Sixers: Does the city of Philadelphia care about this team?

Sixers fans, Ben Simmons (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Sixers fans, Ben Simmons (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia 76ers have not garnered much attention from the City of Philadelphia, which was understandable with the Phillies in the World Series and the Eagles being undefeated through eight games. Now that the World Series is over and the Eagles finally lost a game, the Sixers should be getting more attention, but they are not. Why is that?

My friends, who are Sixers fans, and I were having a conversation recently about why this Sixers team seems to be ignored in the city of Philadelphia. A couple weeks ago, it was assumed this was due to more significant games being played by the Phillies and Eagles. But now that the Eagles are in the dog days of their season and all but guaranteed a playoff spot, and the Phillies are no longer playing, the attention towards the Sixers is still surprisingly still minimal.

Have the Sixers disillusioned the fanbase?

In person, the Sixers are averaging an attendance of 94 percent capacity for their home games so far this season per ESPN attendance tracking. That may seem like a high percentage, but it ranks 17th out of 30 teams in the league. Over the past five seasons, the Sixers have ranked 11th, 9th, 6th, 9th, and 11th, respectively. Is a drop six spots so concerning for this team?

I would argue yes. The 76ers are not just underperforming on the court, but off the court as well. On one of John Kincade’s shows last week, he posited that the reason was malaise over the same team from year’s past. Kincade believes the fans might be disinterested with this team, at least during the regular season, as we have all seen this show before.

Look, there was a time not too long ago when the Sixers missing the playoffs was an absolute certainty. They were a laughing stock and an embarrassment of a professional basketball team during the Process Era. Between 2012 and 2017, the Sixers did not make the playoffs once and I was a season ticket holder during some of those years.

More recently however, this team has been a top ranked regular season team, that continually underperforms in the playoffs. The Sixers have lost in the Conference Semi-Finals 4 of the last 5 seasons. Consider how crazy that is, they have advanced one round and then lost 4 out of 5 years. Every time the playoffs come around it is like groundhog day for this team, regardless of who has been on the roster or what seed they entered the playoffs with.

So do I think the city cares about this team? No, not right now, I don’t. With the roster as constructed, this team will surely get things figured out and start the playoffs as a relatively high seed in the Eastern Conference. The playoff expectation though will be dismal again. How can the city believe this team can make it to their first Conference Finals since 2001? Especially with Doc Rivers at the helm, who seems incompetent at creating cohesive lineups.

Maybe the city has had enough of this team’s underperformance and they are showing their displeasure early this season. Maybe this will change when basketball becomes the main sports focus in early spring, Either way, I have not heard people saying the Sixers need to blow up this team and start over. And I am by no means saying this either.

The Sixers have a roster that on paper should be able to make a deep playoff run with Joel Embiid as the team leader. However, this team’s window of receiving grace from the fans and this city is swiftly closing. Here’s to hoping they figure out a way to get the monkey off their back and make it to the Conference Finals. Otherwise, they may drift towards being the 4th most popular Philadelphia sports team, a place they have been before and do not want to return to.

Next. 15 greatest playoff moments in franchise history. dark