PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers did not set the record for the fewest wins in an NBA season, as many predicted they would. They also managed to avoid losing their 27th straight game, so instead of holding that record exclusively, they share it with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.
Losing this season, was part of the plan. Sixers President and general manager Sam Hinkie decided to rebuild the organization from scratch, trading away most of their best players, ridding themselves of salary and talent, and adding future draft picks.
With only two games remaining in the season, fans can look forward to next season, when the team will likely have added two 2014 lottery picks. Still, head coach Brett Brown warns against expecting a turnaround too quickly.
“We’re going to take some hits, it’s going to be a season again of pain, but you’re going to see a 20-year old Nerlens Noel. Whatever draft picks come up, they’re going to be 20-year olds again,” Brown told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. “And Michael [Carter-Williams] is going to be 23 and so on and so. And we got a bunch of second, five, round picks. That’s reality, and we’re trying to just look at a solid program to build a foundation where at some point, you know, you got a chance at knocking on the door. That’s all that anyone wants, to annually feel that you have a shot and I’ve gone on record and said that’s a three to five year process, and that’s just the way it is. I’m thrilled to be here and I look forward to trying to get it to that level that I just spoke of.”
Even though this season has been a challenge for Brown, he has still managed to make the best of it.
“I think that personally I’m going to look back and look at a group that you just had a fondness for because they busted their ass every day at practice,” Brown said. “They gave it their best shot in games. It was what it was without resumes and experience and all that, in the NBA. I mean, it’s not a video game that we’re playing and it’s real. And our guys, I thought, gave their “A” effort. I thought that we improved.”
“I think because we all sort of knew what we were getting into, probably a little bit less that way were the actual fans, but I think because you sort of predicted the landscape you can navigate it a heck of a lot easier.”
“I’m thrilled with the ground work that we have been able to put in place in a few players, that will continue on with us next year.”