COMMENTARY | There's a reason the Philadelphia 76ers didn't have a head coach from April 19 to August 11: They stink. Really bad.
So nobody wanted the job.
After making the playoffs and shocking the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in the opening round in 2011-12, the Sixers took a big step back in 2012-13, finishing in the basement of the Atlantic Division with a 34-48 record.
Then in July, the team acquired forward Royce White, who has an anxiety disorder and is scared of flying, from the Houston Rockets and watched free agent center Andrew Bynum, who never played a single game with the Sixers last season, move on to Cleveland.
So how bad are the Philadelphia 76ers now?
But are the Sixers at least good enough to win 10 games this season, which is one better than the 1973 Philly team (9-73) that owns the worst record in league history over 82 games?
Don't laugh. Here's a look at their 2013-14 roster:
Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams has potential. At 6 feet 6 inches, 185 pounds, the point guard is a stick now, so he needs to hit the weight room. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds last season as a sophomore at Syracuse. He has shown leadership, guiding the Orange to the Final Four in 2013. But the NBA is totally a different monster.
Veteran Jason Richardson may still be the best shooter in Philadelphia and can light it up on the floor. The problem is, he's never on the floor. He played in 33 games last year. The last season J-Rich played in all 82 games was in 2007 when he was with the Charlotte Bobcats. So it comes as no surprise that Richardson might miss the entire season after having major knee surgery.
Evan Turner can ball. Seriously. The former No. 2 overall draft pick averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists last season. With Holiday and former head coach Doug Collins gone, he can't cry about his touches and minutes anymore. At best, Turner is an All-Star-caliber player. At worst, he's a solid sixth man.
Thaddeus Young probably wishes he was traded in the offseason along with Holiday. Young has ridden the ups and downs for six years with the Sixers. This season, however, will be as low as it gets. Like Turner, the versatile big guy has game. Last season, he averaged 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals a night.
The 7-1 Spencer Hawes has a nice shooting touch from the outside. The thing is, the Sixers need a dude to work inside and clean up the boards. Hawes averaged 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds last year. This season, he'll need a double-double every night for Philadelphia to have any shot at being respectable in the paint.
Nerlens Noel was projected as the No. 1 overall draft pick in this year's draft but slipped down to No. 6 after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during his freshman year at Kentucky. So the 19-year-old big guy has tremendous upside potential and can play. Unfortunately, for the Sixers, it's just a matter of when and how well in just his first season in the pros.
The Sixers will be in the running for the worst team in the league, but they won't be the worst this season (the Phoenix Suns will) nor close to the worst ever over 82 games. Again, they really do stink. Just not that bad. Record: 20-62.
9 worst NBA teams over 82 games
1973 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73)
1993 Dallas Mavericks (11-71)
1998 Denver Nuggets (11-71)
1987 Los Angeles Clippers (12-70)
2010 New Jersey Nets (12-70)
1994 Dallas Mavericks (13-69)
2005 Atlanta Hawks (13-69)
1983 Houston Rockets (14-68)
1997 Vancouver Grizzlies (14-68)
Dwayne C. Nelson lives in Philadelphia and has been a Sixers follower since the Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Moses Malone, Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones days.
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- Philadelphia 76ers
- Nerlens Noel
- Jrue Holiday
- Jason Richardson
- Houston Rockets