By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mike Levin is a Sixers fan, and a Sixers writer. As one of the lead writers and editors for Liberty Ballers, a popular (and informative)Sixers blog, Levin has seen his share of mediocre basketball over the last decade.
One might say that Levin was scarred by the years of the team being not quite good, and not quite terrible. Stuck in the middle with no place to run. It made him ornery.
When the new Sixers owners promised a better product, and a desire for a championship, Levin didn’t believe them. He didn’t believe Adam Aron, he didn’t believe Doug Collins, and he didn’t believe Rod Thorn. He didn’t believe the team could take the necessary steps to become a true contender in the NBA. He wrote about it. A lot. He talked about it in radio interviews with me.
I’ve had both Mike and Sixers CEO Adam Aron on my 94WIP radio show several times. One night, when Mike was set to be interviewed, Aron surprised me with a call. Both gentlemen were on that hour, Aron with his energy, positivity, and his promise that the Sixers would make strides. And Mike, with well, a different opinion. Mike thought so much about Aron’s words that he wrote a long, thoughtful post about it (read the article). Levin was sure the Sixers would not take the right path.
To be clear, Mike Levin knows basketball. Mike Levin’s heart was in the right place. The problem for Levin, is that his dreams had been crushed year after year. His heart was in the right place, but his body and mind were in a dark one.
And then, Andrew Bynum happened. The Sixers did the unthinkable … they made a huge trade for a star player. The new ownership made a real statement that yes, they were in this to win a championship.
Don’t think Aron didn’t remember his friends at Liberty Ballers when the trade went through. He immediately took to Twitter to let them know they had been wrong.
Levin was surprised by the trade. Very surprised. “It was unbelievable, I was honestly floored when it happened,” Levin said.
He was also very excited. His favorite team was now a contender. They are young and they are getting better. “They are set up to contend for the second seed in the East,” Levin said.
So I thought it was time for Levin to say he was sorry for all of the mean things he said about the Sixers. It was time to apologize to his favorite punching bag, Adam Aron. “I like that this is what you brought me on for, I’m Kristen Stewart I guess,” Levin said.
“I assume Adam’s listening, because I don’t think he sleeps,” Levin said. “Listen ,I think Philadelphia and specifically me. I’m sort of a guilty until proven innocent kind of guy. So, I think the ineptitude that surrounded the Sixers organization for years, except for Iverson falling in their laps, warrants this sort of pessimism, and not having rose-colored glasses.”
“But this was the best move that I think the Sixers have ever made. This is the single best move in the history of the franchise. Because of, they were literally a couple of Rajon Rondo threes away from making the Eastern Conference Finals. A couple of minutes away, a couple of bounces, and they would have gotten in. The fact that they tore it down after that, I really respected. That’s not to say that I’m going to agree with every move they make, from now on. But, this was a terrific move, this was a terrific off-season because of this move, and I now have a great deal of respect for the Sixers organization, for doing what’s necessary to hope to build a championship.”
I thought to myself, “nice statement Mike.” And then I thought to myself, “you didn’t say you’re sorry buddy.” So I asked him to apologize again.
“Adam Aron, I am sorry for being so mean to you on the internet,” Levin said.
At last, harmony. At least until Sixers season starts.
Listen to the interview where we break down the new Sixers roster, and Mike’s apology:
Click HERE to download the interview for safe keeping (this means you Adam).
Follow Mike on Twitter @Michael_Levin.
Read Mike’s work at Liberty Ballers.
Follow Adam Aron on Twitter @SixersCEOAdam.
Follow Spike on Twitter @SpikeEskin.