Do You Still Care?by Marcus
My father and I were just sitting down shooting the breeze, and of course our conversation turned to Philly sports, and more specifically our Philadelphia 76ers. He is one of the biggest Sixers fans that I know, and as a result I grew up with the same love and passion for our professional basketball team. We were talking about all the things that went wrong throughout the season and then he said something that I thought I would never hear.
“I stop watching the games, they almost turned me off to basketball,” he stated with a somber voice.
The more I thought about it the less I could blame him.What he said made me realize that the only thing that is worse then your fan base hating you, is having your fan base not care enough to feel anything.
Looking at the continuous trend of low attendance as well as the limited attention that Philly fans give to the Sixers nowadays, it’s clear to see that the fan base as a whole has become apathetic to the team. The only people that the Sixers can blame for that is themselves. The moves that they’ve made have continue to puzzle the fan base, and even worse continue to drive this team further away from being a contender.
Management tried to convince us that Andre Iguodala was worth a 6 year 80 million dollar contract, but we have seen nothing but dimininshed returns from that deal. Management tried to convince us that Eddie Jordan was the right coach for the job, but after a 27-55 season he was shown the door just like his predecessors. And management keeps trying to tell us that this team, as currently constructed, is good enought to win. Lets be honest, we all know that isn’t true. This team has gotten worse year after year and as a result the fan base is pass being mad or frustrated at them, they just stop caring altogether.
So now the question is, what do the Sixers do about it?
It starts with the coaching search. Hire a coach that can get this team to play a winning brand of basketball, and aslo is willing to coach with maybe a different roster then was here at the end of the 09-10 season. Next is the draft. Due to the record in the regular season it’s not wishful thinking to hope for a top 6 pick. Management has to hit with this pick and make sure the pick fills the needs that the team has. Ideally you would hope for a skilled big man or a swingman that has a jump-shot, both absent from this current roster.
Last but certainly not least, find a way to free yourself from the cap purgatory that you are in. These gaudy contracts have to go. Luckily Samuel Dalembert’s contract comes off the books after the 10-11 season, however, you still have Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala making over 27 million dollars combined this upcoming season, and that number only goes up the next season.
All these things are necessary evils that the Sixers must do to not only make the team better in the long run, but to get back a fan base that feels betrayed and most importantly discourage. Because with the playoff run of the Flyers, the what seems to be golden era of the Phillies, and the beginning of a new era for the Eagles, the popularity of the Sixers is dropping fast as the apathy towards them continues to grow with every losing, non contending season that passes. It’s up to the players and the management to do something about it.
The ball is in your court.