Asking for a friend Quick Hypothetical…
Would you rather be eaten alive by carpenter bees, or listen to the Kidz Bop Version of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” on repeat until you starve to death?
I’m going somewhere with this.
I would probably choose the bees. But the raw agony that I would experience during the time period before the bees kill me, in whatever way that they manage to do that… I would long for the dream of a world in which I would be rocked gently into eternal sleep. Sweet, sweet childish innocence laying my body to rest beneath a melodic atmosphere (Walk into the club like whatup I got a hit song!).
Being eaten alive by bees for suuuuuuuure fucking sucks. But let me let you in on a little secret…
*Whispers* This is an allegory.
Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers have managed to enjoy both the frothing swarms of hungry Xylocopa and the wondrous sound of child laborers playing them off as if they were each captain of their own miniature Titanic. Starting the season on the wrong foot is nothing new. The Sixers lost 18 straight games to begin the previous season’s campaign. But this time… it feels different.
It’s almost like we think we can win… and, by the hand of some gargantuan from Cameroon- I kind of believe we can win too.
Not win it all. Don’t even fucking mention that again. Just… kind of win. Like… I don’t know… scrap some out. Just like….
Not fucking lose all the time.
And yet here we are. Seven games into the 2016-2017 season and as far as records go we are just where we were a year ago, 0 and 7. And the year before that. We were 0 and 7. But this year feels a little different. Sam Hinkie is gone- whether you attended his weekly masses or not. Joel Embiid has emerged from the ashes a phoenix, both exactly as the myth described yet showstoppingly mesmerizing with each flight he takes. Bryan Colangulo has gone out and grabbed some middling to average NBA talent, but it appears- as it has for what seems like an eternity- the tank rolls on. Oh and seven.
So is it a lack of patience that makes these losses a bit more painful than the last? Is it the whispers of wavering confidence in Head Coach Brett Brown, who has held down the fort valliantly with rosters that could have brought late-era Phil Jackson to his knees cursing like Samuel L. Fucking Jackson?
There clearly exist a multitude of reasons why the Philadelphia 76ers have failed to record a win thus far, but the season is young. To draw any real conclusions this early on is a gamble without a payout. So what are we to do?
Well, to me these losses feel different. That warmth in my heart, that prayer of a chance I feel in my heart is something I have not experienced around the Sixers in a long time. Of course a loss is disappointing, and no one has garnered more experience fishing for moral victories the past few years than Philadelphia fans. We’ve had our share of those “wins” this year, as well as a few of the beatdowns we’ve come to know as the status quo. Let’s take a look at the two different types of dick-punches we’ve experienced so far.
*If you’re having trouble discerning the Sixers from their opponent due to the lack of key, remember that we lost every fucking game okay?
76ers vs. Thunder
Death by Bees
Ah, opening night. National television, bright lights, the premiere of the process in primetime. Russell Westbrook would likely be institutionalized were he not a professional athlete. Somehow Kyle Singler hasn’t found out what will happen to him as of yet. Those who have the mental strength can hearken back to Michael Carter-Williams rookie debut against Lebron James and the Miami heat and know that opening night can truly do magical things.
Or you could just fucking crumble and lose. It’s alright. Young squad. A Russell Westbrook scorned. Tight one on opening night! I can barely even feel the bees slowly devouring me.
76ers vs. Hawks
Death by Macklemore
After jumping out to an early lead, the now humming Dwight Howard did not look himself, and Joel Embiid stuffed the shit out of him, so that was nice.
But yeah we got worked pretty good. I’m like Gandhi baby I don’t need food just someone PLEASE turn off that racket.
76ers vs. Magic
Death by Bees
Embiid again shined, because moral victories. But late mistakes from just about everyone involved managed to blow a lead that at one point had ballooned to nearly 20. Look at those two, measly, blue, tiny GOD FUCKING DAMN IT CLOSE THE GAME AHHHHH THE BEEEEEES.
76ers @ Hornets
Death by Macklemore
This was an interesting one. The Hornets are currently the top seed in the Eastern conference and appear to for some reason be kind of legit. Yet at halftime the Sixers carried a nice little lead, despite fading a bit. Then they faded a bit. Then they faded a lot.
But look at the bright side, if you look at the negative space in the second half, it kind of looks like a skyline. Am I right? Let the hunger consume you. You never want to hear a child speak again.
76ers vs. Cavaliers
Death by Bees
So the defending champs came to town and Lebron is doing regular season Lebron things. Chillin super hard, turning it on when he needs to, and apparently channeling Philly’s own M. Night Shamalan’s spirit into the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joel Embiid, with three blocks on the living legend James on the night, and the Sixers with three losing quarters on the night, managed to seize a lead in the final bracket, but shit it away because we’re young. Orrrr we can blame Gerald Henderson. That always helps.
I’m pretty sure carpenter bees don’t eat flesh but that makes it hurt all the more doesn’t it?
76ers vs. Jazz
Death by Macklemore
Look at that little color there on the left. That is all the happiness I have in the world. See all that blue? That’s the Jazz beating me mercilessly with a bedpost. Rudy Gobert looked big, and despite being dunked on a time or two, managed to make his presence known to the Sixers’ young core of bigs. Ersan Ilyasova is what Jerami Grant looks and plays like in the upside down.
76ers vs. Pacers
Jeff Teague you motherfucker. Paul George is good too. A nightmare matchup for the Sixers which for some reason didn’t present itself until late in the game. Everything went haywire and I’m honestly surprised the game went to overtime.
Quick! Draw up a last second play for the Sixers without Embiid!!!!!
Did you choose a fully covered 14 foot Jahlil Okafor stepback?
Congratulations. I am angry with you. Brett. The only person who thought that one up on earth.
So there we have it. Seven games, zero wins, and a party a hell of a lot too small to hold a moral victory parade. The Sixers will get some wins this season. More than last year. This is just another stage in the experience we share as the team grows. I mean truly GROWS. Not reloads, not revamps, grows. From as close to absolute zero as you can get in NBA history, to an intriguing young group learning from and with one another, to something more. We will see more losses as well. Plenty more.
Night in and night out, we will be consumed, evaporate in a flash. Or we will waste away, feel our eyes grow heavy as we urge the remaining life within us to follow suit of the will that abandoned us long ago. The buzzer will sound, and we will go home. And in the morning we will be born again.
But there will be some mornings.
You won’t have to think about what went right, about what could have been done, about where to look to feel good. You’ll feel good because for the first time in years, the Sixers will win because they’re a professional basketball team, and sometimes, you’re better.
Sometimes- you don’t have to choose between being eaten alive by carpenter bees and starving to death while your ears are poisoned. Real teams sometimes just… win.
*Seriously if you did not listen to that Kidz Bop song you’re doing yourself an injustice. It’s eye opening in a terrifying and prolific way. It’s like Schindler’s List meets the Minions movie franchise.
Credit for the data and images- NBA.com