In the midst of trade season in the NBA, the woeful Sixers made a surprising move. It wasn’t a veteran point guard to aid Michael Carter Williams’ development or another sniper from the perimeter to stretch an already constricting offensive attack. It wasn’t a Sacramento-esque coaching change or another” garbage to gold” D-League pickup. Instead, it was a dog. His name is Franklin.
The 76ers have been mascot-less since the 2011 season, when they disposed of Hip-Hop the hare. That marked the last time they were “good”. Now the Sixers want to start again. On Tuesday, February 10th, the blue, fluffy dog was unleashed at the local landmark Franklin Institute, where he proceeded to dance and show off his superior dunking abilities. This is the first time I’ve seen anything of the like in my life. With Franklin, it’s as if the Sixers are playing 6 on. 5.
And even though Franklin isn’t set to take the court until the 20th, his spirit is currently at full work. Franklin’s endeavors have yielded a respectable 4-4 record over the team’s past 8 games, including near victories against the NBA-powerhouse Warriors and Hawks. Franklin was created “by the kids, for the kids”, but the magic seems to be rubbing off on some of the players as well.
Tom Frazier has assimilated beautifully for the oft-injured Michael Carter Williams, averaging a healthy 8.7 assists per game while garnering 5 rebounds a game. Robert Covington is no Tony Wroten, but he’s more than avenged the loss with his strong play of late, posting averages of 15 points, 6 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals over his last 10. Hollis Thompson has also rounded back into form, averaging a cool 13 points and 6 rebounds on 52 percent 3-point shooting over his last 5. Call me superstitious, but Franklin’s effervescence is catapulting the team to (relatively) new heights.
It was over 200 years ago when Founding Father Benjamin Franklin signed the U.S Constitution, but today there’s a new Franklin in town and he’s here to make his own rules. Let’s get after it, dog! Time to fetch a championship.