Sixers fans like to boo. As seen here – credit to Sixers4Guidos for the picutre.
Philly.com came up with the not-all-that original-but-still-effective idea of polling the general public for their thoughts about the Sixers. The poll was pretty simple: vote either “stay” or “go”. Writers from the Daily News and Inquirer (both daily Philadelphia newspapers) then chimed in about the results.
The whole idea was fairly unscientific – after all, nothing was mentioned about the ability to re-sign players or their contract situations, which, more likely than not, will be the determining factors for whether a player will remain on the roster. So in other words, this is no different, to me, than someone’s approval rating. The polling only tells us the basics – which player are liked by the fans and which ones are not.
The results don’t necessarily have a correlation between talent and staying power – in fact, more people want Spencer Hawes to stay than to go, whereas the results for other, better players are substantially worse (hint: see the title).
What can we learn from this poll, then, if it doesn’t assess any sort of situation? Well, if you care about Philly fan sentiments, quite a lot.
First off, fans love Doug Collins and Jrue Holiday, unsurprisingly. Each garnered more than 98% votes totaling “stay”. I’m pretty sure Collins could run for mayor and win easily, at this rate.
Mo Speights, loved last year by the fans, is longer being seen as having potential, dropping in approval rating significantly.He grew a year older, pulled the same stunts, but is only now disliked by the fan base. Elton Brand, almost universally disliked at this point last year, is now considered a strong part of the team’s future. Heck, the Philly Fire Department is about to endorse him too.
(If you don’t get the last line, see this link, after you finish reading this article, of course.)
Which brings me to the point of the article: Andre Iguodala has a 70% “go” score. His approval rating (roughly 30%) is very, very low for a player of his caliber.
It’s lower than Ed Stefanski’s score – the guy who only gave Andre the contract seemingly every fan despises. The guy whose best moves as general manager were the Jodie Meeks trade and lucking into drafting Jrue Holiday. That’s it. He couldn’t decide whether to blow up the team or go for more, so he just stood still and eventually got demoted when Rod Thorn came in.
It’s lower than Tony Battie’s approval rating, 35%.
It’s lower than Lou Williams, who inexplicably has an 88% approval rating. A guy who doesn’t play defense, shot 40%, and has no future above being a sixth man (but doesn’t realize that) with an okay-but-not-great contract. Lower than Jodie Meeks, who is arguably misplaced as a starter on a contender. Lower than Thad Young, who will require a big contract for a tweener who, for all the talent he has, might top off also as a bench ace.
I’ll have more on this later this week, but suffice it to say that Sixers fans need to wake up and appreciate what Andre brings to the floor. Hurt for about 90% of the year, Iguodala had a great year again in spite of his injuries. His scoring dropped, but his rebounding and passing numbers improved, his defense evolved into all-NBA caliber, and his leadership skills seemingly improved. Yeah, he’s no Allen Iverson, but who can be as exciting, reckless, inefficient, demeaning, and full of attitude as him?
How would you feel to be despised by the fan base of the team you play for? How would you feel to step onto your home floor in front of thousands of fans who would rather have you not there, yet still have the guile to give it your all? I mean, I could never play well under those circumstances. I’m sure most would respond the same way. With the way home fans treat him, would you expect him to like being here?
So that only 30% of fans want him back is hardly surprising – that’s how his relationship with the city has always been. I’m sure, though, that his approval rating of Philadelphia is even lower. Philly fans can be the greatest, but in this case, they can also be unrelenting and delusional, an unappreciative burden on the people that play here. This is only one example. Support Andre – we need him for everything he’s worth.
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On this note, I’m back from a finals mini-vacation. We’ll have more this week about the off-season and what might happen, including Kyle Bright’s debut in this space. I’d like to belatedly welcome Kyle to The Sixer Sense – his article on Andre Iguodala trade scenarios should be up in the not-too-distant future.