Motown Philly Back Again

Photo Credit: Chris Szagola / AP

Motown Philly Back Again

by Martin Foster


“The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.”

            – Red Auerbach


The Philadelphia 76ers had the number one pick in the NBA draft for the second straight season.  Their path was vastly different than other teams across the league.  For example, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected first overall three out of four drafts.  The ping-pong lottery ball Gods were forever in their favor.  In addition, the Cavs lucked out by having a great player from Akron return home after a four-year voyage to South Beach.  That is a whole other story for some other time.  Philadelphia on the other hand decided to tank, aka lose, in hopes of garnering top picks.  Once Philly “earned” those top picks, they in turn would trade those draft picks.

Their plan started around 2013.  Even though the Philadelphia 76ers have endured success throughout team history, the Sixers redefined the term “rebuilding”.  Since that season, Philly has traded away players and draft picks, for more draft picks.  The Sixer’s goal was not to win anytime between 2013-2017.  Their goal was to build for the future and dominate a few key NBA drafts with hoards of picks.  Simply put, Philly’s method for future consistent success was called “The Process”.  The man behind the process was former general manager Sam Hinkie, and all he asked was for everyone to simply “Trust The Process”.

So, how exactly does “The Process” work?

I will break down the math:


100% Patience + 100 % losing games on purpose + 100% being laughing stock of league for three-plus seasons + 100% stockpiling draft picks=The Process.


Boom.  Math.

The next question, will “The Process” work?  That is yet to be seen; however, the NBA saw flashes of brilliance with oft-injured process cornerstone Joel Embiid in roughly 30 games last season.  Moreover, 2016 number one pick Ben Simmons had an entire year to heal his injury.  Finally, in the 2017 draft Philly moved up from the third pick to first, and subsequently drafted potential stud Markelle Fultz.

NBA fans are talking about the Sixers in a different tone, a positive one for once.  There has not been this much excitement around Sixers basketball since Allen Iverson had all the answers…or way way back when Julius Erving ruled the league.  For those unfamiliar with Erving, his nickname is “Dr. J”.  And his PhD came in the form of legendary athletic skills.  In short, Erving was a 6’7” doctor with an Afro who prescribed rim-rocking dunks with finesse.

One thing for sure, “The Process” is Philadelphia born and raised.  Trading draft picks and players was where Sam Hinkie spent most of his days.

Unfortunately, Hinkie resigned from his position in April 2016.  Perhaps a bit soon.

Only time will tell the end-result and if “The Process” was deserving of our trust.


Check out more of Martin Foster’s articles and NBA work over at

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