The 1960s Celtics, the “Showtime” Lakers, Jordan’s Bulls, Shaq and Kobe, Pop and Duncan’s Spurs, all dynasties, and all different. Something going on in Philadelphia right now is also a little… different. Tank, be patient, develop, pray, those have been common thoughts of the Philadelphia 76ers and their fan base. The scrutiny has been dense, and the jokes have been constant. But, is it possible that the Sixers after years of painful hope are building something we haven’t seen before?
Joel Embiid has very openly struggled to get on the court, but the 31 games he was? Historic. Ben Simmons is yet to play a game on NBA hardwood, but this is a talent that has had hall of fame comparisons reign around him since high school? Magic? LeBron? I know, I know, blasphemy! But, I have seen one guy that plays with the smoothness and ease at such a physical and dominant frame that Simmons has displayed on the court, and that guys will soon be heading to his 7 th finals in a row. Dario Saric quietly flew under the radar with great playmaking abilities and a European flare that is a joy to watch. Even while the Sixers struggled, it never seemed like there was a guy on the court who ever wanted to win as bad as Saric did. How about Robert Covington? Who again, very quietly was arguably the best defender at his position this season and still displays a solid three-point stroke.
It seems a lot of the process has relied on the bounce of Ping-Pong balls, but if those little white balls decide to spin Philly’s way, they could be looking at adding prospects that could round out the process. Markelle Fultz, who seems like a perfect fit and appears to be the best guard prospect out of the draft since Kyrie Irving. Josh Jackson, whose athletic skillset and ceiling is staggering, or Jayson Tatum and Malik Monk who could spread the floor and provide shooting and scoring that would for sure benefit from the attention and skillsets of Simmons and Embiid.
I get it, the records have been absurdly poor, and the luck of this team and its health has been laughable. But if Simmons and Embiid stay healthy, Saric and Covington continue to ease into becoming great NBA players, and the Ping-Pong balls go their way, it could be Brett Brown and the Sixers in the end sitting back… and laughing. And somewhere, somewhere far, far away, Sam Hinkie will smirk and laugh at all those who did not “Trust the Process.”
Written by:Owen Goryl