Philadelphia 76ers: Why does the NBA hate the Sixers?

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for TNT )
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for TNT ) /

With Ben Simmons’ rookie status now being called into question by some pundits, is there a national bias against the Philadelphia 76ers?

After winning just 47 games from 2013-2016, the Philadelphia 76ers have just finished out their 2017-2018 NBA regular season with an absolute blowout 130-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks to end the season with a 52-30 record, but even in what should be a happy time, the team simply isn’t being shown praise from the national media.

No, instead there’s a national debate as to whether or not Ben Simmons, the star of the team’s franchise record 16-game win streak should even be qualified for Rookie of the Year because he was technically on the roster last season.

How crazy is that?

I mean last season’s Rookie of the Year snub was understandable, as Joel Embiid, the unquestioned best rookie in the entire league missed over half of the season, and his teammate Dario Saric only really came on in the last two months of the season, but to deprive Simmons of an award he has rightfully earned based on a technicality seems incredibly shortsighted, and frankly malicious.

Related Story: Has Ben Simmons cemented himself as ROTY?

Just ask Simmons himself:

After undergoing the most radical rebuilding process in league history, if not professional sports history in general, it’s understandable that some people will feel the need to grade the 76ers on a curve, but to forever shadow the accomplishments of Simmons, Embiid and Saric, who didn’t ask to be drafted into the process feels a bit unfair, especially as the team continues to get better year after year.

Oh yeah and all that chatter about Brett Brown being recognized as the 2018 NBA Coach of the Year? That’s probably not going to happen either.

While his unwavering commitment to player development even when handicapped with some of the league’s worst rosters should be commended and having turned a 10-62 team into a 52-30 team is fairly unprecedented in the NBA, few people outside of Philly hold Brown in the same regard as the likes of ex-Sixers assistant Mike D’Antoni, the odds-on favorite to snatch the award.

No, when the Sixers’ front office made a deal with Devil (AKA Sam Hinkie) to purposely tank for years on end in a feverish pursuit of high profile draft picks, it effectively cursed the team in some people’s eyes moving forward, and that decision may forever hang as an albatross around their collective necks.

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No one is going to argue that the Sixers aren’t a lot of fun to watch, and the kind of team Philly fans embrace wholeheartedly, but when you consider just how the team was constructed, and how many rivalries the team has forged over the last two seasons (like the Celtics, the Heat, the Bucks, the Knicks and the Jazz) it’s kind of understandable that they may go down as a fairly unpopular team, if not the modern day equivalent of the Bad Boys of yore.

But frankly, who cares?

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Regardless of how they got there, the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the best teams in the NBA, and with the playoffs on the way, it looks like it’s Philly vs. Everybody because we all we got.