The Philadelphia 76ers lost 26 games in a row this season. The team’s owner nevertheless labels the 2013-2014 season “a huge success.”
Sure, a “success” like the Hindenburg or the time Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault. It reminds one of the success the Heaven’s Gate members had in linking up with the Hale-Bopp comet. This was great. Really it was.
Philadelphia 76ers fans, who’ve seen Wilt Chamberlain, Dr. J, Charles Barkley, and Allen Iverson, have of course also seen worse. The 76ers lost an NBA-record 73 games during the 1972-73 season. So the franchise has actually experienced worse. But 2013-2014 “a huge success”?
“All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship,” Joshua Harris told the AP’s Dan Gelston. “There’s no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I’m really happy with the progress.”
The “progress” involved winning just 19 games all season and tying an NBA record for consecutive losses. But the 76ers own two lottery picks, and that–“tanking,” “rebuilding,” whatever one calls it–is what the season was about. Harris candidly told the AP that a .500 record and a one-and-done in the playoffs, not 19-63, represented where the franchise didn’t want to be.
The optimistic owner maintains, “I think the season has been a huge success for us.” Is it too clichéd to say we’d hate to see what failure looks like?