Vindication of The Process: Sixers Clinch number one seed in the Eastern Conference
After the Sixers beat the Orlando Magic to secure the number one seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs, there were no celebrations. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the rest of the Sixers team knew that they will only be judged in the eyes of anyone who watches NBA basketball and more specifically, Sixers fans, on how they perform in the playoffs.
The Sixers won’t be perfect throughout the playoffs. They will undoubtedly lose some ugly games. The fans on social media celebrating the number one seed will definitely have their tweets quote tweeted with @OldTakesExposed mentioned. All the good vibes surrounding the Sixers will vanish with one or two bad performances. This is nothing new. In what has almost been a decade of negative reporting surrounding the Sixers, we as fans know what’s at stake this year. We know how the national and local media alike will look at the Sixers.
We’ve heard the rumors on how Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons hated each other and how they would never win together. We also knew that none of this was remotely true. We’ve heard how the process failed time and time again for months after the Sixers got swept in the Disney bubble by the Boston Celtics without Ben Simmons playing, when we knew that “mickey mouse” version of a season wasn’t worth much to begin with.
We have witnessed players like Markelle Fultz forget how to shoot a basketball. We’ve sat through seasons of injuries and we all watched a ball bounce four times, in an almost super natural way, during a game seven in Toronto. We watched our previous head coach beg to the media to find people in Ben Simmons’ circle to try to convince him to shoot. We watch Al Horford and the Sixers organization try to fit players shaped like circles into square holes of the lineup.
We sat through the likes of Tony Wroten, TJ McConnell, Robert Covington, and the rest of the process Sixers. There was a 10-72 season. There were multiple injuries and setbacks. We watched as a New York Knicks fan attempted to become the gatekeeper of the process and still to this day, is “surprised no one asked him to be the bell ringer yet.” It has been frustrating. But for those who have remained patient and could envision better days ahead, even if they came years down the road, this small piece of vindication is for you.
This year has been different. Joel Embiid has fully embodied The Process. He’s a father now and he’s playing for something bigger than himself. Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers have changed the entire makeup of this team. They have instituted a key word to embody this Sixers team in “accountability”. They brought in key veteran leadership with Danny Green and Dwight Howard and gave Ben Simmons one of the best three point shooters in the NBA in Seth Curry as the perfect compliment to his passing game.
Time and time again we saw Dwight Howard working out immediately following a game with different teammates. Tobias Harris is being utilized to his fullest potential and you rarely ever see anyone questioning his ability to live up to the contract the Sixers gave him. Gone are the rumors about Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons not getting along or being able to play together.
In Sam Hinke’s manifesto he stated the following: “Jeff Bezos says it this way: ‘There are a few prerequisites to inventing…You have to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to think long-term. You have to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.’”
Nothing rings more true when talking about the Philadelphia 76ers and their two young star players in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The Process in it’s entirety has been misunderstood by almost everyone outside of the city of Philadelphia. Joel Embiid has been misunderstood. Ben Simmons has been misunderstood.
24-year old Ben Simmons has gotten the brunt of it. From trade talks to media foaming at the mouth, ready to question his basketball talent. This video on YouTube takes you through 6 minutes of how he’s been treated since his rookie year. It’s truly amazing.
People like the Eskin family and quite literally anyone at WIP, have done nothing but try to control the narrative of this Sixers team over the past decade. They are nothing more than opportunists and wanna-be gatekeepers. They jumped The Process years like dogs in heat and take credit for the good things, and say “we were right” about the bad things. There’s a reason why
Spike Brett Eskin deleted his tweets. I’m sure his father would too if he knew how to use a smart phone. Everything that they did over the past decade as been toxic, insulting, and flat-out boring. Maybe, just maybe, with the Sixers taking the one seed and making a deep run in the playoffs, that will all be a thing of the past.
To quote Sam Hinke’s manifesto once again: “Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Planck got right to it: ‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die.’”
You won’t convince the haters of anything, but one thing is for certain: The Eastern Conference will run through the city of Philadelphia. The 76ers have the best home record in the NBA since Embiid and Simmons have played together. They are 120-32 at the Wells Fargo Center since 2017-2018.
Enjoy this moment while it lasts. Go talk shit on Twitter. Tell everyone that they were wrong about The Process. Personally, watching national media members scramble and make cry baby excuses about their terrible Sixers takes that are now circulating around Social Media gives me life. Members of the media should be held accountable. The constant takes about the Sixers over the past however many years were always wrong and always ridiculous. The NBA and Adam Silver hated The Process. We all knew that. Finally, we have a small piece of revenge.
This goes far beyond the Sixers. Just last night, ESPN showed clips of the Phillies-Blue Jays game last night and only showed the Vlad Jr home run. The Phillies won the game 5-1. Rhys Hoskins hit a bases clearing 3-run double. Vinny Velo pitched a gem.
For Philadelphia, it has and will always be The Process vs Everybody. The only difference this year is that Joel Embiid is ready to carry the weight of the burden that comes with it.
Next week, everything changes. The Sixers are the number one seed in the East for the first time in nearly two decades. The playoffs won’t be easy. Another step in The Process is complete but the goal remains the same: Winning an NBA Championship.