Friday, April 8, 2016

Process vs Theory: The Sixers Failure

If you're not a fan of the Sixers then you're probably unaware of the drama surrounding "the process" (TP) and former General Manager Sam Hinkie. 

TP basically meant the team would be bad for a long period of time, acquire high draft picks, trade for more draft picks, and eventually build a winner through great young players and assets.

The basis for supporting TP was simply: there's no point in just making the playoffs and being average.  We have to be terrible before we're great, but lets at least try to be great.


If you want to be brought up to speed very quickly about what has now transpired, while simultaneously being entertained, all you need do is listen to the argument between legendary Philly broadcaster Howard Eskin and his son Spike Eskin, who now manages the radio station.  The first 10 minutes are worth your time, especially if your city provides you with lame sports talk.

Bottom line here is Howard thinks Hinkie and ownership are a bunch of idiots for allowing TP to take place (he's right, but couldn't have known.  It was merely a guess).

Spike believes if the team (and fans) were patient, it would eventually pay off (he's wrong because the owners put the wrong guy in charge).

Both wrong, and to some extent, both right.  

In theory, TP could actually work if you had different ownership.

Spike is a believer in the theory of TP itself.  Problem here is the man running the process (Hinkie) continually selected the wrong players year in; year out.  Ownership allowed him to do this, but seemingly leaned on him this past draft, which resulted in the team selecting the wrong player: Jahlil Okafor.

I have to figure if Hinkie had the SLIGHTEST clue about judging talent he would have selected Kris Porzingis.  This is what leads me to believe TP was not entirely run by him.

Anyone with an eye could see what Porzingis brought to the table.  Hinkie did not (or was forced not to).

If TP was being run by a different organization, with competent people at the helm, it could certainly work out.  Like if the Warriors, with Joe Lacob, Jerry West, Bob Myers, Steve Kerr, and others were in control, TP could work.  But that's not the case.

Putting Porzingis aside, what's worse is Hinkie seemingly caved in to the weight of TP itself, maybe fearing it wasn't working, or that he'd lose his job.  Taking Okafor was the end of the process.  In the 3rd position they either needed to move up or down to get a guard, or bit the bullet and taken Emmanuel Mudiay at 3.  

What did Hinkie do?  He went safe.  Safe isn't how TP works.  TP is the opposite of safe.  He choked.
But yes, A PROCESS can work; even one that follows along the same path the Sixers embarked upon.

THIS PROCESS did not work because the people in charge didn't know what they were doing.

It's really that simple.

The reality is, even if all the players the Sixers acquired end up healthy there's no guarantee this team would be better than say the Atlanta Hawks.  If you want to be as good as the Atlanta Hawks, then you might be happy with the direction of the Sixers.

Short of that they'd have to sell off assets and continue TP with no end in sight, while hoping their prize piece doesn't get injured...again.

Spike is right in supporting A PROCESS.

Howard is right in calling out ownership.

I think what rankles TP believers is all the fans who refused to ever recognize it was a good idea in theory.


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