I don’t know what to think of the Sixers’ decision to launch a D-League team in Newark. One one hand, it’s a sign that they’re serious about winning and organizational depth. On the other… few household names have come out of the D-League and: this can’t possibly be profitable, can it?
Anyway, they did it. And they did it just about the only way they know how: with a signicant amount of hokiness.
Ladies and gentlemen, please clap your hands and stomp your feet for the Delaware 87ers!
The new team, dubbed the Sevens, will play at the University of Delaware, which is actually pretty cool for students there. But the sheer number of politicians quoted in this press release just reeks of some sort of back-room deal between billionaire Sixers owners and the state of Delaware (just throwing shit here, but Joshua Harris’ Apollo Global Management, and Caesars Entertainment, in which Apollo has a significant stake, are incorporated in Delaware, one of three states to legalize online gambling… a significant growth area for Caesars):
Adam Aron, CEO and Co-Owner of the 76ers, praised the role Delawareans played inmaking today’s announcement possible, “I want to thank the entire political leadership of Delaware, and especially the executives and staff of the University of Delaware, for their warm embrace of support and for the key roles that they all played in making it possible for us to bring the Sevens to Delaware. We look forward to engaging with the countless basketball fans throughout the state, as both individual fans and businesses acrossDelaware share with us the energy, joy and family fun that this new 87ers team will create.”
“The team name gives a great nod to our first state and brings with it lots of good luck, I assure you,” said Governor Jack Markell. “We welcome the team to Delaware where many fans await the next season ahead. We promise a hometown spirit of support as the ‘Sevens’ build a new basketball legacy for Delaware, for the region and for the sport. There will be some great games to watch here.”
“The Sixers have recognized what we in Delaware have known for a long time – the First State has great sports fans,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware. “I look forward to catching some Sevens games at the Bob next season!”
“Sixers games have long been a great source of fun for so many Delaware families, including mine, so this really is exciting news,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware. “Delaware loves the Sixers and will undoubtedly love the Sevens. This news is a sign of the 76ers’ appreciation for their Delaware fans and of their commitment to this community. I look forward to bringing my kids to Sevens games this fall, and to further strengthening the ties between our state and this historic franchise.”
“As a lifelong Sixers fan, I’m thrilled to welcome the Sevens to our state,” said Representative John Carney of Delaware. “Delaware families can now enjoy watching professional basketball in our own backyard. This partnership is good news for Delaware, good news for the Sixers, and good news for those of us who take pride in rooting for our hometown teams.”
You can watch ALL SEVEN PARTS of the introductory press conference here, if you have absolutely no life at all. The team’s website, Sevens.com, doesn’t work. But snark aside, you do have to applaud the Sixers for trying– this can’t hurt the on-court product. I’m not sure they know what they’re doing in that regard… but they are trying.