Mistrust the process.
December 8, 2015 9:11 AM   Subscribe

The Philadelphia 76ers are the worst team in basketball, by design. Under general manager Sam Hinkie, the team has been unabashed in stockpiling players they hope will one day be great while barely even trying to win games in the meantime, since worse teams get better draft picks. (Previously) But those days may be over, as it seems the NBA itself has effectively forced the Sixers to hire an executive who will at least try to build a winning team. It's a rare, if not unprecedented, instance of a professional sports league stepping in to save a theoretically independent team from itself.

The hiring of Hall of Fame executive Jerry Colangelo reportedly came in response to other NBA owners' worries that the 76ers' bad play has hurt their own profits -- despite being from a major market, they were contributing practically nothing to the league's revenue sharing program. Would you buy a ticket to see the San Antonio Spurs play without their three big stars and win by 51 anyway?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish (122 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
If they finish 6-76 it will be the best thing to have ever happened
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:15 AM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Price for Pistons at 76ers on StubHub $7.
Price of a can of beer at the Wells Fargo Center $10.50.
posted by cmfletcher at 9:16 AM on December 8, 2015 [16 favorites]


Ted Stepien on line 2.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:18 AM on December 8, 2015


I have news for the NBA. Philly fans aren't going to start showing up if the league forces the Sixers to sign some middle tier vets so they can earn a first round playoff exit. They are going to show up when the team is for real competitive again, and screwing up the tanking is only going to delay that. We are all accepting of the tanking deal and it's only going to be worse if the team is forced to give up on it now before it bears fruit.

Maybe examine why this was the only real option in the first place instead of fucking with it.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:24 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


But, they've got one of the best songs...
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:24 AM on December 8, 2015


Meanwhile, Steph Curry seems to have basically broken basketball. The NBA will need to think seriously about a rebalancing patch in the offseason.
posted by kmz at 9:26 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've really been enjoying The Process, because I love metagames, but at no point has that enjoyment translated into wanting to watching a 76ers game, for obvious reasons.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


There were legitimate bets on air in SF whether the Sixers would get their first win before the Warriors first loss (The Sixers win came first...)
posted by bitdamaged at 9:28 AM on December 8, 2015


If they're deliberately throwing individual games, I can see how that is a problem. But if they're deliberately developing young talent and working the system to try to build a dynastic team, why is that a problem that needs to be fixed?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:28 AM on December 8, 2015


At this point, they have to increase their winning percentage in order to end the season at 6-76.
posted by WalkingAround at 9:29 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because it is totally immoral to base a business around Long Term Planning in today's Capitalist model of grabbing all the short-term profit you can and getting out before the future comes due. Right.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:30 AM on December 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


Now why didn't Gary Bettman think of that?
posted by saturday_morning at 9:31 AM on December 8, 2015


Nanukthedog: But, they've got one of the best songs ...

That's not as good as one of their other songs.
posted by Rob Rockets at 9:34 AM on December 8, 2015


But if they're deliberately developing young talent and working the system to try to build a dynastic team, why is that a problem that needs to be fixed?

Because they've been "developing" talent for 3 years without fielding even a remotely competitive team, and actually getting worse. There's very little signs of development, rather than just hoarding draft picks...for reasons.

Look at their 3 centerpieces -
Joel Embiid - hurt for 2 years, came back fat, hurt again, may never play a meaningful NBA game

Nerlens Noel - solid role player, has no offensive game at all, made little progress in developing an offensive game under The Plan. Never going to be the number one option on any team, he's basically Ben Wallace reborn.

Jalil Okafor - the exact opposite of Noel, all he does is offense, while playing maybe the worst defense in the league and has made no progress at all in getting any better on defense.

These guys all play the same position. How are they ever supposed to form a coherent team?

Oh, they also have Kendall Marshall, who's never played an NBA game, and Tony Wroten, a worse version of Jamal Crawford with an unlimited green light to shoot terrible shots.

The problem isnt necessarily that tanking for young players can't work, it's that you need to (a) actually draft players that can fit into a team and then (b) actually develop them. The Sixers have failed miserably at both.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:37 AM on December 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


All of those guys were also drafted pretty much right where they were expected to be. It's not really their fault it's still not good enough. They could switch back to trying to buy stars in free agency or trade but their last attempt at that was Andrew Bynum. Yeah. Stars aren't going to come here that way. As long as the ping pong balls keep them from the top, healthy talent, they should keep tanking.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:41 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Sixers are terrible and it's by design. This isn't the same as the horrible NBA owners of the 70's and early 80's who would just give draft picks away - leading to top teams like the Lakers getting top picks over and over again. They even had to make a rule named after the worst offender to prevent teams from trading away consecutive draft picks.

I understand what the Sixers are doing - keep trying to get a superstar in the draft, not only avoiding talented veterans but also any young players who might become good but not great in case they elevate your team from horrible to merely mediocre. But as we're seeing with the off court problems that Embid and Okafor are experiencing, not having veteran role models may end up stunting their young players growth. And minimizing risk is not the same as avoiding it - there's no guarantee that they'll get the top pick in any draft, much less one where the next Duncan or LeBron is available.

They're deliberately acquiring young talent, and deliberately putting themselves in the position to acquire more through the draft. But it's become clear what they're not doing is developing that talent. And when someone like Michael Carter Williams comes along who may or may not be a good player but isn't a scrub or a future superstar, they trade them away.


Minnesota seems to be taking the opposite track this year - they're a young team that signed 3 of the oldest players in the league to mentor their youngsters as much as play in games. They've got a grizzled vet point guard, forward, and big man - everyone on the team has someone to learn from.
posted by thecjm at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, they also have Kendall Marshall, who's never played an NBA game

Kendall Marshall's career hasn't been stellar as people who loved him in college might have hoped*, but he's played in 130 games.

*That foul in the Creighton game was dirty and it probably cost UNC a title and I will never stop being angry.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:44 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


You can spend over the salary floor and not resort to trying to buy stars, the Sixers other problem is refusal to pay any money for even competent veterans. Look at the young Timberwolves, or the Suns, for the textbook example of building through the draft while supplementing your developing talent with sub-max contract level free agents.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:45 AM on December 8, 2015


There were legitimate bets on air in SF whether the Sixers would get their first win before the Warriors first loss (The Sixers win came first...)

