The Philadelphia 76ers went 19-63, lost 26 straight games and became the butt of jokes.
How do you judge a season like that?
76ers owner Josh Harris, via Dei Lynam of CSN Philly:
“I think the season has been a huge success,” Harris said during a press conference at the team’s practice facility. “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.”
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Harris is right.
The 76ers guaranteed themselves a top-five pick in a strong draft, and they have the second-best chance of landing the No. 1 pick. That’s successful in the NBA’s warped incentive structure.
It’s really remarkable how committed and open the 76ers are about their rebuild. They’re not the first team to tank a season, but I’m not sure anyone has ever done it on this scale in terms of blatancy. At this point, they’re practically bragging about it.
That might ruffle some feathers around the league, but if the 76ers parlay this “success” into quality draft selections and long-term winning, nobody can credibly complain then.