By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fans of the 76ers suffered through a difficult season. Their owner felt their pain.
Joshua Harris received plenty of reminders in his New York home about his team’s struggles this season. Harris said he felt the sting of every defeat with all 63 losses by the Sixers.
“I threw things,” said Harris. “I turned off the TV. I tried to ignore it. Emotionally, it was very difficult. I don’t like to lose and live through a season like this. It was very, very hard emotionally.”
Despite a 19-63 season, Harris is optimistic about what lies ahead for the Sixers. He understands the team had to begin the rebuilding process and settle for suffering this past season while focusing on the big picture.
“I think the season has been a huge success for us,” Harris said. “Having to live through a losing season is tough, but to get to that point where you are an elite team for a long period of time, there’s no shortcuts. We came into this season knowing we were going to be putting building blocks in place.”
Harris says he has fond memories of the Sixers advancing past the first round of the playoffs two years ago, but understood after the 2012-13 campaign that changes needed to be made. Harris had high praise for first-year coach Brett Brown, and also understood why General Manager Sam Hinkie was forced to make major moves at the trade deadline.
“Sam is a very thorough guy and a very thoughtful person,” said Harris. “He ran a very, very in-depth thoughtful process. We evaluated every single option.”
Harris understands there is still more work to be done as the Sixers continue to rebuild. He wants his franchise to stay the course and build a foundation to make the 76ers a contender for more than just one season.
“We want to be an elite team competing for a championship as soon as possible,” Harris said. “I don’t think there’s any shortcuts. I think it’s a question of when you can draft elite players or when you can trade for elite players or when you can pick them up in free agency. It’s about being very, very opportunistic.”