“Processed” OUT

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I’m done.

I’m finished with them.

I’m distrusting the process.

I am OFFICIALLY off the 76ers’ bandwagon!

I’ve tried…for YEARS…to believe in the “new way” the Philadelphia 76ers were trying to build a dynasty.

I understood that they had to be bad…HISTORICALLY BAD…for multiple seasons in order to get a series of top draft picks and have sustained success.

I defended their tanking each season–when they brought in the true dregs of the league (or sometimes, the developmental league)…putting together the worst of the worst, year after year…and if they started to win and certain players played well, then they were traded away for even worse players and/or duds with expiring contracts.

I looked the other way when all these dreadful seasons resulted in top draft picks, many of whom the Sixers either traded away outright or badly misjudged, making it painful to watch these “top players” underperform, then  get shipped out of town for well-below market value for these once-prized possessions.

I even tried to justify the fact that, after fielding some of the worst teams even to don a professional jersey, that the 76ers “rewarded” die-hard season ticket holders’ undying loyalty by RAISING ticket prices once the team started to turn the corner.

But this was supposed to be THE year.

The year when all that dreadful basketball was supposed to pay off in a team contending for a championship.  The team was “all-in” and, over the last few months, traded away a good chunk of their potential stars to mix with their existing talent (and I’m using that term begrudgingly) to supposedly reach new heights.

But all I saw was boring basketball … lethargy … horrible shooting … guys who looked liked they wanted to be elsewhere and, at best, incredibly inconsistent basketball.

And that was just Sunday’s game!

I love watching basketball.  I’ve loved it for years. But this 76ers team is not even close to being fun to watch.

This past winter, I tried to watch a Sixers game here and there and tried to convince myself that the players’ low-excitement level was tempered during the regular season because those games don’t mean as much as the playoff games do.

I attended the pre-season media event in which smug players walked around, nearly reciting the national media praise that was said about them with an arrogance that many players had not yet deserved to possess (they didn’t win anything last year, did they?)

I’ve listened to these high-priced prima donnas complain about their grueling travel conditions (they all travel first class on their own chartered plane), overloaded playing schedule (they “work”—at most—four nights a week for two hours at a time) and other excuses they’ve used over the last few weeks that belie the term “professional” basketball players.

And don’t take just my word for it.  Tom Moore, one of the most well-respected basketball writers around, was on our “SportsTalk” show before the playoffs even started.  He said he thought—even with all the top-level players brought in—the 76ers had the LEAST chance to win a championship of any of the four major Philadelphia sports teams…and given how bad the Flyers looked this past season, that’s no ringing endorsement of “the Process!”

I give credit to Jimmy Butler—a player who has been called out more than once on Philadelphia’s sports radio stations and by beat reporters this season for not hustling—for calling out his teammates after their horrendous play in Monday’s game four loss to the Raptors.

Butler was quoted as saying that some of his teammates are “just there to have a good time” and saying that certain players “need to play with aggressiveness.“ (Compare the team’s highest salaried players with the low statistical numbers from Monday’s loss—it’s not hard to figure out who he’s talking about).

Joel Embiid (who likes to “have fun” quite a bit if you follow him on social media) did have an excuse for his poor play Sunday…he had a head cold.

A HEAD COLD??????

Clearly Embiid does not know his NBA basketball history, when some of the greatest pro basketball moments came from players who were playing well-below 100% health.

I don’t “keep up with the Kardashians” so I’m not sure if Ben Simmons is still dating one of them, which was another excuse for his poor play earlier this year.  But for a kid who whined enough last year about not being taken seriously as one of the games’ top point guards, it would be nice if he finally learned how to shoot a basketball….something a TRUE point guard can do in their sleep.

I could go on talking about how bad this team has looked in two of its four second-round playoff games over the last week, but I’m not going to go there.  I’m done.

Even if the Sixers do find a way to win this series and advance (something they clearly should well be on their way to doing already), I’ve had it with following this overrated bunch of wanna-be superstars.

If they want to get respect, play with some guts!

The losing…the whining…the lack of effort.  They’re not worth my time anymore—win or lose.  I’ll go follow teams that actually try to win EACH and EVERY night and not just when the mood suits them.

Count me “processed out.”

Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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