During the Philadelphia 76ers’ 1-20 start to the NBA season, many writers across the league have criticised Sam Hinkie’s approach to his duties as general manager of the team.
None more so than blogger Kevin Ding, whose embarrassing slander piece towards the organisation reeked no more than someone taking their frustrations out after his Los Angeles Lakers became Philadelphia’s first victims of the season.
The level of panic purported by some NBA journalists this season in regards to Philadelphia's woeful start would lead one to believe that Hinkie himself invented tanking, and is unleashing something never seen before unto the league.
Obviously, this is not the case. Teams have done this before, and will continue to do so, until NBA draft rules are changed (not that this writer is suggesting they should be).
What’s more, as bad as Philly have been recently, they have still managed to avoid the league’s worst record the past two full seasons – second worst in 2014 and third worst in 2015.
All things considered, is it even slightly possible that this furor at the 76ers’ relentless losing ways is even a morsel of an overreaction?
Absolutely it is.
In fact, the 2015 Sixers, who finished with an 18-64 record, and are so far arguably Sam Hinkie’s most blatant tank job, do not even feature in the top 50 worst NBA teams (by winning percentage) of all-time.
However, the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves from that same year do, but for the most part managed to avoid the kind of journalistic scour rained down upon this years’ hapless Philadelphia 76ers.
This hapless Philadelphia team that is only two wins behind Dings’ LA Lakers.
This presentation of rationality and facts as opposed to knee-jerk muckraking and mudslinging served up by some journalists this year leads one to wonder – why have Phili been unfairly singled out?
The truth is, I have no idea. Personal vendettas, perhaps, or just simple lack of research from those expected to know the sport well.
Taking a simple step back however reveals that Sam Hinkie and his Philadelphia 76ers are merely taking part in the age-old tradition of tanking, nothing new to the NBA or sport.
Nothing to freak out about.