Yeah, but it took the Kobe Bryant On Crutches Retirement Tour to hand it to them.
posted by Etrigan at 9:46 AM on December 8, 2015


Kendall Marshall's career hasn't been stellar as people who loved him in college might have hoped*, but he's played in 130 games.

You're right, I saw he was injured and hasnt played this season, whoops.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:49 AM on December 8, 2015


Jerry ran the Olympic team for a while. Know who loved being on the Olympic team? Kobe. Kobe's also from (outside of) Philly.

I know he's said he doesn't want to coach, but can you think of anyone better suited to scare these kids straight?
posted by thecjm at 9:49 AM on December 8, 2015


NBA owners pushed Adam Silver to meddle with the 76ers. That's a problem.
The revenue-sharing bit is pretty funny considering a wide swath of the league fought tooth and nail against more robust revenue sharing in the first place. The teams that fought in favor of revenue sharing are largely complicit in The Process, having voted down draft lottery reforms that would have short-circuited Hinkie's grand plan.

This is the core problem: franchise owners had a chance to fix this problem the right way by changing policies, and they did not. Had the Board of Governors voted to even out the lottery odds in time for the 2015 or 2016 NBA Draft, the Sixers' incentive to be the worst would have been markedly reduced. That would possibly have led to the team spending some of its immense cap space on actual productive NBA players instead of dead weight. (The contracts of JaVale McGee and Gerald Wallace are on Philadelphia's books for $21 million of cap space even if the players are not. The entire active roster is earning $34 million combined. The actual salary cap threshold is $70 million.)

Why didn't NBA team owners vote to change the rules to prevent situations like this, situations in which it's in a team's best interest to eat the losses (on-court and on the books) for three years and rack up high draft picks? Because they were afraid they might need to do the same thing when they were down!

Brilliantly, the team owners have gotten exactly what they wanted. The option to tank shamelessly is still legal and available, but the Sixers are going to pull out of the gambit early. They have finally defeated Sam Hinkie by convincing the boss (Silver) to convince Hinkie's boss (Harris) to give Hinkie a new boss (Colangelo) who is not going to be pleased with more losing.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:54 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I Ctrl+Fed for "relegation", zero matches.

Seriously, the NBA has a D league. I totally want to see the 76ers playing in the local municipal gym.
posted by selfnoise at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


If there is any league in the US where it would be appropriate, the NBA is it. You want the big Philly market to fill the arena? Lose the cap and let them buy the talent. Relegate the small market teams that can't keep up.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:56 AM on December 8, 2015


Doesn't someone have to be the worst?
posted by agregoli at 9:59 AM on December 8, 2015


Speaking of "never played an NBA game," the Sixers also traded a player and two draft picks for the rights to a player who openly stated that he had no plans to play in the NBA immediately and has a strong financial incentive to continue to stay away.

As if anyone needs more incentives to stay away from the Sixers.
posted by delfin at 10:00 AM on December 8, 2015


I Ctrl+Fed for "relegation", zero matches.

If that had happened after last year, we'd have a new NBA team in Santa Cruz at the expense of Minnesota.

I'm okay with that.
posted by Etrigan at 10:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Getting younger and amassing draft picks is basically the only avenue a professional sports franchise can take to rebuild. This is an issue because the 76ers's rebuild is also costing the rest of the league's owners money, so clearly SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

I don't follow the NBA much (or, like, at all), but the analog in the NHL (which I do follow) is probably the Edmonton Oilers -- scads of young, high draft picks that never seem to develop, and the Oil just keep on losing*. It's been YEARS since the Oilers started the rebuild, more or less when the LA Kings started their rebuild. The Kings now have two Stanley Cups and have become the darlings of Advanced Stat boosters. Part of the Oiler's problem is league-worst administration and player development. And part of it is just plain bad luck. Some draft pools just aren't that great, and you aren't going do what the Penguins did (grab one top flight goalie and two elite skaters in three consecutive drafts after a long tank) or what the Chicago NHL Team did (grab one elite defenseman and two elite forwards in consecutive drafts after a really, really long tank).

The situation is a bit different, moneywise, in the NHL as the Oil still sell out at home and NHL revenue sharing is kinda miserly, and a small market Canadian club like Edmonton is not expected to kick in much.

Anyway, combine not very good leadership with not very good draft pools, and the rebuild can take a long, long time. I read in the links that both the coach and the GM are confident about their futures with the org after the new guy arrives. Well, what else can they say?
posted by notyou at 10:02 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


If they finish 6-76 it will be the best thing to have ever happened

The Warriors could go 76-6, which would be better.
posted by notyou at 10:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Warriors could go 76-6, which would be better.

Hell, if you believe this 538 prediction algorithm, they have almost a 1% chance of going 80-2 or better (and 2 of the 10,000 simulations had them going 82-0).
posted by Copronymus at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Given that the draft lottery hasn't stopped teams from openly tanking, why not penalize the worst team in the league by guaranteeing them the 14th pick in the subsequent draft's first round? I assume this is because the other owners would rather meddle with the one really obvious tanker than lose the opportunity to tank just a little bit themselves in the future.
posted by aaronetc at 10:18 AM on December 8, 2015


How are they gonna get that sweet Disney underdog film if they just trade or buy good players rather than just toil away for 15 years trying to do it themselves? They're playing the long game!
posted by tittergrrl at 10:19 AM on December 8, 2015


Adam Silver is the best leader among the four major pro sports in the U.S. It's not even close.

I've famously said that the concussion issue will catapult soccer into more prominence in the U.S. Now it's looking more and more like the NBA has started another resurgence, bigger than the 80s explosion, and health concerns will drive more and more top young athletes to basketball.

The NBA is going back to the future!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:25 AM on December 8, 2015


Might be a little early to pass judgment on Rob Manfred.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:30 AM on December 8, 2015


Getting younger and amassing draft picks is basically the only avenue a professional sports franchise can take to rebuild.

