Philadelphia 76ers Complaint Department

The message boards have been blowing up with negativity towards the Philadelphia 76ers. I decided to analyze some of these comments, complaints, and concerns.

Over the past few weeks, I have read article after article and message board after message board pertaining to the 76ers.  I was overwhelmed by the negative opinions coming from the Sixers fan base.  I am pretty confused by this attitude.  Did these fans just arrive in Philadelphia?  Have they transplanted themselves from cities like Boston or Los Angeles which have a track record of recent successful NBA franchises? 

Sure the Sixers are a once proud franchise.  During the 60s, 70s and 80s they were considered an elite NBA team.  Besides a brief stint during the Iverson era, this team has not achieved great success in the past two and a half decades.  Which makes me wonder, who is blowing up these message boards with negativity? 

The internet is a fairly new medium in relation to the 76ers storied franchise.  I didn't have a computer with internet access until I was a freshman in college.  Elder generations aren't as familiar with the internet as we are.  My father-in-law wrote me about a year ago asking how he could comment on one of my articles for SLAM Online.  I explained the process to him; however the comment still has yet to be posted.  It is not a knock on anyone over 40, it is just a fact.  Most of the people commenting have never witnessed a 76ers championship live.

Which brings me back to my first question...Are these fans new to the city?  Where did this feeling of entitlement come from?  I understand the frustration of not winning in a long time.  I understand the complaints about Stefanski's mismanagement of this team, but can you honestly...HONESTLY...look at the Sixers and not think that they are a team on the rise? 

That is what frustrates me more than anything else.  They are improving every game.  They have a coach which has them believing in a proven system.  And guess what...The Sixers are young!  People throw the "We need to trade everyone and start a youth movement" phrase around like it's going out of style.  The 76ers have an average age of 26.2.  Take our core group of players and the Sixers are one of the youngest teams in the NBA.  This IS the youth movement.  It is currently moving.

Some of these complaints are so ridiculous, I decided to open a complaint department for 76ers fans and address a few of these issues one by one.  Why me?  Well, I have no idea.  I never played in the NBA.  I tried out for the Sixers, but was not good enough to make the team.  Most of my experience comes from minor league and overseas basketball.

That being said, the thing that bothered me the most during my playing days was reading and listening to "journalists" and "analysts" that never played the game before, telling me how and what I should be doing on the court.  That is why I decided to do this.  Mainly because I wanted to share a voice from the other side of basketball.  I am a die-hard fan, but I understand the pressures and the toll these players go through on a daily basis.

Now again remember these are actual complaints from, as far as I know, actual people.

Jrue Holiday is not, and will never be, an elite NBA point guard.

 

I honestly don't understand how some of these people can predict how good a TWENTY year old will be in the future.  I wish I could predict the future.  I probably would have zigged when I should have zagged, shot when I should have passed, or passed on several shots during my bachelor party.  But oh well, what's done is done.

 Jrue Holiday is twenty years old.  Let's take a look at some of the most successful point guards in the NBA over the past 10 years in comparison with Jrue.  I am looking at point guards that have not only filled up stat sheets, but have been consistent winners.

Player

Career Points Per Game

Career Assists Per Game

Points Per Game 2nd Year

Assists Per Game 2nd Year

Jrue Holiday

10.4

5.0

14.1

6.7

Tony Parker

16.6

5.6

15.5

5.3

Jason Kidd

13.6

9.2

16.6

9.7

Rajon Rondo

10.7

7.4

10.6

5.1

Steve Nash

14.6

8.4

9.1

3.4

 

Obviously, like I said before, I can't predict the future.  Take Steve Nash or Rajon Rondo for instance.  Their 2nd year stats were not overwhelming.  Neither were lottery picks, yet turned into two of the premier point guards in the NBA.  On the flip side, there have been players that have exploded during the dawn of their careers, yet fizzled out shortly after.

