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By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In his first two months as the Sixers general manager, Sam Hinkie has not done much to become a media darling.
Aside from two press conferences, one on the day he was officially introduced, nuggets of news from Hinkie regarding player personnel, or the team’s coaching search have been few and far between.
The media is furious. It would seem they are alone in their stance though. The fans don’t care.
From radio hosts where I work, to beat writers, many have claimed that the Sixers are being unfair to their fans, and disrespectful to the city by not feeding the local sports media machine. That Hinkie is not doing himself any favors, and when the Sixers are bad, it’s things like this that people will remember.
This is nonsense. The only thing fans care about is whether or not the team wins games. That’s all, nothing else.
If the Sixers win, people will care. If the Sixers don’t win, people won’t care. It’s been that way as long as I can remember in Philadelphia, and the trend will continue. As last year’s Sixers season proved, no amount of media interviews by the CEO, nor t-shirt cannons, can make people care about a bad product.
As well, if you haven’t noticed, all general managers do is lie. It’s not their fault. We beg them for information that it would behoove them not to give us.
Ruben Amaro lies, Howie Roseman lies, Paul Holmgren lies, they all lie. We endured over a decade of lies from Andy Reid. We beg them to talk and then we tear apart everything they say. It’s sort of a relief to break that cycle. The only thing Ruben Amaro’s quotes about buying and selling satiates is the media’s need to fill time and pages full of information, whether it’s helpful and honest or not.
It’s possible that Sam Hinkie could spend an hour a day feeding the media quotes that are either cliche, or untrue. It doesn’t make the team more interesting, and it won’t help when they’re 2-20 to start the season. It just doesn’t matter. I’d rather he spend his time building the basketball team.
Our job in the media, is to go beyond what the teams tell us. Let’s stop waiting for quotes and stop pretending that it’s the fans who are suffering. I understand beat writers have jobs to do, and this makes it harder on them. They work hard and deserve some answers, but I have to imagine it’s just not the most pressing issue for Hinkie or the team.
When the Sixers traded Jrue Holiday, there was more Sixers traffic on this website than for any other team in Philadelphia. It wasn’t because Sam Hinkie said something, it was because he did something.
That will be the ultimate indicator of the team’s popularity, what they do, not what they say.