Here are the recent championship teams, and how they've built their teams:

2014-2015 Golden State Warriors have drafted incredibly well (no current players were Warriors' top-5 picks, and their second best player was a 2nd round pick), and they've signed key free agents (Iggy, Bogut)

2013-2014 San Antonio Spurs have only one top-5 draft pick on their team, Tim Duncan, who was drafted centuries ago. They draft very well (Kawhi, Parker, and Ginobili were all picked in the second half of the first round or the second round) and they scout international players relentlessly.

2012-2013 The Miami Heat drafted Dwyane Wade 5th overall, but acquired Bosh and LeBron through trades. One reason why Bosh and LeBron were attracted to Miami was the success of Pat Riley, the GM.

And on and on.

The way to rebuild in the NBA is to: 1) draft or sign a franchise-changing player; 2) draft well at the end of the first round and into the second round; 3) sign key free agents

The Sixers have spent three years trying to do #1, and they keep failing. They are actively rejecting #2 and #3. No team has done what Philly has done and succeeded. If they pull it off, they'll be the first.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:48 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Let's be honest, they acquired Lebron and and Bosh through player collusion. That's exactly the sort of rich get richer situation that has made tanking the attractive solution.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:51 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Because it is totally immoral to base a business around Long Term Planning in today's Capitalist model of grabbing all the short-term profit you can and getting out before the future comes due. Right.

This is really funny considering the 76ers owners are a bunch of hedge fund guys who bought the team for under $300 million, and are looking to get a franchise player through the draft so they can sell the cheapest possible team for the most money. If they get Ben Simmons in the next draft they'll have a puny payroll and will be able to sell the team for close to a billion dollars. They literally only care about grabbing as much short-term profit as possible.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:51 AM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Drinkie Die, honest question. Why are you so invested in seeing this work? That's a question I have for every Sixers fan who "trusts the process." What the hell is in it for you? This team is a pile of miserable farts.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:53 AM on December 8, 2015


I pretty much only care about the Sixers if they are playoff competitive. This is the best path to get there long term, I don't care how long it takes or if they lose every game on the way. I'm only a die hard 365 days a year Eagles fan, bandwagon all the way on the rest of the Philly teams. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 10:55 AM on December 8, 2015


This is the best path to get there long term, I don't care how long it takes.

This is what drives people crazy about Sixers fans! You've all been hypnotized and nobody knows how to break the spell! This is NOT the best path to get there. This has NEVER worked before! Going from the worst team in the league one year to REALLY SUPER the worst team the next year to OMIGOD MY PANTS! this year is not the way to become playoff competitive.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:59 AM on December 8, 2015


I don't think they intended to keep tanking but the ping pong balls keep preventing them from getting the pick they really want to build around. I have no problem if they want to wait till they have someone they really believe they can work with. Will judge if the plan is a success or failure at that point.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:04 AM on December 8, 2015


I pretty much only care about the Sixers if they are playoff competitive.

In that case you should really hate the Process for destroying any semblance of entertaining basketball or chance at playing a post-season game.

Best case scenario for the Sixers is they get the #1 pick and Ben Simmons is the next Lebron, coming into the league fully formed as a franchise player ready to lead a team to the playoffs, which has happened in maybe 3 cases (Lebron, Jordan, Kareem), ever. Even Kobe and Shaq needed a couple years to develop. In any other situation, if they don't get the #1, or if they get it and draft Embiid again, or Anthony Bennett, or if even if they get Simmons and he's not Lebron after all, the plan failed. And it's failed three years in a row now, with no plan B to speak of.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:04 AM on December 8, 2015


In that case you should really hate the Process for destroying any semblance of entertaining basketball or chance at playing a post-season game.

We are looking for a chance at championships, not attending the playoffs as an obviously second rate squad. We had that for years before the plan. Philly cares disproportionately about championships, that may be the disconnect here. Second place or last place you are still a loser. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 11:06 AM on December 8, 2015


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "2013-2014 San Antonio Spurs have only one top-5 draft pick on their team, Tim Duncan, who was drafted centuries ago. "

It's worth noting that the Spurs only had that pick because their star, David Robinson, was injured for the season and so they finished with the 3rd worst record in the league and 157 ping pong balls in the lottery. The last place Grizzlies had 250 ping pong balls, but could not get the first pick as a part of their expansion agreement. The Celtics (through a trade and their own tanking) had a whopping 264 ping pong balls and a 36% chance at the top slot, and ended up with the third and sixth picks.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:08 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


The big problem with the tank-till-you're-good approach is that you're depending on the draft to have quality talent in it in any given year. Sure, some years the top of the draft is Lebron, Wade, Carmelo, but there's always a Darko in there too.
posted by zempf at 11:09 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think there's a strong case that even if you put 18yr old Lebron on this Sixers team, the staff is so incompetant and the supporting cast so much worse than even 2003 Cleveland, it would ruin him and he never would've developed into the player he is now or won a championship.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:10 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I Ctrl+Fed for "relegation", zero matches.

That's because relegation doesn't work outside European soccer.

In order to implement a relegation system you'd have to scrap the draft, have all the pro teams start development academies, ditch salary caps, poach youth talent from high schools and the NCAA, and have such a demand for product that several teams can survive in a single market.

The relegation system will also destroy any parity or chance for the little market team to win. The money and talent get bought by the largest market teams. Of the 20 premier league clubs, 6 are in the London area and none are in Birmingham or Leeds.

Also, the cost of sending a team with a 3rd tier budget is actually managable when your country is roughly the size of New York state.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:15 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The point about the Spurs is that they haven't had a top-20 pick since 1997 (1997!!) and yet STILL -- well after Duncan's peak -- they are perennially one of the best teams in the league. 18 years of picking at the bottom of the draft, and still winning championships.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:16 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Spurs traded up to 15 to get Kawhi Leonard
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:19 AM on December 8, 2015


Technically Kawhi was drafted by the Pacers, right? Basically the Spurs turned their 26th pick (George Hill) into Kawhi muthafunkin Leonard.

I don't understand why teams still trade with the Spurs. This is what the Spurs do. They take their 26th pick and turned it into an All-Star.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: "18 years of picking at the bottom of the draft, and still winning championships."

