Beware the Splinters is Salute Magazine’s weekly sports column, authored by Sports Editor Dustin Brown. The column will be a weekly look at something that has ruffled the feathers of Mr. Brown or is just a topic he feels he needs to rant about or discuss. This week’s column focuses on how the Philadelphia 76ers have brought bad luck on themselves.
The Philadelphia 76ers are in yet another streak of bad luck, and they are the NBA‘s version of the Cleveland Browns. Much like Plaxico Burress, they shoot themselves in the leg. I’m not sure how one team can have so much go wrong in so little time, but it continually happens.
On Saturday, the team was playing in the NBA’s Summer League and No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz was out doing his due diligence as a rookie. But Fultz went down with a left ankle sprain and will now miss the rest of the summer league, according to ESPN.
And the bad luck continued for the Browns, I mean 76ers.
When did this streak of ineptitude begin?
Around 2013, when the New Orleans Pelicans selected Nerlens Noel and traded him to Philadelphia. Noel did not suit up during his rookie season (2013-14), but would finally play in 2014 following his recovery from a torn ACL.
But the 76ers didn’t learn from that experience and selected Joel Embiid in the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid would miss two complete seasons (2014-16), and he only played in 33 games last season.
The rookie injuries would continue into the 2015-16 season with the 76ers selecting Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in the draft. While he actually saw action during his rookie season, he has only played in 103 of 164 games the past two seasons.
In 2016, the 76ers selected Ben Simmons with the first pick in the draft and, again, he has not played yet for the team. Allen Iverson had plenty of advice for the rookie prior to the 2016 draft though.
Four or five years of drafts and offseasons, and Philadelphia continues to struggle with player development as a result of injuries. At what point does a team say, “Hey, this guy has struggled with injuries in college, maybe we should stay away from him and build our team around the next guy.”
No one would hate a team that has had so many rookies hurt if they were to select a player that isn’t injured going into the draft. Although fans tend to complain about everything.
But from a business perspective, why would you want to continue to wallow in the pile of garbage that is the bottom of the Eastern Conference?
Poor business decisions will continue to wreck any chances of landing talent, although they just overpaid for the talents of J.J. Redick.
And the doldrums of mediocrity–far less actually–will continue to haunt the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center for the foreseeable future.