
Maybe the Sixers are exactly what the NBA has been silently begging for all along, an advocate for change.