Anybody in sports will tell there are two ways to get people in the seats: sell wins or sell hope. For much of the 2000s our beloved Philadelphia 76ers were selling neither. Average teams without long-term stability created a perpetual state of mediocrity. Fans didn’t buy in and were left with one of the NBA’s most storied franchises into an afterthought. Ownership and management never made a dedicated effort to get the Sixers back to champions.
But things changed back in 2013 when Joshua Harris and David Blitzer hired Sam Hinkie general manager starting a new chapter in the Sixers’ franchise. The plan that ownership and Hinkie were selling made fans believe again in that there was some actual effort to bring a championship-contending franchise into a basketball-starved town. There was a lot of losing and a lot of hard times but even without Hinkie there is hope once again in Philadelphia for our Sixers.
Tonight’s home opener against the rival Boston Celtics feels like the biggest in the Process-Era so far. It is the culmination of what the last four years represented: the foundation on which the Sixers can compete for an NBA championship. While there is much work that is still left to be done, Sixers fans will finally be able to cheer for a team they believe in. A team with young talent that has the chance to become special.
Sixers fans were ready for the Revolution back in 1996 when the team selected Allen Iverson with the 1st overall pick after years of failure in the early 1990s. In return, the Sixers were rewarded with one of the league’s best players, one of Philadelphia’s most beloved athletes, an MVP, and a Hall of Famer, to go along with an NBA Finals appearance.
So here we are again, 21 years later ready for the new Revolution, this time led by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and Robert Covington. Philadelphia has been dying for a basketball team it can be proud of and now they have one.
Tonight, in front of a sell-out crowd, Sixers Nation will be ready: the new Revolution of the Philadelphia 76ers is upon us.