LCycles in sport are evaluated based on the achievement of objectives. Some more ambitious than others, logically, but it is still what marks the day to day. One of the most ‘hype’ has generated is the ‘Process’ of the Philadelphia 76ers. Or as a franchise that wandered in the NBA sought with a ‘young core’ to storm the skies of the best league in the world. Before Miami Heat he died, or, at least, buried good part of credibility.
Five years have passed since that change of sixers mentality. From that moment, which was marked by the Ben Simmons election (with conditions in college basketball reminiscent of LeBron James) with the first place in the Draft and the jump to stardom of Joel Embiid. Five years and a top of the conference semifinals. That is, second round of playoffs.
Embiid’s frustration after elimination: “He’s not the Harden of Houston”
The problems in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ don’t just happen on the floor. Also outside, with high-sounding statements that unsettle the staff and show a climate of apparent conflict. It happened with Embiid in the 2021 elimination against the Hawks, in which he accused Ben Simmons of choosing poorly. “To be honest, the point of no return was when we had an open shot and it became a free kick. and one failed. Then they came and scored us … “The Australian was the one who paid there for his poor choice. Against the Heat it happens again, this time with Harden. I’m sure that since he arrived we all expected the Harden from Houston. But it’s not him anymore,” he said.
Stars, signings and young boys passed through there. Jimmy Butler, about whom Embiid confessed during the Playoff series that he did not understand why they sold him, Tobias Harris or his last attempt: James Harden. ‘Sparks’, or not even that, because against the Heat he showed that he is extremely irregular, and that perhaps his game peaks do not coincide with disappearances in the game generation that happen to him on a regular basis.
From Kawhi’s basket to Embiid’s orbital injury
During the different regular seasons of the The Sixers have been through all kinds of situations, but at almost every moment they were expected to be a ‘contender’ for the NBA. The maximum of a second round seems short for a project that wanted to be champion. From the offices, in which there are figures such as Daryl Morey -peculiar style in directing and influence on ‘roster’-, until the bench, in which Doc Rivers loses credit to forced marches.
the basket of Miraculous Kawhi Leonard in the last second of that game in Canada, the orbital fracture of an Embiid who was marching in the rhythm of NBA MVP and that conditioned the series against the Heat or the disappearance of Ben Simmons without really knowing why. There have been many decisive moments in a cycle that has not achieved what it promised in terms of talent and squad construction.
Obviously, the next question has to do with the future. Will Embiid leave? One last dance? Certainly the Cameroonian generational talent He doesn’t want to keep losing years, but he will have to show if he wants to be a legend in the ‘city of brotherly love’ or if he prefers to get a ring.
Be that as it may, the umpteenth fall of that ‘Trust the Process’ in the post-season is an image of disappointment and failure to meet objectives. Of rethinking the foundations of the team and, especially, the main question about it: What do they want to be? Champions or eternal conference semifinalists?