It’s February. It’s slow. It’s cold. It’s hard, at times, to find something to write about. When that happens here, we do AMAs, or we record a podcast, or honestly, we do nothing. At Deadspin, they bash the Sixers to pass the time.
It started before the season , and continued, and continued. As the team improved — this, as always, is all relative — and people started talking about Robert Covington and Jerami Grant as legit NBA players, Deadspin stayed silent. Until Pablo Torre wrote what we called “The Definitive Article of the Sam Hinkie Era.” Which allowed Deadspin writer Albert Burneko to vomit words that, when swept together, form a pile of self-righteous nonsense.
Torre’s piece, simply based around the idea that Sam Hinkie is unproven yet undeserving of the nonsense that’s been thrown his way, has just inspired more nonsense. Burneko got all fired up and angrily-scrawled 1,900 words under the headline “The 76ers Are Run By A Ridiculous TED-Humping Moron.” And he didn’t even credit Charles Barkley for the assist on that headline.
Before we get into this, let’s look at the Sixers’ season results going back to their last championship in 1982-83, on the left, with what they’re trying to avoid becoming, the Denver Nuggets, on the right:
Cool. Get it? A championship is the goal here. They don’t want to be that team on the left anymore. And if they kept on that path, it’s likely they’d become the team on the right– the Nuggets, who missed the playoffs the last two years, went to the Western Conference finals once in the last 12, and exited the playoffs in the first round the other nine. They’re currently 20-33, looking at another season of missing the playoffs. They are the definition of mediocre, and there’s no sign they won’t continue on that path.
So Sam Hinkie’s plan to blow it all up and start over again, when you compare it to very real situations in the NBA today, isn’t insane. In fact, it’s common sense. But to Burneko and people like him, Hinkie is “convinced that he’s fighting—and winning—a shadow war against the rest of the NBA.” He’s “a moron and a fraud.” I’m not sure when Burneko became possessed by Angelo Cataldi, but someone should check on him.
Burneko loses the plot when he says Hinkie acquired “nothing of note from the later parts of the draft.” Sure, we don’t know where K.J. McDaniels or Grant would fit into another team’s rotation, but on the team they play for, they’re developing, improving, and becoming serious role players, or at least assets. Ahead of McDaniels, the Thunder drafted Josh Huestis, who went right into the D-League. Two picks before the Sixers took Grant, the Toronto Raptors drafted DeAndre Daniels, who currently suits up for the Perth Wildcats in Australia. Hinkie snatched up Robert Covington, a legitimate three-point threat, when no one else was even paying any attention to him. Or, as Burneko puts it, Hinkie is “a fucking dunce.”
Burneko was too busy putting together his quippy, masturbatory rant about how the Sixers are a disgrace to professional basketball to realize:
Burneko, and the CataldiEskinolonis of the world, just want to bash the Sixers because it’s the cool thing to do. Because if this doesn’t work, Hinkie will be fired, Sixers fans will be mad, and the talking heads will pat themselves on the back. If it works, they’ll all pretend that their words were never written. So bookmark it, and save it in a soft, warm spot for retrieval later.
[Editor’s note: This might be a bad time for this, but I find Burneko hilarious, even if his steak-stearing procedure nearly burned down my house.]