“Mediocrity: It takes a lot less time and most people won’t notice the difference until it’s too late.”
- Larry Kersten, Sociologist and Author
Who Gives a Shit?
I don’t have any ethical objections to The Process.
It’s a bit tasteless, but it doesn’t really bother me all that much.
Yeah, it makes a mockery of professional sports, but sports are a mockery of a profession, so I don’t understand the problem.
- see nick young
I’m not a basketball puritan, because, for fucks sake, this is supposed to be entertainment. Settle down.
But it is supposed to be entertainment. Excel spreadsheets are not entertaining. Sam Hinkie is not entertaining.
The 76ers haven’t been fun, or talented, or watchable, for 3 years now. After being dropped in the first round in the 2012-2013 playoffs, the 76ers went total recall, and totally obliterated any shred of talent from their roster.
Sometimes, you take look a good long look at a roster one day and realize that it isn’t good. Too many players fell short of their potential, or the synergy isn’t right, or they got old and tired and bad and injured. Self-destruction is part of the natural way – the hoop of life. So you blow up your team, sending all your talented players to other teams, filling your team with draft picks, lottery picks, and young would-be stars.
Enter the 76ers.
Tanking doesn’t bother me; not only is it incentivized, but it keeps new, young players flowing the league and getting a chance to prove themselves on a team that isn’t the Spurs. ‘Veteran Talent’ gets old.
But for fucking fuck’s sake, Hinkie, you’re ruining the game of basketball, and more importantly, it’s not going to work. You’re damning Philly to a fate worse than prolonged mediocrity – prolonged shitiness with no light at the end of the tunnel.
The Sixers’ mantra under Hinkie has been “trust the process,” but with the process having led to a still ill-fitting roster, a ton of losses, and a growing sense of distrust within the organization, it’s fair to wonder just how much longer this can all stay together before some very real changes are made.
Hinkie Doesn’t Give a Shit
Something confounding is happening in Philadelphia. The meanest, vilest, prosthetic-leg-stealingest fanbase in American sports has gone soft for its garbage basketball team, apparently because management promised them a present if they’ll all just behave and eat their garbage basketball each night for the next few years, and anyway all the fans ever really wanted was a little honesty in the first place. They’ll tell this to anyone who bothers to notice an especially rotten player or development. They know this team is garbage, thank you, and they like it like this. What a bunch of dipshits.
De-Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.
The Orlando Magic were crap in 2014-2015, (25-57) and so were the Timberwolves. (16-66) They are clearly tanking – the difference between these two shit-shows and the super shit-show that’s unfolding in Philly is that these teams both remembered to do the 2nd part of the tanking process. The important part: collect young talent, develop them, craft a bright future.
And craft they have! I genuinely enjoy watching these two teams play because I understand. I understand what they’re doing – and they’re crapiness is both charming and a fun prelude to what will no doubt be a bright future for these two organizations.
I have no fucking clue what Hinkie is doing. No one does. There are a lot of observers who, because of their own ignorance and/or lack of brain power, think that Sam Hinkie is doing something. He’s up to something: he has to be! No one would spend 3 seasons snaking their dicks up their own asses while watching their team go head straight into the interminable void… right?
To wit: No one disputes that Philadelphia’s on-court goal, this season, has been to lose as many games as they can without embarrassing the NBA thoroughly enough to force a rejiggering of the draft lottery system. To accomplish this, Hinkie has monkeyed around ceaselessly, trading players for flotsam and flotsam for assets and assets for other assets until his roster looks like nothing so much as a bad fish-out-of-water comedy in which a judge sentences Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel to donate their play to a sad-sack vocational school’s lovably terrible basketball squad. To placate fans, the Sixers have lowered and frozen ticket prices and worked the “We Suck … But We Play Hard!” angle as hard as an early-days WNBA team. But that isn’t enough—they want the players to not just stumble through a miserable, season-long humiliation but to believe they’re doing so for the greater glory of Philadelphia basketball!
Albert Burneko, The 76ers Are Run By A Ridiculous TED-Humping Moron
It doesn’t appear as if the 76ers have a very bright future – certainly not in the same capacity as the T-Wolves and Magic. They aren’t alone in that; but at least teams like the Knicks, Hornets, and Lakers have the common decency to try not to suck. Observe my boy Kobe: he’s trying his damnedest to not suck. He’s failing miserably and hilariously, but he is clearly trying.
Management Doesn’t Give a Shit
According to multiple league sources, last season’s decision to trade point guard Michael Carter-Williams — Hinkie’s pick in his first draft with the franchise in 2013, and a second-year player coming off winning the league’s Rookie of the Year award — was Hinkie’s alone, and the move angered both head coach Brett Brown and CEO Scott O’Neil, who were caught unaware. Although Brown previously had some dustups with Carter-Williams, he had no desire to take a competitive step backward and give up one of the team’s better players for a (potentially valuable) future first-round pick. O’Neil was miffed because he was planning to market the team around Carter-Williams and fellow 2013 lottery pick Nerlens Noel.