Oh, absolutely. Just thought it was interesting that the draft selection that catapulted the Spurs to their decades-long streak of competitiveness was not gained by tanking, or even by being the worst team in the league. They were already a good team without Duncan, had some bad luck with injuries, and then some very good luck in the lottery.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:27 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think there's a strong case that even if you put 18yr old Lebron on this Sixers team, the staff is so incompetant and the supporting cast so much worse than even 2003 Cleveland, it would ruin him and he never would've developed into the player he is now or won a championship.

Yeah, the big thing I worry about as a Philadelphia fan is that the guys who aren't superstars but could be quality players on a top-tier squad with some years under their belt, like Noel and Okafor, will instead wash out because there's nobody on the court they can learn from or develop good habits with.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:28 AM on December 8, 2015


The point about the Spurs is that they haven't had a top-20 pick since 1997 (1997!!) and yet STILL -- well after Duncan's peak -- they are perennially one of the best teams in the league. 18 years of picking at the bottom of the draft, and still winning championships.

And the question on the table here isn't what you'd do if you were the 2015 Spurs trying to reload and continue to contend for a championship, it's what you would have done if you were the Sixers brass back in 2013 and wanting to contend within a few years. Some of the Spurs success is the network effect of already having a reputation for winning, some of it is smarter scouting and management, but if that were easy, 29 other teams would try to reproduce that formula, which also included some luck with the balls bouncing the right way to get Duncan.

The system in the NBA is set up to incentivize the exact thing the Sixers did, and if nothing else, someone had to try the purest form of that strategy. It didn't work out, but I'm having trouble imagining a counterfactual where the 2015 Sixers are significantly closer to contention because they happened to draft slightly better at the back of the first round two or brought in a mid-tier veteran.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:29 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Technically Kawhi was drafted by the Pacers, right?

I guess, but that's how all NBA draft day trades work, trades can't be finalized until sometime after the draft through the league office, so it's always a verbal deal when the original team drafts the player to be officially traded to the receiving team later.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:30 AM on December 8, 2015


Hall/Oates, given where the Sixers are today (or, let's say the 2012-13 season after they traded for Bynum, which is when the Process really started), where would you have gone with that team?

Honestly I think the Sixers really screwed themselves most by acknowledging that they aren't really trying to win games and are just playing for that pick; other teams have done it (see Boston, 1997) and honestly the Lakers rolling Kobe and his 31% FG% out there every night to jack up 17 shots while benching Russell and Randle are doing it too, just not with a big "WE'RE TANKING" sign around their necks.
posted by zempf at 11:30 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm having trouble imagining a counterfactual where the 2015 Sixers are significantly closer to contention

This year's team is currently 1-21.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:31 AM on December 8, 2015


If they were 5-17 would you feel any better about them?
posted by zempf at 11:32 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess, but that's how all NBA draft day trades work

But my point is that they did what they did with picks in the lower end of the draft. Yes, they used their #26 pick and some expiring contracts to move up to get a player they wanted. That doesn't mean their pick in the draft wasn't the #26 pick.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:33 AM on December 8, 2015


If they were 5-17 would you feel any better about them?

They'd be four games better. I mean, how could you possibly feel worse about the product that is on the court?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:33 AM on December 8, 2015


Colangelo is going to be on the Mike Missanelli show in a few minutes. Stream here.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:36 AM on December 8, 2015


The problem is that in the NBA, it is virtually impossible to win a championship without a superstar. The only team in the entire history of the NBA to win a championship without a Hall of Famer (or future Hall of Famer) is the '04 Pistons. So being marginally better by aquiring mediocre-to-good players is wasted effort. Every team without a superstar should be doing everything they can to aquire one. That's exactly what the Sixers are doing.
posted by parallellines at 11:39 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now why didn't Gary Bettman think of that?

I seem to recall some rumors/speculation over the summer that the Edmonton Oilers' management shakeup after last season was the result of the league letting them know that they weren't going to be allowed to continue to collect 1st overall picks year after year.
posted by ghharr at 11:39 AM on December 8, 2015


Thank you for that basic math lesson, I really appreciate your substantive contribution to the conversation. I'm trying to grasp what you think the Sixers should be doing instead of what they are doing. Do I love the tank? No, I find the team unwatchably bad and think they'd benefit from having some real actual basketball players around for Okafor and Noel to learn from, like the Wolves bringing in Garnett. But the path to getting a superstar in the league is via the draft in the first place (Lebron doesn't go to Miami if Wade isn't there, the Spurs aren't where they are today if Duncan's not there, etc.) and the Sixers are just (very cynically) maximizing that strategy.
posted by zempf at 11:39 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to grasp what you think the Sixers should be doing instead of what they are doing.

Literally anything else.

think they'd benefit from having some real actual basketball players around for Okafor and Noel to learn from, like the Wolves bringing in Garnett.

There you go, I like that idea.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:41 AM on December 8, 2015



If they were 5-17 would you feel any better about them?


But that's the thing they need to make strides each year. There's a sliding window to the whole "Process". They need what 3 good drafts to build a team contending team? But then what? Your draft picks get worse each year as your team gets better, the best picks from the early drafts start hitting either free agency or getting paid.

I'm totally confused how this is supposed to work and by my math the (currently 1 and 21) 76ers literally need to be in the playoffs next year for this to start paying off.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:42 AM on December 8, 2015


I'm only a die hard 365 days a year Eagles fan
and then...
Philly cares disproportionately about championships, that may be the disconnect here. Second place or last place you are still a loser. :P

How does that work?

Seeing as how the Eagles have never won a championship ever and have a completely empty trophy case (and likely always will), it seems almost masochistic to judge success only by championships. It just guarantees you are cheering for a loser.

