“A competitive league like the NBA necessitates a zig while our competitors comfortably zag.” – Sam Hinkie
There was a lot in common with Chip Kelly and Sam Hinkie. They both didn’t play well with others and genuinely believed they knew what they were doing over everyone else. Note to self, management will give you 3 years to prove a winning formula.
There was a big difference between Chip and Hinkie and that was seen in the amount of games won. Chip Kelly got the Eagles to the playoffs in his very first season, then narrowly missed in his 2nd and 3rd. His moves to get Demarco Murray and Kiko Alonzo didn’t pan out and the future didn’t look as bright as when he started. He got shit canned once people started to question if he “really” knew what he was doing. Chip was released by the Eagles vs Hinkie leaving because management wasn’t letting him do what he wanted anymore. How much time did Hinkie want?
Flat out, Hinkie didn’t win. The Sixers are 47-195 since 2013-14, including a 10-68 mark this season. If they lose their final four games this season, they will have posted the worst three-year span in NBA history, sinking even lower than the .187 winning percentage posted by the Dallas Mavericks from 1991-92 through 1993-94.
I was never directly behind Hinkie even though I had optimism that he knew what he was doing. 3 years of being the worst team in NBA history is not “a process”. After 3 years of Hinkie, the Sixers are only “positioned” into being a playoff team, let alone a championship team. Their roster literally only has 3 NBA players in Okafor, Noel, and Embiid. After 3 losing years, that’s it. They have Saric in the wings and a few draft picks which will bring in raw talent. Whether this raw talent develops is the biggest, most difficult question to answer.
The idea of getting a lot of high picks to draft players is not a process. The 2012 draft brought us Anthony Davis, Damien Lillard, and Andre Drummond who I’d consider superstars within the top 10 picks. The top 10 picks in the 2013 draft have only Victor Oladipo averaging more than 15 points a game. The point is that out of the top 10 picks only a few guys are actually bonafide superstars after a few years. The idea of tanking to get high picks is a crap shoot and Hinkie crapped out.
The teams that have won the championship over the last 10 years are the Cavs, Spurs, Warriors, Celtics, Mavericks, and Lakers. Aside from the Spurs, who I’d argue are more of a team, the other’s all had 1 or 2 of the best players in the league. Lebron. Steph. Kobe and Shaq. The big 3 (Pierce, Garnett, Allen). Show me how the Sixers are competing with a total of 0 stars (and one potential beast with a bum foot)?
And don’t comment telling me that if I’m so smart, what would I do? If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. I liked Hinkie’s out of the box thinking. I believe there was merit to what he was planning but at some point, you have to win some ball games.