When you finish with the second worst record in the league and are widely assumed to be throwing the last quarter of the season after trading away Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes at the trade deadline and fielding a team that probably was not full of NBA players — no offense to Hollis Thompson.
The Sixers knew that this is probably what they would have to do to rebuild after they traded away All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to draft the injured Nerlens Noel and build a cache of young players. They got the second best lottery odds after all. But in the process they lost 26 straight games and hardly looked like an NBA team.
By any measure it was a disaster of a season.
Well, any measure except team owner Josh Harris, as he tells Dei Lynam of CSN Philly:
“I think the season has been a huge success. Obviously, I don’t like to lose. In terms of a losing season, it’s tough. It was incredibly fun to take down the Bulls in my first year when we were seeded eighth and they were seeded one. We want to get back to the playoffs and compete for the championship. That’s what we’re trying to do. To get to that point to be an elite team, there is no shortcuts. We came in knowing it would be a long season and we would be putting building blocks in place.”
Maybe those little moments like beating the Heat on opening night or Michael Carter-Williams’ rookie of the year-caliber season are enough to get by and validate a season of extreme pain. There is a lot of hope for the franchise with the pick it will add this year. There is a potentially strong young core for Sam Hinkie to build around.
But calling this past season a success? That is stretching the bounds of even the most optimistic person.