Philadelphia needs to appreciate the 76ers
This has been something that has been on my mind for a long time now and think it needs to be said, the city of Philadelphia needs to appreciate the 76ers. Growing up in the Philly area and being a die hard sports fan, I understand the nature of Philadelphia fans and why they act the way they do but sometimes, everyone needs to look themselves in the mirror and calm themselves down.
When things aren’t going perfectly Philly fans constantly dwell on the negatives instead of the positives. We’re almost just a bunch of “prisoners of the moment”. There have been points this season where the 76ers are on a really good stretch and they lose one game and the world is ending.
The current 76ers core is the most talented since the 1983 title. But if you listened to Sixers fans, it would seem like its 2005 and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Let’s look at the grand scheme of things. This franchise revolves around two superstars, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. We can take a look at the incredible positives like many fans in the NBA would.
Joel Embiid is right above Nikola Jokic as the best center in the league. Absolutely dominant in the paint and can shut down anyone on defense. But all you can hear from fans sometimes is that he is injury prone or soft. Joel Embiid has given his heart to Philadelphia and everything he has. If this attitude keeps up they’re going to run him out of town. Joel does so much as a player and is incredibly dominant but all people can focus on are these little negatives and try to use that to disregard all the incredible stuff he has done. The way Joel is talked about you would think he is Greg Oden with his injuries, when that isn’t nearly the case.
Joel isn’t the only one who is bombarded with hate, some could say Ben Simmons gets it worse. The 23-year-old All-Star is my own personal favorite player to watch in the league. This is a 6 foot 10 Point Guard who can attack the basket at will. Alongside that he is able to defend nearly any player in the league and is a likely 1st team All-Defense candidate. This is someone who is 23 years old, several years away from their prime and he is already so dominant. Despite all of that Ben is harassed non stop by fans for his lack of jump shots. Now, this could be a normal critique of a player but Ben is so good without his jump-shot. It isn’t wrong to want him to add it to his game but fans tend to disregard everything else Ben is incredible at. Ben’s jumper will come with time and we have seen slow progress but instead of enjoying this freak athlete, fans constantly complain about this.
Sitting in front of you are 2 franchise cornerstones who are two of the best young talents in the entire NBA. These players also have yet to hit their primes and are also surrounded by several great pieces but fans continuously criticize them unfairly.
If I were able to put all the tweets and categorize them into positive or negative tweets about the team, the negatives would win 10 fold. It is so outstanding that a city would act like this about their basketball team and not appreciate the great team they have in front of them because of their inability to win a title YET. If we are talking about this in 10 years that is a different story but these are guys still growing as players and the way the city often treats them I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted out.
24/7 do I see trade proposals and constant talking about splitting up Joel and Ben to better the other because of their inability to succeed yet. Inability is a stretch also. Losing in the Semifinals their first season together followed by losing on possibly the craziest shot in NBA history, in Game 7 at the buzzer to the future NBA champions. The Sixers have yet to attempt round 3 and were attacked season because of a lack of regular-season success overall. Fans knew this was a team put together for the playoffs and had them written out before they even got there. Not discussed is them beating the 3 likely contenders very easily when healthy (Lakers, Clippers, and the Bucks).
76ers basketball has been a staple in my life and there are often times, like many fans, where I get angry but I will sit and just think about the positives the team has done to outweigh that.
There are times I would be upset about a loss in January but what would make me even angrier are the fans tweeting that the season is over. The ironic thing is that these same fans will praise an overpaid role player like he can’t do any wrong, while constantly being a negative when he’s on the court.
There are definitely fans out there who don’t complain at every second about the team and just enjoy and look at the bigger picture. The negative fans still will outweigh the positive ones and they become the main voice of the 76ers fanbase. If a player is giving his all and working his ass off for a city, why would he want to stay when the fans are bashing him and saying otherwise. Like I mentioned above, if Sixers fans keep this up we will lose Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons before we can even realize what we could have had with them together.
I hope during quarantine and the absence of basketball that fans will begin to enjoy 76ers basketball again and focus on the positives and appreciate the stars that are here, instead of ripping them apart for minor issues. Despite how it may look, there is so much positive to this 76ers team and they can do a lot of damage. Imagine how much more they could do if the city had their back. I want to leave you with one last quote from the TV show, “The Office”