In a new chapter of sports history, the Philadelphia 76ers have managed to overcome a 3-1 deficit to the Boston Celtics to win Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. This is a historic feat for the Sixers franchise, as it is their first playoff series win in almost a decade.
Sam Hinkie’s first year as Philadelphia 76ers general manager was one of the most successful in league history. The Sixers won 23 more games than the year before, and in the process, they became just the fifth team in NBA history to hold off Cleveland in a race to the NBA Finals. As much as Hinkie’s first season was a success, it was also a familiar one for him. Even though the Sixers were a success, the process didn’t stop.
Sam Hinkie was a man ahead of his time, when he was hired by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013. He was the first-ever general manager of an NBA team to completely rebuild the roster via the draft, and then he was the first to start a rebuild with a completely new roster. Hinkie was a trailblazer, and he pushed the envelope for both the NBA and the 76ers as a whole. However, his tenure in Philadelphia may be coming to a close. Hinkie was fired by the Sixers last month, after it was discovered that he had been hiding assets from the organization…Despite their best record in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers have been eliminated from the NBA playoffs. They lost Game 7 on their home field to a team that (a) was in the lottery in each of the last three years and (b) was already in the lottery when they entered Game 12. Mars had no chance of reaching the tournament. As befits an era of instant analysis, the accusations have been circulating since it was clear the Atlanta Hawks would be playing the Sixers. However, Sam Hinkie, the man who initiated this much-vaunted process, is not to blame.
Doc Rivers? He worked under the gun for a while. Ben Simmons? Wow. The man spent most of the time after the final buzzer as a virtual piñata. Some are talking about Daryl Morey, the general manager who has been there less than a year. And, of course, Tobias Harris was nominated. But in the rush to blame someone, almost everyone was named.
This is down to many, and we will certainly get to the bottom of it, but it is worth addressing.
The last time the Philadelphia 76ers were in the NBA Finals was in 2001. But after that, the franchise found itself in the worst possible position in the NBA. The 76ers were good enough to compete for a playoff spot. But they weren’t good enough to be considered for anything else.
From 2002 to 2013, Philadelphia made the playoffs six times and missed the postseason five seasons.
They were bad enough to go through the treadmill between first round exits and lottery seasons without a realistic chance of getting a talented player. This is the NBA’s version of purgatory. So after the 2013-14 season, the Sixers went on a purge. Tony DiLeo has resigned as office manager. Coach Doug Collins has been fired. A young CEO named Sam Hinkie took their place and proposed a new plan.
Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie looks ahead to the game against the Sacramento Kings on the 10th. February 2016 to. | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Sam Hinkie began what he called the process, a systematic approach to getting draft picks, trading all eligible veterans to get them, and losing – a big loss. The Philadelphia 76ers won 19 games in their first year. The next two seasons yielded 18 and 10 victories respectively. Philadelphia had the third pick in the draft in 2014 and 2015. They chose center Joel Embiid and, oddly enough, another center Jahlil Okafor. Hinkie also bought center Nerlens Noel in 2013.
Some blame Hinkie for the Game 7 defeat against the Hawks in 2021. The problem is that the organization hasn’t hired him since April 2016. As for the decision-making power, it disappeared before Christmas 2015.
Hinkie was responsible for trading Jrue Holiday for Noel’s rights, drafting Embiid and selecting Okafor. That’s it. Ben Simmons chosen as the number one pick in 2016? That was Brian Colangelo. What about the disastrous Markell Fultz pick in 2017? Colangelo also made this decision. Blame it on Hinky, but he hasn’t made any personal decisions for the franchise in five years.
Of the many players Sam Hinkie brought to the Philadelphia 76ers from May 2013 until his suspension in December 2015, only Embiid remains. Simmons’ jumper was not made after Hinkie left. Fultz’s failure to make a jump shot is also a post facto. Deciding that Jason Tatum was not the best player in the 2017 draft? I can’t blame Hinky for that either.
The truth about the so-called process (with a capital P) is that it was never as good as the Hinkie cult would have you believe. But he wasn’t as bad as his detractors claimed either. It’s in the nature of things. Only a few take extreme positions. Reality, which is somewhere in the middle, is baffled by the fuss being made about this.
Hinky ruined the deal with Noel. He hit him hard and missed Okafor. But none of these guys have been here long. Colangelo made some of these compositions between phone calls. Elton Brand decided Harris was a better candidate for a max contract than Jimmy Butler (just saying) and brought in Rivers, the only coach in NBA history to have coached three teams that missed a 3-1 playoff run.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot to live up to. But Sam Hinkie is too far away to share much.
Historical data provided by Basketball Reference.
COMPARED TO: Ben Simmons destroyed by one of his biggest fans in sports media Attack side crueltyOn Wednesday night, Sam Hinkie was fired by the Philadelphia 76ers. But he didn’t end up getting the bulk of the blame, with the blame instead spreading amongst the organization’s front office team. Click through to take a deeper look at who was to blame for the 76ers’ lack of success over the past three years, and what the future may hold for them.. Read more about eighty-seven capital sam hinkie and let us know what you think.
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