No other team would put up with Hinkie’s obfuscating, pesudo-intellectual bull-shit waltz – it’s been 3 years of ‘professional’ basketball that might as well not be. There’s no end in sight. This is forever now. This is the reality that we have chosen for ourselves in sheer hubris and the maniacal pursuit of 2nd round draft picks. This is the 76ers roster this year:
No, that’s last years roster.
This is the 76ers roster this year.
It would appear that this team has no captains.
On that note…
76ers Players Don’t Give a Shit
He knows that he is not long for this world, this wretched Philadelphia dimension in which bad is good, up is down, and madness reigns supreme.
Jahlil is the 3rd consecutive lottery pick the 76ers have used on a center. Small ball? Never heard of it. Next question please?
“Hey, do you guys realize that this isn’t a trading card game? These players are supposed to be a team. You’re doing it wrong.”
“Fuck you. Next question?”
Alright, yeah. Explain that away. ‘All he did was drop a jersey. It’s not like he draped it around himself and then proceeded to self-immolate.’
Shut the fuck up. Cmon, look at that gif. Look at it! Look at the darkness in his eyes – look at his teammate’s reaction on the left as the jersey drops to the floor: “No. He’s right…. Oh God, what have I done. What horrible fate awaits me?”
Meanwhile, on the right… nothing. There is nothing in his eyes – nothingness is all across his face like a shroud. It’s horrifying. Truly a fate worse than death.
Having a hold on their players seems to be a problem the organization has dealt with the past few seasons. Both Nerlens Noel and Embiid have been fined thousands of dollars for tardiness through the years and Brown said one of the priorities of training camp was to instill the importance of players being on time and learning how to be adults. The organization can’t let the inmates run the asylum, so to speak, and it appears they now know they have a serious problem that needs to be snipped immediately.
Bob Cooney, Sixers Continue The Process
Let’s break down that metaphor:
76ers = prison/ asylum
76ers players = inmates/ mental patients
76ers organization = prison guards/ asylum staff
This isn’t satire. It isn’t even a commentary made from the outside. This is a website inside Philly, and this was metaphor was made by a writer from inside the madness.
Even the website, Philly.com, looks like a fucking sterile asylum straight from the Nicolas Cage/ John Travolta movie Face Off:
The 76ers get bonus points for the troublemakers of particular note being literally the two most important players on the team – the only two bright spots last year on an otherwise Orwellian roster.
At least they have their whole careers ahead of them. At least they’ll only have to endure a couple months of agony until Hinkie decides to trade them both in a package for the draft rights to half a grilled cheese sandwich – the smaller half, by the way.
Veterans, on the other hand, dream of glorious battle in playoff Valhalla, only to arrive in Philadelphia to a purgatory where time stands still – but they still age. The clock never stops ticking. It’s maddening.
“No one wants to go there,” said an Eastern Conference player who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Not right now.”
Established players cringe at the thought of being traded to the 7-29 squad. Marquee free agents won’t even consider the franchise.”
Danny Granger and Andrei Kirilenko are two veterans who refused to suit up for the Sixers.
Granger didn’t want to play for them last season after being acquired from the Indiana Pacers at the trade deadline. He never even practiced with the team, which ultimately bought out his expiring contract.
Fast-forward to this season, where Kirilenko is on an unpaid suspension for not reporting after being acquired in a Dec. 11 trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
At it’s best, Philadelphia is purgatory. At it’s worst, Philadelphia is hell.
Embiid, in Particular, Doesn’t Give a Shit
Now, this feat is truly astounding: The 76ers psychologically broke a promising young center who, despite only playing basketball for 4 years, propelled himself to the 2nd overall pick of the 2014 draft. A player who, by all counts, was at one point a dedicated and talented young man, full of dreams and aspirations.
Right now I’m sifting through all the quotes I’ve collected and trying to figure out where to start; but there is no reasonable place to start. This is all unreasonable. Nothing makes sense to me anymore; but I must move forward –
The fact that Brown sent Embiid home from a West Coast road trip last season for being insubordinate to the team’s strength coach and training staff is well documented, but according to a source, the tipping point in the decision was Embiid physically threatening the strength coach on that road trip. According to sources, this followed a pattern of insubordination from Embiid during the rehabilitation of his initial foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2014–15 season, where he would repeatedly refuse to answer questions from the training staff about his workouts and therapy sessions.
Joel Embiid was put in time out. By the 76ers. This is a full-grown man, a professional, who is making $4,626,960 this season.
I mean, what?
Embiid’s lax approach to his rehab and the circumstances surrounding the second foot surgery he needed this past summer — which appears like it will cost him the entire 2015–16 season — has caused the organization much anxiety. The simple task of getting Embiid to consistently wear his walking boot was a challenge for the franchise, and multiple sources suggested that some people in Philadelphia’s front office wonder whether a second surgery would have been necessary if Embiid had worn the boot as much as he was told to.
What a wonderful, meaningless, hilarious, and vile world we live in! Truly, these are amazing times we live in. This is too good to be true – nothing is true. This world is an illusion – all that is real is our folly.
Sorry: writing about the 76ers makes me existential.
