By Joe Santoliquito

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Sixers have had a losing record in six of the previous nine years. It’s a franchise that’s been muddled in mediocrity for a decade and openly admits, after a 19-63 season that included a team-record 26-straight losses, that more losing is to come.

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The team knows it. The fans know it. What is unknown is the future.

Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie is asking for patience. He knows he’s dealing with a frustrated fanbase. So, too, does Sixers’ owner Josh Harris and his ownership group.

As the Sixers form and become the team everyone expects them to be, say around 2016 or so, here’s a very outside-the-box idea—discount ticket prices over the next few years as the team takes shape.

Can it be done? Certainly. Will it be done? Probably not.

In pro sports, money only goes one way and that’s up—not down. But the fact of the matter is that the Sixers will not be very good for the foreseeable future and the Wells Fargo Center will look like Death Valley during that time.

Lowering ticket prices for those loyal fans that will stick with the team during this trying time need—and should be—rewarded. It would be an unprecedented and magnanimous gesture by Harris, who, by all accounts, does a great job in taking care of his fans.

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How about that as a gift to the fans? In many respects, it would make sense.

The Sixers have not been a marquee attraction in this city since Allen Iverson was in his prime in the early-2000s. Since then, the team has been an afterthought. This season, reigning NBA rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel will be the featured players, and though they are promising, they’re hardly superstars to drop everything you’re doing to go and see them play.

It looks as if more “tanking” is ahead for the Sixers. It would be nice to reward the hardcore faithful Sixers fans that will endure another dreadful season, as we wait for Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.



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