Fred Carter was the best player on arguably the worst team ever.
He was the team MVP of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers went 9-73, the worst record of any NBA team for a full season (remember the Bobcats were 7-50 I’m the lockout year, which worked out to a worse winning percentage). That Sixers team has long been the benchmark for futility.
Carter says this year’s Sixers are worse.
This year’s Sixers have lost 25 games in a row and will likely tie the NBA record for longest losing streak ever when they face a strong Rockets team in Houston on Thursday. They will set a new mark if they fall to the Pistons at home on Saturday.
Carter compared his bad team with this year’s team (which has won 15 games) speaking with Gordie Jones of CSNPhilly.com, and noted that in his day the league had 17 teams.
“The talent,” the 69-year-old Carter said, “was not as thinned-out as it is today. Therefore you have much tougher teams to go up against every night…
“There’s a difference in terms of what transpired when I was playing as opposed to what’s going on now,” said Carter, a native Philadelphian who now lives in Plymouth Meeting. “When I was playing [losing] was not intentionally done. For some reason management thought that they had put together a good team that could win games. Unfortunately that was not the case. In the case of the [current] Sixers, this is all by design from Day One.”
Carter averaged 20 points a game and added 4.3 assists for that team, saying he brought his best every night. The team was just overmatched. He added he sees that from some guys in Philly today.
As Carter said, “I feel for a guy like Thaddeus Young.”
Like their Sixers counterparts of more than 40 years ago, these Sixers are about to leave a mark on the league, one they would rather not but one they will get asked about the rest of their lives. No matter what heights Michael Carter-Williams goes on to for the rest of his career, every feature article and a lot of conversations with people over a beer will include the “what was it like to lose all those games?” questions. It will follow these guys.
Carter has learned to accept and embrace it.
Let’s hope these Sixers will be able to do the same. And maybe pick up a win soon.