I feel bad. Maybe my Cowboys should loan the Eagles one of their 5 Lombardis to give those championship-or-bust Eagle fans some worth and relief from what must be a private hell.
posted by dios at 11:43 AM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Three time champions, bro. Only team to beat the coach the Super Bowl trophy is named after in the playoffs. NFL existed long before the Cowboys. And yes, the lack of championships in proportion to what you would expect with a market this size is the reason for the obsession with them.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:46 AM on December 8, 2015


Also, Cowboys suck, fuck outta here with that shit.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:49 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


(And if that means nuking the entire NFC East from orbit just to be sure, bombs away.)
posted by tonycpsu at 11:49 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm listening to this Colangelo interview, and apparently... it's just a part-time gig? And he's going to do it all from his house in Phoenix? Nothing says "Commitment to Excellence" like "Can we reschedule our Skype meeting for tomorrow?"
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:51 AM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you have to go back to pre NFL merger, I think the point stands. Might as well start counting Helms titles, Penn has a few of those right?
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:51 AM on December 8, 2015


Go ahead take shots at Philly fans, we'll stop on over and treat you like a hitchhiking robot.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:56 AM on December 8, 2015


Yes, it is correct that if you ignore the three championships they have won they have never ever won championships. Personally I think the game has changed so much with the current rules benefitting offense that it's really a different game than it was in the 90s. By that standard, the Cowboys also have an empty trophy case.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:56 AM on December 8, 2015


The 76ers plan is just a manifestation of how much basketball is star-dependent. A team must have superstars (at least two or three) to be a serious, sustained competitor. There are two ways to get high end talent: (1) get lucky with a draft pick; or (2) have stars sign with your team. Unfortunately, the second option has largely been changed in the NBA such that a team has to have one superstar already before they can recruit and sign the second superstar. Superstars are trying to follow the Miami Heat model of wanting to play with 1 or 2 other superstars.

Thus, a barrier of entry into the superstar market in free agency is to get lucky in the draft on one. Thus any team, like the 76ers or anyone else, who wants to become a long term dominant team, has to first hit on a superstar in the draft. Then they can try to parlay that superstar into free agent superstars and a very competitive team.

Tanking and going for top 3 pick in hopes of a superstar is a model, but its not a guaranteed model. Your other option is to get lucky with a great system coach like Pop in SA or just randomly hit on a game-changing player like Curry as GS did.

I find it confusing that the league is permitting the various collusion/consolidation of superstars through free agency on a handful of teams--thereby reinforcing that superstars are needed to compete--but then try to stop a team from trying to land a superstar through the draft.
posted by dios at 11:56 AM on December 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yes, it is correct that if you ignore the three championships they have won they have never ever won championships. Personally I think the game has changed so much with the current rules benefitting offense that it's really a different game than it was in the 90s.

The 90s, a.k.a. the decade after the decade after the decade after the last Eagles championship.
posted by Etrigan at 12:00 PM on December 8, 2015


Okay grandpa, sure, Nirvana is a great oldies band, but can we change the station now?
posted by Drinky Die at 12:01 PM on December 8, 2015


No team has done what Philly has done and succeeded.

This simply isn't true. What Philly is doing is very transparent: they want to be the next Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Thunder - when they were still the Seattle SuperSonics - went 31-51 in 2006-7, lucked out into the #2 pick, and drafted Kevin Durant. They also traded Ray Allen, their star, for the #5 pick (which was Jeff Green). They consciously chose to rebuild and played Durant and Green heavy minutes in 2007-08, which meant a lot of losses because that's what happens when you play rookies for heavy minutes. That ended up giving them a 20-62 record and the #4 pick, which was Russell Westbrook. They also managed to draft Serge Ibaka with an extra late first-rounder they acquired from Phoenix. Again they play all their young players and rooks heavy minutes, so in 2008-09, their first season in OKC, they went 23-59, which gave them the #4 pick again - which ended up being James Harden.

The core of Durant/Westbrook/Ibaka/Harden got them to the NBA Finals three years later. They've been to the Western Conference Finals twice more and with the exception of last year (when practically the entire team was injured) they're always a force in the playoffs. Even after they traded Harden for very little return because the team is stingy.

That's what Philly wants. They want to be the Thunder. Philly's problem isn't that their model is bad; it's that they're taking it too far in the quest to maximize odds of a #1 pick. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor (who are, let's be clear, both likely future All-Stars rather than middling players, as some here have suggested) need guidance from vets and heavy minutes, but Philly gambled that the rooks could develop just with coaching guidance. It's not paying off. But that doesn't make their decision irrational.
posted by mightygodking at 12:01 PM on December 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


Has nobody else noticed that Sam Hinkie's personality might be part of the perception problem? I'm a Buffalo Sabres fan; tanking can work. But Hinkie comes across as a dick, and I think that's part of why so many people lose their patience with the Sixers.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:05 PM on December 8, 2015


Cowboys aside, the point was that judging only by championships seems doomed to misery, particularly when you haven't won one in 55 years. That's true whether you're talking about having never won a championship ever, or not in the Super Bowl era.

But Philly does seem to enjoy misery almost as much as Cleveland, so maybe that's not really a reason not to support the Sixers quest for The One. Or the Eagles, who are making almost as many poor decisions.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:05 PM on December 8, 2015


That's what Philly wants. They want to be the Thunder.

That has to be the model story, but again, the Sixers also drafted 3 guys that play the same position in 3 straight drafts. The Thunder hit home runs on three different pieces of a complete team all back to back, incredibly lucky or savvy, probably both. Even granting that the Sixers plan could or even has worked, they executed it horribly.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:08 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


NFL existed long before the Cowboys.... Okay grandpa

Splinter, beam, etc.
posted by Etrigan at 12:10 PM on December 8, 2015


The 90s, a.k.a. the decade after the decade after the decade after the last Eagles championship.

The decade after the decade after the decade after the last time Eagles fans pelted Santa with snowballs, so if we're letting go of old history let's be egalitarian about it.

I cannot blame Hinkie for wanting to roll the dice and take a shot at immortality. Take a nowhere franchise to the championship and you become a legend. The problem is that, sooner or later, you have to weigh the probability of The Process actually succeeding and resulting in a championship versus (a) the sunk costs involved, (b) the devaluation of all aspects of the franchise thanks to your dropping it down a gigantic rebuilding chasm and (c) we couldn't possibly be making the wrong personnel decisions, could we?

When you start wondering if Jon Bois could draft a better Sixers team -- and then realize that that deconstruction of red-white-and-blue agony was TWO SEASONS AGO -- it's time to pack it in and reach out for mediocrity for a while.
posted by delfin at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2015


That has to be the model story, but again, the Sixers also drafted 3 guys that play the same position in 3 straight drafts. The Thunder hit home runs on three different pieces of a complete team all back to back, incredibly lucky or savvy, probably both. Even granting that the Sixers plan could or even has worked, they executed it horribly.

