Remember when people thought about the Philadelphia 76ers all they wanted to do was show their love? Was it really only six months ago that the entire Delaware Valley was lauding the Sixers for transforming their organization into potential title contenders? Look at what I wrote for this very site as recently as August 16.
If the scene in person was only half as raucous as it came off on television on Wednesday in Philadelphia, then the 76ers may just have thrown the wildest press conference in the history of the City of Brotherly Love. The Sixers decided to allow 700 fans to watch the press conference in person and give the two newest Sixers an eardrum-popping reception. Philadelphia has a negative national reputation for having handled certain situations poorly in the past and for being overly-negative, but the city showed on Wednesday how warm its embrace can be.
Sixers’ owner Josh Harris described it best.
“All I can say is wow,” Harris exclaimed to describe the scene to the many watching on Sixers.com. “When we bought this team everyone said Philly’s not a basketball town. Boy, were they wrong. You guys are showing us that they are, you just needed someone that cared.”
The 29-minute presser was a non-stop love-fest with constant applause breaks that made it feel like a hybrid version of the State of the Union and game seven of the NBA Finals. The reception seemed to be well received, especially by Bynum.
“I’ve actually never seen anything like this to be honest,” the 24-year-old center said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what it will be like when we get a sold-out arena.”
Unfortunately, Bynum was evidently not as concerned about playing in front of one. The big man’s absence has obviously been the biggest issue for the Sixers this season, but it just sits on top of what is a discouragingly long laundry list of shortcomings.
Some of the problems have not been Philly’s fault. The Sixers cannot control injuries and they have been besieged by them this year. Starters Jrue Holliday, Thad Young and Jason Richardson have all missed significant stretches due to physical ailments.
But many of the other issues have been self-inflicted.
Philadelphia has no front court to speak of whatsoever. The absence of Bynum has been crippling, but even his presence would not generate any kind of production from the power forward position. They don’t rebound, they cannot defend and on Wednesday they could not even muster an effort coming out of the All-Star break.
The Sixers got out-scored during the first half in Minnesota 56-41 and yielded 35 points in the contest’s first 12 minutes. Again this came on the heels of a full week off. It was pathetic.
But unfortunately that is an adjective that has been used to describe the 76ers far too often this season. They are what they are at this point; Impossible to watch. Show ya disgust!