Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid land among FanSided’s Fandom 250

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

After spending years in the NBA’s basement, the Philadelphia 76ers have become one of the most popular teams in the NBA. But is that a good thing?

To paraphrase the late, great Biggie Smalls’ song Jucey “Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, When the Philadelphia 76ers were in ‘the Process’, man, I couldn’t picture this. 50-win teams, Jimmy Butler on the scene, got two stars, and cap space for the summer.”

Now granted, is it a bit convoluted to compare Sam Hinkie‘s ground-up rebuild of the Sixers to Notorious B.I.G.’s transformative rags to riches tale? Sure, but as the 76ers continue to rise up the NBA’s ranks and re-establish themselves as the toast of the Eastern Conference, it’s hard not to notice a sizeable uptick in outspoken support for the team.

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Need proof? Look no further than FanSided (this blog’s parent website) Fandom 250 rankings.

Described as the ‘The ultimate ranking of fandoms’, the list is pretty stacked with Philadelphia sports teams, including Villanova at 246, the Flyers at 180, and the Eagles 28, but according to FanSided, the toast of the town has to be the Philadelphia 76ers (10), and their fearless leader Joel Embiid (149).

But is this a good thing?

I know that’s a very Philly question to ask, as sports team inclusively is hardly a word synonymous with the City of Brotherly Love (oh the irony), but should the diehard ‘Process’-trusters who spend $5 to sit in a half-empty Wells Fargo Center be proud of their team’s new popularity, or angry at the die-soft fans who only turn out when their team is good?

Honesty, why can’t it be a little bit of both?

Sure, it’s never fun to watch a collection of transplants who don’t even recognize names like Tony Wroten, Hollis Thompson, or even Michael Carter-Williams suddenly expressing their love of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, but would anyone rather the team still be winning one out of every ten games in route to yet another trip to the draft lottery (with the odds evened out no less)?

For better or worse, when a team starts to win, fans come out of the woodwork and begin to rep their ‘favorite’ team. It happened to Allen Iverson‘s squad back in the early 2000s, and I’m sure it happened back when Charles Barkley, Dr. J, and Billy Cunningham suited up in the red, white, and blue back in their respective eras. And baring some nuclear meltdown the likes of which hasn’t been since the HardenDurantWestbrook Thunder days, it looks like the Sixers are just going to keep getting more popular with each passing season.

Keep an eye on Delon Wright in 2019. dark. Next

Isn’t that what the ‘the Process’ was about in the first place, transforming the Philadelphia 76ers into consistent contenders?