Simply put…good job. Ownership, management. Just great job.
I am one of the very few people in my circle of friends who are die hard 76ers fans. There are 4 games I have actually shed tears during games (usually losses). In 2000, the Sixers were a great team and so my casual fans in the form of my family and friends decided to tune in too. Good thing they did too.
I didn’t know how good the Sixers were. I didn’t know about records. I didn’t even freaking know who Allen Iverson was. All I know, their jerseys looked cool and I just enjoyed watching the 76ers play. It was only in the 2002-2003 season did I start to actually become a Sixers fan. I always wonder what would happen if I lived somewhere else. Would I be as passionate about the local team there?
Here I was, a 9 year old boy in southern New Jersey who knew nothing about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, or any of the major sports leagues in America. At this time, I had this super awesome Dallas Cowboys winter jacket with a matching hat and gloves. I loved that big star and now I call myself a Cowboys fan at a very casual level. Don’t hurt me because it was that star that attracted me to the Sixers the most. The Sixers’ logo at the time if you forgot looked like this:
I fell in love with it. I like their current logo too but for some reason I prefer this one. I don’t know why. In an interesting twist, the first ever NBA gear I ever wore was a Denver Nuggets jumpsuit. Allen Iverson era ended with a trade to the Nuggets and the Andre Iguodala era ended with a trade to the Denver Nuggets. Thought that was interesting. I don’t who gave me these clothing items.
I was still an ignorant fan.
I cheered for the Sixers just because. And I always thought they were the best. I didn’t care what you thought (still don’t). Each year I had them going to the NBA finals. This lasted until the 04-05 season. By that season, I realized that the Sixers were actually part of the NBA. I know, I know I was a slow boy. The first time I ever visited Sixers.com was around this time. All I knew was that the Sixers played and I had to check the channel every night to see if they were playing that night. I didn’t know about schedules and stuff.
Video games played a huge part in me getting to know other players around the league at that time. It helped that the first game I ever got NBA related was NBA 2k3, and the cover athlete was Allen Iverson. I ended up buying 2k2 as well because he was on the cover of that too.
All of these things molded me into the fan I am today.
Some time passed and I cheered for the Sixers of course but I began to become a more knowledgeable fan. I realized that points weren’t everything. I was able to watch basketball in a new way. When I used to play basketball in little league, I was always the guy they put on the opposing star player. I was that good defensively. I was always a small guy though but I routinely guarded guys twice my size. I made an 11 year say the f word because I just smothered him. I’m proud of that. So yes I have an appreciation for great defenders. I dove for loose balls. I got steals. Sadly, in the 4 years of little league, I probably had possession of the ball for a grand total of what had to be 5 minutes. Five. I was never counted on to score and I was fine with that. In a sense, I just really enjoyed and appreciated what Andre Iguodala brought to the team.
In time, I graduated high school and was ready to pursue college. I hate school but it was in college that I found my writing passion. In any event, in 2010 I decided I wanted to write about the 76ers. I searched and searched for something. Somewhere to write. And then I stumbled upon Liberty Ballers from SB Nation. I saw a button there: “Write about the 76ers”. I clicked it and next thing I knew, I was writing about the Sixers. Here’s my first post I ever wrote about the 76ers.
Anyway, I wasn’t a featured writer there. I just wrote fan posts. But boy I loved it. And I wrote about the Sixers as often as I could. The highlight for me came when my preview for the 2010-2011 season made Editor’s Pick by SB Nation Philly. Thanks to that writing, I was invited to be editor of a blogsite at Hardcourt Mayhem. The network no longer exists but I covered the Washington Wizards there.
During my time there at Hardcourt Mayhem, I started my own 76ers blog because, heck, I wanted to write about the Sixers somewhere. During the 10-11 season, the network shut down and I was left wondering where I would write next. That was February 2011. I decided to just take a break and focus on my National Sixers blog as well as a second blog I created.
Eventually, I decided I wanted to get paid to write. I stumbled upon FanSided.com and fell in love with the name of this blog. I realized I wouldn’t be paid to write here but I took the chance. I worked with Sean O’Connor (the previous editor) and Kyle Bright (a former writer here) and I had a great time. When I was presented a chance to run this blog, I took it but vented my true feelings here.
And so, I enter a new era of writing as the Sixers enter a new era of basketball. As I said before, the Sixers still need work before they are able to contend. I still need work on my writing. But it’s all good. You gotta start from somewhere. The Sixers are a team that I’ve always backed. As I said, I’m one of the very few die hard fans in my circles. I’ve spent about 9 years alone cheering and rooting for what I now realize was a mediocre team. And I don’t regret any of it.
The Sixers grabbed a bunch of shooters and a superstar to surround the shooters with. They are young and have potential. They don’t have big contracts holding them back from making another needed move. It’s just so brilliant. How can you honestly be upset? Sure some things could’ve gone better but considering recent history of the team and this past month of July, can you really bash the Sixers right now? I would do the same thing they did if given the chance.
Only time will tell if the Sixers become the elite of the league. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. New ownership said they was ready to do whatever it takes to bring a championship to this city. I’m starting to believe it now. I just can’t complain about anything. I can’t complain about the trade. Could it have gone better? Maybe. Could it have been worse? Definitely. Sixers had the opportunity and took it. Great job 76ers.
Boy, I’ll be pissed if the world does end in December though.