 

Player

Career Points Per Game

Career Assists Per Game

Points Per Game 2nd Year

Assists Per Game 2nd Year

Larry Hughes

14.2

3.2

22.7

4.1

 

Ouch, sorry Sixers fans.  My point is, Jrue has the makings of something special.  It is too early to tell which way he will go, but all signs point up.

The 76ers can't succeed in Doug Collins' half court offense.  They need to run and gun.

This is one of the most absurd complaints I have heard.  Doug Collins has emphasized defense since his initial press conference.  They pressure the ball and jump passing lanes.  This intense defense creates...Wait for it...FAST BREAKS! 

So far this season the Sixers are averaging 17.6 transition points a game.  This ranks third in the league, down two points a game from last year when transition was the focal point of the offense.  Recap for me...how did last year go?  A train wreck...really?  And Eddie Jordan...Wow fired after one year?  Weird. 

Philadelphia is averaging 97.8 points per game this year.  Everyone grab your calculators and figure out where I am going with this equation.  (psst...the answer is 80.2 points per game in half court offense.)

 

The 76ers should have drafted DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors instead of Evan Turner.

 

Again I point to the psychic ability of some of these fans.  I have said it before and I will say it again...The NBA draft is a crap-shoot.  For every Michael Jordan drafted there is a Sam Bowie.  For every Kevin Durant there is a Greg Oden.  In the 1996 NBA draft, the year the Sixers drafted Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant went 13th to the Hornets and was then traded to the Lakers.  13th!! 

Could you imagine if we drafted Bryant, a local high school star, over Iverson?  People's heads would have exploded. 

Bill Simmons recently wrote an article describing the age defying powers of Kobe and a few other NBA superstars.  If Bryant were a Sixer, how many titles could this team have won?  Imagine the possibilities if Bryant and Croce were teamed up for an extended period of time.  These are scenarios that drive you crazy.  It certainly has driven me crazy over the past few days. 

The point is no matter how good a draft class may be mistakes will be made.  It doesn't matter how well a team scouts, determining a player's potential is complicated.  Looking back, the last 10 NBA Champions were made primarily through free agency.  Draft a future All-Star, and then add pieces around him.  Boston, LA, Detroit, Miami all the same.

At twenty-two, Evan Turner is far from a finished product.  We have seen flashes of brilliance; however the consistency and confidence are not yet there.  Once he gets the minutes he deserves, I believe he will develop into a solid NBA player.

Speaking of Evan Turner's minutes...

 

Evan Turner is wasting a crucial development year riding the pine.

 

This comment I agree with.  I am not sure why Turner doesn't receive more minutes.  If we are putting the future of this franchise on he and Holiday's shoulders, they should both be spending 36 minutes per game acclimating themselves to each other. 

Although this issue confuses me, I think Doug Collins obviously knows better than I do.  He does have a track record of bringing young stars together in order to win championships, COUGH COUGH PIPPEN!!  COUGH COUGH JORDAN!!

The Sixers need to trade Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand and rebuild.

 

These two players seem to be the wrench thrown into the whole rebuilding argument.  If the Sixers are looking forward, why are we holding on to two players that prefer two completely different styles of play? 

My guess is the untradeable contracts that go along with them.  When the Sixers signed Brand and Iguodala to long-term deals, experts were predicting Philadelphia to be an "elite" NBA team.  (Check out Andrewc2189's comment...He was excited)  Now, the realization has come that this team is not good enough to win.  I believe both have been actively shopped, despite claims by Ed Stefanski claiming otherwise.  Which brings me to my final comment...

 

Problem is, besides the players and the coach, the Sixers are run by idiots.

 (nodding head) 

I am hoping this article can put the 76ers fans minds at ease.  This in no way was a lambasting on the Philadelphia fan base.  I am the same as all of you.  I also want to see a winner.  I lose sleep over an early May Phillies loss.  I scratch my head over certain Eagles front office moves.  I am just trying to make some sense out of all the complaints I have been hearing over the past few weeks.  Enjoy the Knicks v Sixers weekend!

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