Speaking of deteriorating mental statuses, Joel Embiid is doing what any young man faced with crushing adversity is tempted to do: he is slipping down the winding road of addiction. It lingers over everything he does. His every waking moment is spent thinking of chasing that ‘Shirley,’ the ‘Cherry Sizzurp’: I’m speaking of course, about Shirley Temples.
This type of disregard for instruction also extends to Embiid’s dietary habits. Per a source, the Sixers’ training staff was so concerned about what he was eating, they stocked the refrigerator in his downtown hotel residence each week with healthy food. When a staffer went to restock the fridge each week, most everything was uneaten and unopened, and they were throwing out the fruits and vegetables every week. When the team subsequently asked to see Embiid’s room service bill, they found that most days he was ordering junk food along with his signature beverage, a pitcher of Shirley Temples. Embiid also was frequently seen feasting on chicken fingers and hot dogs at and after games.
Jason McIntyre, Joel Embiid Loves Shirley Temples, Junk Food and Hot Dogs
I can’t handle this. It’s too great. It’s delicious. So sickly sweet: sort of like a maraschino cherry?
Someone pinch me.
This has to be some type of terrible and wonderful dream.
76ers Fans Don’t Give a Shit
Okay, imagine a scene for me:
You’re a 38 year-old dad, recently divorced from your estranged ex-wife, who has custody Monday through Friday, leaving your weekends with your only son, Jason. A couple weeks ago he mentioned to you that he has recently decided to play for his middle-school basketball team – you, a lifelong basketball fan, are incredibly excited at the potential this has for you and your son to bond over your hometown team, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Your college roommate, Barry, gives you a couple of tickets: you offer him a $20, but he grimly declines (you later realize that this is because no one wants 76ers tickets – the street value of those tickets is slightly less than a napkin from Wendy’s). You hop in your 2005 Toyota Camry donning an Allen Iverson jersey that has gotten a bit tight on you – since you’ve been alone, you’ve put on a solid 15 pounds. It’s noticeable. Your son is wearing the new Joel Embiid jersey you gave him, and is later visibly upset by the fact that Embiid never makes it on the court. You feel awful; but it gets worse.
You arrive to the arena, and it is a ghost town. You find your seats, sit down, and proceed to witness the most laughable and horrifying NBA game you’ve ever witnessed:
No one speaks on the ride back to your one bed, one bathroom apartment. Jason sleeps on the couch. He leaves the next day.
He never mentions basketball to you ever again. You can tell he thinks your ex-wife’s new husband is a lot cooler than you are. You sob silently on to your burnt toast dinner, and go to sleep on a mattress on your bedroom floor. After hours of sleepless night, you are plagued by nightmares – you awake to the sound of your own screams: “GOD DAMN IT TONY WROTEN, MAKE THE FUCKING BASKET. PLEASE. I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.”
This is the life of the average 76ers fan. If you are from a different city, you should use this time to call your parents and thank them for giving birth to you in a city that isn’t Philly. If you are from Philly… I’m so, so sorry.
Philadelphia, I’ve got bad news: you’ve been snookered.
You’ve been had.
Some of you know this, and have resigned to your new reality as a lifeless automaton, shuffling to the Wells Fargo Center and back with the hollow eyes.
Some of you, however, exist in a world created by the damaged, reeling psyche of your inner NBA fan. Some of you accept this strategy as acceptable. Some of you even feign to embrace it. We understand; who’s to say that I wouldn’t do the same?
I’ll just leave this here:
“Stockholm syndrome refers to a group of psychological symptoms that occur in some persons in a captive or hostage situation…
Three factors are necessary for the syndrome to develop:
- The crisis situation lasts for several days or longer.
- The hostage takers remain in contact with the hostages; that is, the hostages are not placed in a separate room.
- The hostage takers show some kindness toward the hostages or at least refrain from harming them. Hostages abused by captors typically feel anger toward them and do not usually develop the syndrome.
In addition, people who often feel helpless in other stressful life situations or are willing to do anything in order to survive seem to be more susceptible to developing Stockholm syndrome if they are taken hostage.
People with Stockholm syndrome report the same symptoms as those diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):insomnia, nightmares, general irritability, difficulty concentrating, being easily startled, feelings of unreality or confusion, inability to enjoy previously pleasurable experiences, increased distrust of others, and flashbacks.
– Stockholm Syndrome, Online Medical Dictionary
Putting the success, or lack thereof, aside for a minute – why do we play basketball? What makes us love the game? Is a second round draft pick comparable to an alley-oop slam or an ankle-breaking cross-over? Do “assets” keep you coming back for more, or do players?
There’s more to basketball than rings, even if Charles Barkley has some strange sado-masochistic self-flagellation fetish in which he repeatedly insists that championships are all that matters.
Everyone loves championships, but the idea that basketball isn’t basketball for basketball’s sake is a childish tautology. Some of the greatest players and greatest teams never reached the peak; but it was a hell of a ride, wasn’t it?
No. It wasn’t. Not literally. This 76ers team is a hell of a ride. It is hell.
I wouldn’t be stunned if The Process resulted in a contender within the next 3 years, though I would be surprised; but it would be at the cost of our hearts – nay – ur very souls.
NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE 76ERS
And that’s why I give a shit.