COMMENTARY | There's not much to cheer about in Philadelphia these days regardless of which of the four major professional teams fans follow. In fact, once the Flyers are officially eliminated from the playoffs, the City of Brotherly Love is guaranteed to go at least 17 months without a playoff appearance.
And while the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers' season is coming to an end might be the biggest motive to toast the city's NBA franchise, there are five other reasons for fans to be optimistic about the future.
Sixers co-owner and chief executive officer Adam Aron appears to genuinely care about wins as much as the franchise's bottom line.
He's big on social media (@SixersCEOAdam), which means he hears the fans. Whether he listens or not is another story, but he has proven a willingness to interact with fans and answer even the dumbest of questions (Will you be at tonight's game in Philly?).
I don't think former owner Harold Katz would have ever been called a tweeter, at least not how the term is meant to be used.
Fans either love Doug Collins or hate him. Actually, let me correct that: Philly fans all love Collins because he's a former hard-nosed player in a city that thrives on them. But not all fans want him to still be the coach next year.
Unless Collins' son, Chris Collins, asks him to join his staff at Northwestern and dear old dad can somehow combine that role with a return to the NBA broadcast booth and quench both of his cravings, I think Collins is back on Philadelphia's bench next season. And I think that should excite Sixers fans.
Just look at how the team is playing down the stretch in games that virtually mean nothing. They are playing hard, hustling from tipoff until the final horn, and showing spurts of how good this team could be with a legitimate starting center.
If the players didn't want to play for Collins they would have mailed it in by now. But they haven't, and that's proof that this team believes in, and genuinely likes, the head coach. That, combined with the fact that he's probably one of the best coaches in the league, makes the answer "no" when the question, "Is there a better coach available?" is asked.
I'm actually a Spencer Hawes fan. Fan, in that I think he'd be the perfect backup center. He can score, he can rebound, and yes, he can dunk when he's really close to the basket and nobody is near him.
All kidding aside, without Hawes on the team this year the Sixers probably have at least seven more losses. But, unfortunately if he starts at center next year, the team most likely misses the playoffs once again.
So how is this optimistic? Well, it can't get worse at that position, can it? Best-case scenario is that Andrew Bynum recovers completely, the Sixers sign him to an incentive-laden contract, and the former All-Star has to take a vacation to New Orleans midway through next season, hopefully with at least Jrue Holiday tagging along.
Worst-case scenario is Bynum packs his bags having never worn a 76ers uniform and it creates cap space to bring in a legitimate starting center. Or at least one not named Kwame Brown.
The fact that the Sixers already have an All-Star in Holiday gives them a leg up on several other NBA teams. And not only does the point guard have the title of All-Star, he plays like one.
He's averaging career highs of 18 points, 4.3 rebounds and 8.4 assists. And I think Holiday can be even more effective if he's relied on less for his scoring and more for creating opportunities for others.
In just his fourth year, he's one of the league's legitimate future superstars.
After every Sixers win confetti flies through the Wells Fargo Center as if the team just clinched a playoff spot. In addition, when the team scores 100 or more points, fans in attendance win a free Big Mac. Someone once tweeted - OK, it was me - the Sixers aren't only killing the spirits of the fans, but their hearts, too.
So imagine the celebration next year if the wins at home are actually improving the team's playoff position, not just creating traffic jams at the local drive-thru. Heck, instead of confetti, there might be indoor fireworks. And instead of Big Macs, how about those famous cheesesteaks? It might actually be a party worth tweeting about.
Philadelphia fans are not known for their optimism under the best of circumstances. But unlike Flyers and Phillies fans - at least for right now - Sixers fans can take comfort in the fact that the best is yet to come.
Or, in the words of a true Philadelphia fan: Might be yet to come.
Jon Buzby is an award-winning sportswriter from Delaware and has followed the Sixers since 1976. He contributes regularly to multiple newspapers, magazines and websites. Follow him @JonBuzby on Twitter.
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