Let me just start by saying…I love the NBA. Most people do not like it because of multiple reasons. I get that the game is not as tough as it was in the 80’s or the 90’s. I understand that there is minimal defense at best in the regular season. I turned on James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook the other day….I could not take my eyes off the TV. From 2000 to 2020, you might have seen some of the best basketball players the game has ever seen. What you also saw was a GM that was bold enough to exploit a flaw in the NBA that could potentially change the NBA forever.
Over the last decade we have seen NBA superstars flock to different cities to create super teams. They have every right to do so, who am I to tell someone where to earn a living? But the fact of the matter remains….if you do not have a superstar, your team will never succeed. Hinkie saw the Sixers fluttering around the 7-8 seed every year only to get their teeth kicked in by whatever team Lebron James decided to play on.
If you do not have a superstar you are wasting your time. You can’t just go out and sign a big time free agent. Every team has been flooded with cash, these players will get paid wherever they want to go. The best way to get superstars??? Tank the life out of your franchise and get them in the draft.
Hinkie did what everyone whoever played a sport video game has done in their life….destroyed their team to rebuild it in his own way. Some might question the moves of letting guys like Jrue Holiday and Nikola Vucevic leave (both above average NBA players) but Hinkie, like most Silicon Valley entrepreneurs looked at maximizing the organization. Do you think Steve Jobs or Bill Gates wanted to create a mediocre tech company?? They thought bigger….
With a mind like Sam Hinkie, he saw a flaw and exploited it. Not only did he break up the Sixers but he took a hatchet right to the jugular. He evaluated talent not only in current drafts but future drafts as well. Lets say the word we are all thinking but for someone reason are not allowed to say…Hinkie tanked the Sixers into oblivion.He did not do anything wrong, you can rebuild your team anyway you want. He had a ton of opposition and rightfully so…no sports fan wants their team to rebuild.
With that being said, this is an amazing time to be a Sixers fan. Hinkie who sacrificed instant mediocrity for future success has shown that we have a foundation. He passed on Julius Randle and took Joel Embiid. He took Dario Saric and let him sit for years in Croatia. He traded MCW for a future Lakers pick (MCW is awful and that Lakers pick looks like a lottery pick) He took Nerlens Noel coming off an ACL injury. The man thinks long term in a what have you done for me now league.
My only objection…is him taking Jahlil Okafor over Kristaps Porzingis…could you imagine the front court rotation of Embiid,Porzingis,Noel,Saric? oh that’s right…don’t forget about Ben Simmons. Oh the social media possibilities…Damn you Hinkie!!
The unsung hero of the process is a guy who does not get NEARLY enough credit….Brett Brown. Brett left the San Antonio Spurs to come to a team that did not even start rebuilding yet. He came here with a potential playoff team and in a blink of an eye he was stuck with D-League players. He comes to work everyday knowing this team was a mess. What makes Brett Brown the perfect coach for this team is the fact that he has been around success and he has learned from one of the best basketball minds the game has ever seen in Greg Popovich. He knows what it takes to build a successful program…..and win.
At the end of the day, I am proud of this Sixers team. I feel like I am apart of this. I sat there watching from the start and I will be watching to the end. This team has an opportunity to do what the 08′ Phillies did….take over the city. I could not be happier watching this group of guys grow as a team. There is something special happening at the Wells Fargo Center…something this city has never seen before.
I just wanted to write this to say thank you for what you did. You will not be here to see the process come to completion. You made the ultimate sacrifice for our city and our team, one that I hope we all never forget.
Thank you Sam Hinkie.