A year ago, I remember thinking to myself, “well, it can’t get any worse at this point.” The Philadelphia 76’ers just finished up a 2014-2015 season where their final record was 18-64, losing 12 out of their last 15 games. 10 in a row to conclude the awful season. Us fans could only hope that Joel Embiid who they just drafted before the start of the season would be healed from his injury and ready to go in the foreseeable future. Not so fast as we all remember. Smoke turned to fire and it did, in fact, get worse. Much worse than I ever thought.
And so, things with the Sixers came to an almost death induced halt this past season. Embiid would miss his second season re-injuring his foot. The team full of untalented players (by NBA standards) simply lost the fight it had on the court night-in and night-out during the previous season. Turmoil within the front office dominated the headlines and social media. In with the Colangelos. Out with Sam Hinkie. Were they falling apart or was this part of owner Josh Harris’ rebuild? Maybe a little of both. Meanwhile, trying to sift through all this drama us fans continued sitting back, reclined, while eating a ham and cheese sandwich and wondered when the heck this team and organization would take some steps forward.
It’s been quite the waiting game, but those steps are just around the corner because the NBA Draft Lottery is May 17th. It’s a moment and piece of the puzzle to finding out and learning with some certainty if ALL the tanking and ALL the drama was worth it. I’ve noted in the past I’m not a fan of the NBA Draft Lottery, but it’s here and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So at this point, I’m basically on my knees with my hands clasped hoping the Sixers will benefit from the system in place.
This could be a Sixers draft for the ages. Heading into the draft lottery they have a 26.9-percent chance of getting the first overall pick. It’s the highest percentage the team has ever had in franchise history. We’re all going to be sweating bullets in the hours and minutes leading up to what we’ve been told “will be worth it.” At this point, the organization is looking at three first-round picks and possibly an additional fourth first-rounder if the Lakers’ pick falls outside of the top-3 picks.
I’m not going to get into the prospects and who may fall at No. 1 overall or No. 2 or No. 3. The point is the time for us Sixers fans pulling our hair out is almost over. We only a few more days until the lottery and then another five weeks until their fate is known the night of June 23rd – the NBA Draft. Friends, the long awaited nightmare is almost over. Well, let’s hope.