The Sixers are a Disgrace and Phil Jackson is a Genius: The Language of Tanking

Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Before this NBA season even begun, the anti-tank Sixers talk started. And once the team crawled out of the gate, losing over a dozen games before pulling off a win, the talk got louder and more vitriolic. The Sixers were “embarassing.” They’d lose to Kentucky. They were a “disgrace.” Bill Simmons shit all over the team last year. It was open season, and writers were having a field day.

Though far from amazing, the Sixers have won three of their last four. They have only the third worst record in basketball, and are closer to the eight seed than the fifth seed is to the first. That counts as progress.

Meanwhile, the New York Knicks have five wins and 35 losses. They’ve dropped 15 straight. They’ve been keeping Carmelo Anthony out of the lineup and dealt away two of their only other offensive threats to clear cap space. That is a tank. Yet the only people calling the Knicks a disgrace seem to be Knicks fans who are fed up. The Knicks are a total disaster, but many writers still can’t bring themselves to knock them down in comparison to the Sixers. Here’s what one writer said on FanSided:

[Phil] Jackson is no dummy. He’s been around long enough to realize this one absolute truth about the NBA: to truly turnaround a franchise you must increase your odds and assets with an eye towards the NBA Draft. Remaining in the middle of the pack just allows you to die a slow death year in and year out.

Here’s what Matt Moore at CBS Sports said about the Phil Jackson tank:

It’s very easy to look at this team now, having obviously given up on the season and openly tanking with a team full of D-League caliber players (and that’s not a bad thing) and say that they’re doing the right thing.

Kevin Kernan at the New York Post — not exactly the bastion of … well … anything — actually seems pretty mad about it, while CBS New York’s John Schmeelk bows down at the altar of Phil Jackson so hard he may have hurt himself:

This is not Team Titanic or Tritanic. The ship isn’t sinking. It is being scuttled. The Knicks are tanking, and tanking the old-fashioned way: with gross incompetence. A superior tank to the Sixers’ intentional tank.

A superior tank. That is where we are now. When the Sixers structure their team in a way to build for the future, it’s a disgrace to basketball and the commissioner needs to step in. But when one of the league’s premiere franchises in the country’s top media market decides to start tanking because they’re so embarrassing and incompetent that it’s all they can do, all of that “you’re ruining basketball” outrage is nowhere to be found.

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21 Responses

  1. I always ignored the national media on this subject, but what bothered me most was the constant complaining by local media guys like Eskin, Macnow, Jerardi, Big Daddy, etc.

    Its amazed me that these guys couldn’t understand why the Sixer’s were tanking. The worst part is they were saying they were done with this team forever and would pounce on stupid things like that the Sixer’s should refund peoples money cause Lebron didn’t play?

    Nobody knows if Hinkie’s plan will work but the last 2 seasons really showed me who understands the structure of the NBA and who doesnt.

    1. What pisses me off is that people will always, ALWAYS support the Eagles. If the Eagles tanked, it would be “genius” and people would still love it. But god forbid the NBA team in this town has a plan to be better for the future…

    2. Big Daddy is the biggest waste of air time. He has no knowledge of sports, constantly promotes his comedy shows, and talks about his fat daughter Keely, who has to be pushing 200 lbs.

  2. The NBA is rigged and I’m sure czar Phil Jackson and the Knicks will get the first pick and the Celtics and Lakers will get the second and third picks. Big markets will big money get those picks. This is the only way to get better in the NBA. You have to get a superstar to win in the league and the only way to get a superstar on your team is to draft one. And superstars are usually only in the top three picks. The only way you can make sure you get a top three pick is to “tank”. The NBA is very flawed and it’s the worst run league. That’s why teams are doing what they are doing. Knicks, Celtics, 76ers are all doing the same thing. Anybody who doesn’t understand that is an idiot (angelo). Nobody knows if this is going to work because you do need some luck but it’s better then losing in the first round or just barely missing the playoffs every year.

    1. Really solid take. The draft is obviously not as rigged as you say it is (this would be on some JFK/911 shit), I do understand the head throbbing frustration. It was nauseating to see the national media matter-of-factly explain and justify Nba Czar Phil Jackson’s tanking moves, just weeks removed from the public outcry towards Sam Hinkie (fucking genius) and the Sixers.

      And don’t think for a second that Boston’s not doing the same fucking thing. Fuck Bill Simmons with a tire iron. Hearing him gleefully talk about the treasure trove of assets the Celtics have now is maddening (based on how he’s treated the Sixers moves of late.) What a piece of shit hypocrite.

    2. “the Celtics and Lakers will get the second and third picks.”

      Right, just like last year when the Celts and Lakers were just as bad and got the 6th and 7th picks.

  3. It’s a comment on how utterly stupid and journ-o-listy even sports media writers and announcers are. Cannot think for themselves. Cannot simply articulate an independent or original thought. Cannot just write what’s on his or her mind. No – it’s either gotta be a “sick take” or “hot burn”….or something. Or, it’s an empty headed thought stolen or parroted from a million other outlets without an ounce of thought as to its veracity because the chattering class just HAS to say something. Anything.

  4. I can’t wait until the day the Sixers are actual contenders for a title. I’m so damn tired of hearing from the national media that non one wants to play for the Sixers, or that they are embarrassing the league, blah blah blah. I’m tired of being the laughing stock of the league. I’m tired of people not realizing Philadelphia is the FOURTH LARGEST media market in the country. Is Philly a better city than NY? Hell no. But when the team is really, really good, people will notice. I think NY gets a pass because it’s NY. Basketball people understand that teams have been tanking for decades. The media wants NY to be good, because it’s good for ratings, etc. So they overlook how embarrassing the Knicks are, and look towards the future.

    1. Racist hockey fan alert.

      What’s the matter hockey fan,upset Jim much like the radio stations(94wip & 97.5) isn’t talking enough hockey.

  5. 6’8″ 215lb Croatian shooting guard Mario Hezonja,who’s being compared to the late great Drazen Petrovic and Manu Ginobili,would be a great fit for the Sixers if they drop out of the top 3.

    Pg – Michael Carter Williams
    Sg – Mario Hezonja
    Sf – Kj McDaniels
    Pf – Joel Embiid
    C – Nerlens Noel

    1. Mario is a damn stud. I don’t know if I’d take him that early but I will say he would do wonders for this squad. And he’s been tearing it up as of late. Actually, this entire draft class 1-20 is full of studs. In fact It’s nearly as good as last years draft class, 1-20. Just nearly.

  6. The plan is failing miserably. Hinkie is soon going either trade some more assets or tell Brown to cut down minutes on productive players.

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