At 1:12 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, we learned from Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski that the big, league-shifting conference call to confirm the four-team megadeal involving the Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets had been completed. After everybody said "Have a nice weekend" and disconnected, Dwight Howard was a Laker, Andre Iguodala was a Nugget, a whole bunch of random dudes headlined by Arron Afflalo (who we like) were Magicks, and Andrew Bynum was a Sixer.
Little more than one-hour later, the Sixers organization welcomed its new 24-year-old big man in that most American of ways — with a big freakin' sign.
"Can't say the #Sixers marketing department doesn't work fast," wrote Michael Preston, the team's director of public relations, when he shared the photo. Granted, when Woj first reported the four-teamer talk on Thursday night, he noted that the teams "have been engaged in discussions for several days," so Philly's PR arm might've had at least a little bit of lead time to put something together.
Given all the permutations and combinations leading into the eventual deal — which, in case you somehow hadn't heard, sends Howard, forward Earl Clark and guard Chris Duhon to L.A.; Bynum and ex-Orlando shooting guard Jason Richardson to Philly; longtime Sixer swingman Iguodala to Denver; and a slew of players (ex-Nuggets Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington, Sixer charges Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless, former Lakers Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga) and draft picks to the Magic — it'd be interesting to rummage through the marketing department and see if any other billboard-size prints got mocked up. (The McBob welcome would've been epic.)
But yes: Fast work, Sixers' PR team, and good work. If you didn't know any better, you'd think the team was excited to have a young frontcourt player who can score and rebound for the first time in, oh, 20 years.
Then again, this seems like a pretty extravagant welcome for a backup, doesn't it? Especially considering neither Kwame Brown nor Spencer Hawes were met with nearly as much fanfare when they signed their deals. You don't want to sow the seeds of locker-room discord so early, Sixers, do you?