When the Philadelphia 76ers started the 2013-14 season at 3-0 — with wins against the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, and Chicago Bulls —they became the talk of the NBA. Led by Evan Turner, veteran Spencer Hawes, and rookie Michael Carter-Williams, the future looked bright for the young 76ers. But shortly after that, 76ers season all came crashing down.
On Feb. 20, and riding a nine-game losing streak, Philadelphia traded both Turner and Hawes for salary cap relief. By doing so, 76ers management left the burden all on the shoulders of Carter-Williams, and let it be known that they were trying to tank the season in order to get a higher draft pick.
The plan has worked perfectly and the nine game losing is ballooning close to 30-straight losses. But the blame for historic losing streak should not fall on the players or first year head coach Brett Brown; instead, the blame should pointed at owner Josh Harris and general manager Sam Hinkie. Together, they have made the once proud 76ers franchise a laughingstock of a team.
Again, the players are competing to the best of their capabilities. Carter-Williams is a frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, Thaddeus Young is having another solid season and Henry Sims is proving that he’s a quality role player in the NBA. But none of these players are stars, and on top of that, they are not capable of carrying a team all by themselves. It has gotten to the point where it’s embarrassing to watch.
The 76ers’ latest 91-81 loss to the Bulls looked more like a funeral after the game than the end of a sporting event. Opposing players such as Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler could be seen embracing the 76ers as if to send their condolences. After all, the 76ers played extremely hard and still came up 11 points shy of win.
Harris and Hinkie need to be held responsible for blowing up the team and blatantly trying to lose. The players and the fans of Philadelphia don’t deserve the black cloud that hangs over their team.