Here at Korked Bats, we like to take it light. Tell a few jokes, get a couple of laughs, and just enjoy the sports we hold near and dear. To be honest, I’ve been holding those sports in a death grip since they came back, constantly waking up in a cold sweat, dreading the idea of them going away again like they did during the spring.
So far, the return to sports hasn’t been so bad for Philly. The Union made a deep run in the MLS is Back Cup (not to brag), and the Flyers are the #1 seed in the East, looking mighty dangerous with a hot young goalie (again, not to brag). And the Sixers.
While watching the 76ers – a woefully coached, disappointing excuse of a basketball team – lose a very winnable game to their arch rivals, the Boston Celtics, last night, my blood boiled.
Funny enough, I wasn’t angry just because I hate losing, and I especially hate losing to the Celtics, whose name and mascot are very offensive to me as someone of Irish decent (I’d prefer they change their name to the Boston Basketball Team). I was angry because the NBA caused it all to happen with their tampering, and general hatred for the city of Philadelphia.
Now I understand this is a wild claim, but let me hit you with a timeline to explain my argument.
May 14, 2013 to December 6th, 2015: A New Hope – The Process
Sam Hinkie was hired as the 76ers’ General Manager on May 14, 2013 and brought with him a drastic new idea. To reach the elite status of NBA contender, he was going to make the Sixers lose as much as possible and trade decent players for draft capital. This way, the Sixers would be able to build a young core of lottery pick talent that would mature together, and eventually bring the city of Philadelphia.
To be fair, the plan didn’t always work to perfection as lottery picks were wasted on the likes of Nerlens Noel and Jahil Okafor, but “The Process” (as Hinkie referred to it), was showing signs of working. Hinkie had hit on Embiid and put the 76ers in a position to secure the #1 draft pick in 2016 which all parties assumed would be Ben Simmons. These two were primed to be a young core that could take us to the promise land… eventually.
Even 76ers fans embraced The Process, cheering as their team went 3 straight years without winning 20 games. Joel Embiid even took to calling himself The Process, a nod to Hinkie’s plan that brought him to Philly. Unfortunately, there was a sinister group not thrilled with the 76ers’ blatant tanking… NBA Ownership.
December 7, 2015: The Empire Strikes Back
The owners of the NBA felt threatened by Hinkie’s radical ideas. In the dark corners of the league, they complained to Commissioner Adam Silver that something needed to be done to stop the 76ers from tanking. Sure they hid behind fanciful arguments like the 76ers were hurting ticket sales, and it was destroying the sanctity of the game, but the truth was they were afraid that it was going to work, and old rich geezers hate change. That’s why most of them still wear pleated khakis.
Eventually, Adam Silver relented to this pressure, and had a meeting with 76ers’ owner Joshua Harris, demanding that he make changes to the franchise in order to deviate from The Process. Harris, a spineless wimp, obliged. On December 7, 2015, a day that should live in infamy for 76ers fans, the 76ers hired Jerry Colangelo as the Chairman of Basketball Operations.
Colangelo was a basketball old-head trusted by the NBA owners to make the 76ers respectable again while dismantling The Process. Colangelo was a great executive in the NBA for the Suns in the ’80s and ’90s, but he lacked the vision required to be effective in a new age of basketball. Sam Hinkie was retained as General Manager, but Colangelo had the final word on all basketball decisions. The evil deed was done, and the slimy NBA owners returned to the shadows snickering the whole time.
April 6, 2016- April 16, 2016: Bryan, I Am Your Father
When Colangelo was inserted above Hinkie, everyone knew that The Process was dead in the water, and it was only a matter of time before Hinkie was gone from the organization. That day came on April 6, 2016 with Hinkie submitting what can only be described as an epic 13 page resignation letter. Seriously though, it’s over 7000 words, and he cites everyone from Warren Buffet to Abraham Lincoln. Worth a read if you ever find yourself with a free 3 hours on your hands.
Only 10 days later, the 76ers hired Bryan Colangelo (Jerry’s f**ing son!), to be the new general manager of the 76ers. The Process was dead, and all that was left to do was to piss on its grave. The Colangelo’s used the first pick in the 2016 draft which Hinkie earned for them to draft Simmons, and then decided to retain class dunce Brett Brown as head coach due to his ties with Simmons over in Australia. 76ers fans remained positive, but I think we all knew in heart of hearts that The Process had been crushed by the whims of the evil organization which is the NBA.
June 22nd, 2017: An Evil Plan Comes Together
The 2017 NBA draft was shaping up to be an interesting one. The Celtics held the first pick due to a trade with the Nets, The Lakers were picking 2nd, and the 76ers were picking 3rd, thanks to a trade Sam Hinkie had made with the Kings a couple of years back. The top 3 players on the board were Markelle Fultz, Jason Tatum, and Lonzo Ball with debates about what order they should be taken in.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The Colangelo’s traded the 3rd pick, and future draft picks to the Boston Celtics to move up two positions in order to take Fultz. Fultz went on to be the biggest bust ever, and the Celtics drafted Tatum, a budding superstar in the league.
No big deal.
In football, Bears fans wallow over the fact that they traded up to take extremely average QB Mitchell Trubisky while passing on Pat Mahomes, but this deal is worse on so many levels. To stick with the Bears analogy, this deal would be like if the Bears traded with their arch rivals the Packers, to take Trubisky, while the Packers drafted Mahomes. Then imagine Trubisky never started a game and got traded for peanuts two years later. That’s what happened with Fultz.
Let me put it another way. The father and son combination installed by the NBA to run the 76ers franchise, traded draft capital to their arch rivals in order to move up 2 f***ing spots in the draft to select a bust while letting the same arch rivals take the superstar in Jason Tatum.
Extremely fishy to say the least. At the very least, it is a horrible trade that Sam Hinkie would have never made.
May 1 2018-June 7 2018: The Colangelos Blow Up
This is where the facts get almost too weird to believe. In May, after a few anonymous tips to multiple media outlets, a story broke that Bryan Colangelo was running multiple burner twitter accounts in order to talk shit on his players. The timing of this was priceless as well as it happened in the midst of the 76ers first playoff run since the the beginning of The Process. Wow! The general manager couldn’t possibly be so dumb right???
Turns out, it wasn’t Bryan running the twitter accounts, but instead his WIFE! In a twist of all twists, Colangelo was feeding sensitive info to his wife who was then tweeting this info out in the comments of prominent NBA media reports. Again, all stemming from the NBA owners forcing the Sixers to hire Colangelo.
Both father and son were gone from the organization shortly after the scandal, but the damage was already done.
August 18, 2020: Today (or if you’re reading this in the future, not today)
All of what I just described has led to where we stand today. The 76ers are down 1-0 in a playoff series to the Boston Celtics. Brett Brown blew multiple chances to help coach the team to a win. Jason Tatum torched us for 30 points while Markelle Fultz comes off the bench in Orlando.
The 76ers are the 6 seed in the East this year, and there’s no real reason for optimism. The Process was going to work, until the evil forces of the owners and Adam Silver killed off the lead architect. It’s funny, the league fines players for tampering when they make off the cuff comments about wanting to play with other players. Why isn’t there any punishment when the league itself tampers with a franchise destroying all chance of that franchise of being a dynasty?
I demand justice for the 76ers and the city of Philadelphia. We care too much about this team for there to be no repercussions for the nefarious actors who destroyed our dreams. #AvengeTheProcess
Also, I’m not biased.