This article is to analyze the consistent attacks on the Sixers’ rebuilding plan and to evaluate the selfish motives of the various sources of these attacks. I have read many rebuttals and defenses by Sixers fans but after reviewing the facts, it appears the Sixers are the victims. It is clear watching recent games that the Sixers are not “The Worst Team Ever.” These attacks are not because these sources have “a love of the game.” The Sixers’ plan directly threatens their selfish motives which are not aligned with the fans or “the love of the game” as they portray in the media.
Reporters-Philly’s local media has crucified the rebuilding plan consistently. This is due to a decrease in access to the inner workings of the team compared to previous regimes. When you read their articles since Sam Hinkie has come on board, they specifically mention the change in access. Also, there is no one on the team currently that any media can use as a “source” to further their career a la Brian Windhorst and Stephen A. Smith. On a national level, this rebuild allows ESPN and other “news” outlets to create click bait revolving about how historically bad the Sixers are.
Other Owners- The Sixers were 29th in total attendance last year but brought in an estimated $10.4 million in profits . Because Philly is a large media market, they are not eligible to receive payments from revenue sharing. They can only contribute revenue to other teams. If the Sixers (or any other major market team) have lower revenue, this directly affects teams such as Bobcats which turned a $34 million loss into a $12 million loss via revenue sharing.
TV Networks- The TV networks need angles to sell games. These angles bring in the casual fan. There is no one on the Sixers currently that a casual fan would be interested. That’s a fact. Because teams like the Lakers and Knicks have stars on their teams, it’s easy to sell them. That is why these two teams play on Christmas Day even though both of these teams are only incrementally better than the Sixers. They cannot trash teams like the Wolves, even though games like the one against the Wolves show they too are comparably as bad as the Sixers, because they have a future “star” in Wiggins. How do you promote him in 5 years as one of the league’s best players if you trashed him and the Wolves when he was a rookie?
Other Head Coaches- I’ve read multiple articles from current and former head coaches criticizing the Sixers rebuild. These coaches have a pattern of shaking down the owners for money and control of the teams and then leaving the team in disarray. The Sixers’ owners have already experienced this with Doug Collins. They have ignored this path. They do not have a generational player like Anthony Davis, yet. Even if they did, I doubt they would forsake building a strong, competent program to haphazardly hurry the building of a contender around a young star like Anthony Davis. Larry Brown, Doug Collins, and their ilk are known for this approach. The Sixers current approach is directly opposed to this approach. If the Sixers are successful with their approach (which I think they will be), the temple of “basketball guys,” like Brown and Collins would like us all to genuflect at, would be destroyed.
When the attack on the Sixers’ rebuild is viewed in light of the motives of all the co-conspirators, it is easy to see that the Sixers are not “abusing the system” but are in fact the victim of many bullies. This is a business and the Sixers are executing their business plan. When fans are able to push these unfounded criticisms to the side, they are then able to enjoy the development of Nerlens Noel, MCW, Tony Wroten, and hopefully Joel Embiid. They will be able to enjoy surprises such as KJ McDaniels. They will be able to enjoy the eventual arrival of Dario Saric. I say, sit back Sixers fans, and enjoy the ride. You’re getting in on an investment at the ground floor.