Right. This is what happens when private equity hedge fund guys are more focused on acquiring assets for a future sale than they are interested in putting together a basketball team.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2015


Yes, it is correct that if you ignore the three championships they have won they have never ever won championships. Personally I think the game has changed so much with the current rules benefitting offense that it's really a different game than it was in the 90s.

But not different enough that you still lay claim to the Eagle's 1948 championship in which the Eagles blew-up their opponent in a 7-0 barnburner back in the 10-team league leather helmet days of Steve Van Buren and 2-way players.

Was it that 1948 win that gave you the taste of championships you still crave today? How old were you then when you tasted that sweet nectar and developed that life-long belief that championships like that are all that matters?

By that standard, the Cowboys also have an empty trophy case.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:56 PM on December


Actually, they have 5 Lombardis from their record 8 visits. And the highest winning percentage in NFL history.
See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Football_League_records_%28team%29

But we have enough Lombardis, I'm sure we could loan one to y'all and not even miss it.
posted by dios at 12:13 PM on December 8, 2015


Do they give trophies to the most annoying fanbase? How many of those do the Cowboys have?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tanking can work, but if your strategy also completely fucks the development of your budding young stars you've basically ensured nothing but a cycle of tanking followed by more tanking. That is what the Sixers are achieving. The point of a franchise is to earn money for the league. If the Sixers do nothing to contribute to the finances of the league as a whole, I don't see what options the league has but to yank the franchise away from the owners. They did it to the Clippers, they can do it again.

I don't watch the NBA due to my own concerns about the actual competitiveness of the league and the integrity of the game (thank you very much Tim Donaghy, David Stern, and so on). This is just another symptom of underlying systemic issues to the professional game.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:16 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


None. The Washington football team's fans have won that trophy every year since they started handing it out.

(And if ribbing Eagles' fans is wrong, I don't want to be right)
posted by dios at 12:17 PM on December 8, 2015


I don't watch the NBA due to my own concerns about the actual competitiveness of the league and the integrity of the game

You're missing out. Steph Curry actually makes me giggle with glee when I watch him play. This Warriors team is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's fantastic, and I'm so glad I'm able to experience it.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:20 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


but if your strategy also completely fucks the development of your budding young stars you've basically ensured nothing but a cycle of tanking followed by more tanking.

This surely correct. You can't build a culture of losing and then turn that around. But I think it assumes that this a "development plan." I don't see it that way. I don't believe that the 76ers are stockpiling and developing guys over years. I think their plan is to keep swinging until they finally hit on one. In other words, all the guys on the team now? They are misses and will be cast off at some point. They are not part of the plan. The plan is still at the start line waiting, waiting, and waiting. When they finally "hit" on their superstar, they'll start scuttling players left and right and build around their superstar. They'll use their big salary cap room to max out a couple superstars to go with their big prize drafted one, and the the plan proceeds.

The guys on the team right now are not pieces for the future, as best as I can tell. The guys on the team right now are just the discarded "misses" and the tools to keep swinging for the star.
posted by dios at 12:21 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


>But not different enough that you still lay claim to the Eagle's 1948 championship in which the Eagles blew-up their opponent in a 7-0 barnburner back in the 10-team league leather helmet days of Steve Van Buren and 2-way players.

Hey now, I'm not the one who started off with defining "Never ever ever" as, "Looking as far back as is convenient for my point." I'm just playing along. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 12:22 PM on December 8, 2015


I don't see it that way. I don't believe that the 76ers are stockpiling and developing guys over years. I think their plan is to keep swinging until they finally hit on one. In other words, all the guys on the team now? They are misses and will be cast off at some point. They are not part of the plan.

Yeah, it's this. They don't care they are drafting at the same position because they will be happy to trade these guys away when they finally find their Duncan.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:25 PM on December 8, 2015


This Warriors team is unlike anything I've ever seen.

You missed Jordan's '95 Bulls. Same deal. I'm not sure how those '95 Bulls lost 10 games. They were so much better than everyone else, and I watched most of the games on the old WGN cable channel.

But I agree. Curry and the Warriors are pretty interesting. I find it far easier to root for them (other than when I'm cheering for my team) then LeBron's teams which make me gag and the Spurs which make me bored. I think Curry being injured is the only thing that is keep the Warriors from winning 70 games and walking away with the Championship.
posted by dios at 12:25 PM on December 8, 2015


I have news for the NBA. Philly fans aren't going to start showing up if the league forces the Sixers to sign some middle tier vets so they can earn a first round playoff exit. They are going to show up when the team is for real competitive again, and screwing up the tanking is only going to delay that.

There's a solution to this as well. Send the team to Seattle (getting rid of Hinkie in the process). Fans here are so devastated by the loss of the Sonics they'll pay money hand over fist to watch the reconstituted version. Hell, they still buy Sonics merch, some of the proceeds of which go to the hated owners that took the team to OKC. Bringing a team to this fanbase is like a license to print money.

You're missing out. Steph Curry actually makes me giggle with glee when I watch him play. This Warriors team is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's fantastic, and I'm so glad I'm able to experience it.

You may be right, but I also don't have cable. It would take a lot for me to want to start giving money to BOTH the NBA and Comcast.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:27 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


And the NBA is super competitive at the top, I dont know how you can look at the West and say anything about the quality of the league right now. Maybe it's a little unbalanced on the East-West axis, but the overall talent and entertainment level is approaching an all time high.

It's at the bottom and the dreaded middle that's a different story.

(thank you very much Tim Donaghy, David Stern, and so on). This is just another symptom of underlying systemic issues to the professional game.

I don't have evidence or anything, but I think some of the shadiness left with Stern, at least as far as on the court egregiousness. We haven't seen a repeat of the Kings-Lakers Game 6 for awhile or under Silver, unless Im forgetting something.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The decade after the decade after the decade after the last time Eagles fans pelted Santa with snowballs, so if we're letting go of old history let's be egalitarian about it.

