10 years of memories: Why ‘The Process’ will always be worth it

(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /


I watched in disbelief. Iguodala had completed an abnormally difficult four-point play a few possessions before to make it a 14-point Sixers lead. Now, with just under three seconds left in the game, the Sixers trailed the then-Bobcats by one. The ball went in to Iguodala, his game-winning jumper fell awry. I ran off to my bathroom crying.

I was 13, I was new to sports and the disappointment that usually accompanies being a Philly diehard, and I had no idea how to channel the frustration and disappointment that follow a brutal loss. It was extremely difficult for my emotions to handle the taxing nature of an unexpected 12-game losing streak early in a season.

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Yes, Andre Miller had signed with the Blazers in free agency. But, to a budding fan, there was no way that missing Miller’s production could possibly explain a 12-game losing streak. The rest of the roster was almost the exact same as the 08-09 roster. Reggie Evans had been shipped to Toronto for sharpshooter Jason Kapono (the Sixers shot what would today be an unimaginable 31 percent from three in 08-09). But other than that, everything else was the same. Heck, the star forward Elton Brand was back from injury. How could this team be such a disappointment?

It started in the summer. General manager Ed Stefanski had replaced Tony DiLeo with Eddie Jordan as the franchise’s new head coach. Jordan had a history of installing the Princeton offense, and in his version of the offense, Elton Brand served as a high-post passer as the surrounding players cut and ran a basic motion offense. However, seeing as Brand was more of a scorer than a distributor, this system was a huge failure and the team’s defense was putrid as well.

In an effort to salvage revenue with ticket and merchandise sales, management brought back the Sixers’ darling child, Allen Iverson. He would re-debut against the Nuggets in a 93-83 loss. Iverson would play sporadically up until the all-star break, with his final game in the NBA being a loss to the Bulls in Chicago. Iverson missed the rest of the season to tend to his ill daughter.

From the midseason break to the very end, the rest of the season was horrible. The Sixers would go 7-24 after the break to fumble to a 27-55 record. Jordan was fired the day following the team’s 125-111 loss to the Magic to end the season.

In a season as painful as the 09-10 campaign, two good things were born from the disappointment: First, Jordan decided to play rookie Jrue Holiday heavy minutes once it became clear that the team was not a playoff contender, and it was quickly evident that Holiday would be one of the team’s best players in the years to come. Second, the Sixers, who were fairly far off from having the league’s worst record, would be surprised with the second overall pick in that summer’s draft. Surely, the future was bright — or so it seemed.

Now, before I dive into the next two seasons, I’m going to pose a question — what is the overall theme of each of the two seasons spanning 2010 to 2012? It’s a question you will be able to answer by reading on.