The thing I love most about Philly fans is that they're the ones who bring up how shitty they are and then demand that people stop giving them shit about it.
posted by Etrigan at 12:30 PM on December 8, 2015


Yeah, it's this. They don't care they are drafting at the same position because they will be happy to trade these guys away when they finally find their Duncan.

Question is, how do you know you've found your Duncan when you're putting him on the court with guys who are chronically injured, "failures" waiting to be traded away, or complete losers who were specifically chosen to ensure you keep getting lottery picks? You're waiting for not just a great talent but an NBA-ready out-of-the-gate unruinable one, and teams could draft in the top 3 for 20 years without hitting one of those.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:31 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


The presumption is they are going to stop half quarter zero assing everything when they draft the guy they believe is him, not that they wait until he proves it.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:34 PM on December 8, 2015


For all those who are saying that the Sixers have clearly missed on the past few drafts, don't forget that Lebron was pretty great from the start but the teams around him were not - it took him until his third season to even make the playoffs. Not saying Okafor is the next Lebron James but maybe give him more than 20 games in the league before you start writing him off completely.
posted by zempf at 12:35 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tanking is guaranteed to work if and only if during the one year that you decide to do it Lebron James or Patrick Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabaar (not his name then) is going to be a no-brainer number one pick AND a lock at superstardom.

Other than that it never works. (Stephen Curry was picked after Hashem Thabeet, Ricky Rubio, and Jonny Flynn.)
posted by bukvich at 12:37 PM on December 8, 2015


The NBA is now emulating the Boom-Bust cycle of capitalism. The NFL is highlighting capitalist disregard for employee well-being and the capriciousness of strict-legalism. Baseball is highlighting income inequality. NCAA football is highlighting labor-capital negotiating power imbalances. NHL shows the advantages of immigration.

Perhaps American sports can rebuild civic consciousness!
posted by srboisvert at 12:45 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


The NFL is highlighting capitalist disregard...

The NFL is the most socialist organization in the country.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:48 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The NFL is the most socialist organization in the country.

Only if you imagine the owners are workers.
posted by srboisvert at 12:51 PM on December 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


For the owners....
posted by ghost phoneme at 12:51 PM on December 8, 2015


Tanking is guaranteed to work if and only if during the one year that you decide to do it Lebron James or Patrick Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabaar (not his name then)

Cleveland since drafting James: zero rings

Knicks since drafting Ewing: zero rings

Milwaukee since drafting Abdul-Jabbar: one ring

Nothing is ever guaranteed to work in the NBA; relying on good draft picks is just one of those things.
posted by Etrigan at 12:52 PM on December 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


cmfletcher: Of the 20 premier league clubs, 6 are in the London area and none are in Birmingham or Leeds.

Aston Villa are very much in Birmingham (although soon probably not to be in the Premier League). And if you're counting 'the London area', then I'd argue that West Bromwich Albion counts as 'the Birmingham area' - the two stadiums are under five miles from each other.

Relegation is a bit of a red herring when talking about the Premier League, anyway. By far the biggest contributor to London clubs doing much better recently is the bigger TV revenue, which reduces the traditional reliance on match-day revenue that allowed teams from other urban areas to remain strong compared to the smaller London clubs. There are plenty of reasons relegation isn't a good fit for the NBA, but I'm not sure this is the strongest argument.
posted by smcg at 12:53 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


That has to be the model story, but again, the Sixers also drafted 3 guys that play the same position in 3 straight drafts.

More accurately: they drafted Michael Carter-Williams (a point guard) in 2013 and traded the broken-down remains of Jrue Holiday for the draft rights to Nerlens Noel, which was an excellent trade. They then drafted Joel Embiid (center) in 2014 because he was the best player available, and also drafted Dario Saaric as a long-term draft and stash at power forward because Saaric was committed to a European club for three years and he was the best player available at their next pick position. Embiid didn't play at all because of his foot injuries, so they drafted Jahlil Okafor in 2015 because - again - he was the best player available, and if your first draft pick at center doesn't work out, you go get another one.

You're working with 20/20 hindsight, but in 2014, everybody agreed that Embiid was the right pick for the Sixers, because although he was injured the upside was tremendous - he was getting fair comparisons to Hakeem Olaujuwon for crissake. Likewise, Okafor was the right pick in 2015. He and Noel clearly have the potential for a really dangerous frontcourt (a guy who has to be double-defended on offense in his rookie year plus a terrifying offensive rebounder - that's good!); the reason the Sixers keep losing is because they simply do not have an NBA starting-quality backcourt, and barely even have bench-level guards. Their best guard is Robert Covington and that guy would MAYBE be a bench guard on most NBA teams. (And no, keeping Michael Carter-Williams would not have fixed that. The kid cannot score worth a lick and isn't a great passer either.)
posted by mightygodking at 1:03 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


He and Noel clearly have the potential for a really dangerous frontcourt

Jury very much still out on that.

The Sixers score 90.2 points per 100 possessions with Noel and Okafor on the court together. To put things in context, the 2012-13 Denver Nuggets, who had what is believed to be worst offense in NBA history, scored 92.2 points per 100 possessions.

However, the Sixers are at 93.8 with just Okafor on the floor, and 93.3 with just Noel.

The disparity on the defensive end is mind-boggling.

According to the statistics website NBAwowy.com, the Sixers rank 28th in the league defensively when the duo are on the floor. They are 30th when Okafor is out there without Noel. But they are second when Noel plays without Okafor.

posted by T.D. Strange at 1:09 PM on December 8, 2015


Wait, the Super Sonics left Seattle?
posted by persona au gratin at 1:13 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


In ten years, their team still smoldering at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, a heap of ashes and sadness and microfracture surgeries, Sixers fans will be haunted by one name and one name only. It won't be Hinkie, or Embiid, or Coangelo. No, the name that they will wail, over and over, like a lover scorned, with hatred and envy and pain and loss...

Porzingis
PORZINGIS
POR ZEENG US
POOORZEEEEEENGUUUUUS
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:40 PM on December 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


the 2012-13 Denver Nuggets, who had what is believed to be worst offense in NBA history

In case anyone was wondering, this appears to be a typo. The worst offense in NBA history wasn't this George Karl-coached team that nearly won 60 games, it's the 2002-2003 Nuggets, who look completely atrocious. I mean, that is a team led in 3 point attempts by none other than Nikoloz Tskitishvili (and he was not good at making them, either).
posted by Copronymus at 1:48 PM on December 8, 2015


I don't know why everyone gets so up in arms about the 76ers. As others have pointed out, tanking is a legitimate strategy that has worked before to improve one's team for the future, the only thing different about Hinkie is he's being honest about it. To me, that's awesome. I don't know if he's going at it at exactly the right way, but he should be given the opportunity to try.
posted by john-a-dreams at 3:04 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


he should be given the opportunity to try

#TweetsFrom2013
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:13 PM on December 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


But Philly does seem to enjoy misery almost as much as Cleveland

This is categorically false. We hate losing, but our teams are just so fucking good at it that people assume we must enjoy it. I'm not even sure it's true for Cleveland fans, or Chicago Cubs fans, or any other fans that lose.

I can understand not caring, but if you care and you lose, it's not enjoyable.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:36 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't so much care personally, I enjoy NBA history on both ends, Golden State getting to 73 would be awesome; and Philadelphia winning only 6 games would be equally hilarious for different reasons.

I'm more curious why people still buy season tickets three years into this, and why the fans keep tolerating it, although we've seen in this thread that there are always True Believers out there. And I don't really blame the NBA for stepping in at some point when it's clear they're flagrantly not trying to compete, the league has an interest in protecting both profits and competition. You can argue the better way to do that would be reforming the draft, or that now isn't the time to step in, but 1-21 is pretty damning.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:50 PM on December 8, 2015


The fans aren't showing up. Just because they are okay with the tanking doesn't mean they are going to pay for a non-competitive product. Philly fans absolutely hate a lack of heart and effort, Rocky is the mythical sports icon here even though he lost the first fight against Creed. The only reason this is okay for the Sixers is because it's intentional and intended for a greater cause.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:55 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm more curious why people still buy season tickets three years into this, and why the fans keep tolerating it, although we've seen in this thread that there are always True Believers out there.

We had partial season seats with the LA Kings during their rebuild*, and I can tell you that it was fun to watch the kids struggle and improve. Nothing like what 76ers fans are enduring, though.

I was always curious about Clippers fans. That team wasn't actively "tanking" year after year as part of a plan to stock up on talent and picks -- the owner didn't seem to care much either way.

---------------------------
*Of course, the success of that rebuilding effort priced us right out of the building.
posted by notyou at 4:18 PM on December 8, 2015


For the owners....
posted by ghost phoneme at 12:51 PM on December 8 [+] [!]


The NFLPA was founded in 1956, is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and and operates with $300 million in annual assets, as it collects dues and also represents the likenesses of players for licensing purposes. The current collective bargaining agreement with the NFL specifies that players receive 47% of gross receipts.

Call the owners evil, sure. Evil people that hold cities for ransom. Evil people that continue to look the other way on the concussion issue. Evil, evil, evil. They're billionaires, they can handle it. But let's be accurate -- pro sports in the US is a remarkably socialist enterprise at its core.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:50 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aston Villa are very much in Birmingham

My bad. They've already been relegated in my mind.

The rest of my point stands.
posted by cmfletcher at 5:01 PM on December 8, 2015


The current collective bargaining agreement with the NFL specifies that players receive 47% of gross receipts.

Given that without the players the owners would receive zero percent of gross receipts I'm not exactly sure why you consider this generous
posted by mightygodking at 5:04 PM on December 8, 2015


Call the owners evil, sure

Eh, I wasn't really trying to say the owners were evil. But, the income levelling is primarily for team owners. There's a big difference between the highest and lowest paid players (and then again between them and the owners). Even if collectively the players get 47% of gross, the players also have shorter careers that put their long-term physical and mental health on the line, owners have only a financial "risk." Added to that, players who don't perform get cut. Owners who don't perform keep owning and earning. So a lot more security over all on the ownership side.

I will note that there are cases where teams (we can let the owners share credit too) do good things: the Seahawks signed a rookie even after a physical showed he wouldn't be able to safely play football(so he'd get the signing bonus and salary for the year) and the Benegals kept a player on their practice squad so his daughter could keep her insurance while she received cancer treatment. So, not wholly evil.
posted by ghost phoneme at 7:02 PM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mod note: Quick reminder: post is about the 76ers, the NBA, the tanking thing, and associated personnel changes, so let's try not to get entirely derailed with NFL and/or concussion stuff in this thread. Thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:56 PM on December 8, 2015


David Aldridge: Can Jerry Colangelo make chicken salad out of mystery meat?
The announcement last week that Colangelo would be coming aboard was viewed as a necessary restart for the Sixers, regardless of their record -- this morning, after Sunday's loss in Toronto, it's 1-24 -- both in Philly, where the franchise has no discernable pulse with the fan base, and around the league, where teams and agents had grown increasingly frustrated with General Manager Sam Hinkie's style. The 76ers tried to point toward stability on Friday, announcing a two-year contract extension for Coach Brett Brown. But the issue isn't Brown -- if anyone on earth deserves more money and time, it's Brown. It's whether the team will finally begin to address the talent chasm that separates it from the rest of the league. "I have to mentor and I have to advise, and I mean that across the board -- ownership, coaching," Colangelo said Sunday. "Brett has been on the phone with me a lot. There aren't a lot of basketball people in the organization. And then with Sam, I've been there and done that, and I'm trying to help, move things along." After the news conference announcing Brown's extension, Hinkie said he welcomed Colangelo and his extensive contacts.

[...]

Changes are already afoot. Sources confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report Saturday that the 76ers plan to bring in former Suns, Knicks and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni within the next few weeks to sit on the Philly bench as associate head coach. Other sources said the Sixers are talking to former star Elton Brand and NBA veteran Shane Battier about joining the organization, hoping to bring in guys with sterling reputations to serve as role models for the young players. "Josh definitely wants to pick up the pace, but some of the people in the organization just don't get it," a league source said over the weekend.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:30 PM on December 14, 2015


« Older “The strongest of all warriors are these two —...   |   Take a ride on the Genre Line to Nonlinear Rant... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments