The Philadelphia 76ers made great strides during the 2011-12 season. Despite a tough finish down the stretch, the 76ers came within one win of reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. For an organization that has struggled for the better part of a decade, that was no small feat. However, it seems like the playoff run might just be the beginning of an exciting era. The new ownership group has energized the fan base, and it looks like they are ready to take the next step. As a 76ers fan, I am excited about the aggressive style that the 76ers are cultivating.
The organization sent a message with the recent news that they were searching for a replacement for Rod Thorn. The current team president is in his 70s and has done very little to make a dent with this team. Basically, the 76ers are hoping to make a change that says they are here to contend. I think that is something that should excite fans. After years of watching a mediocre team run by mediocre people, we have an ownership group that is determined to succeed on the court. You can't ask for anything more than that.
Thorn is a talented front office guy and I still think that he can help the team during the offseason. However, I'm not complaining about the fact that a change is coming. Thorn is clearly not an aggressive leader. A decision to replace him with someone that is suggests a change in philosophy for this team. The owners aren't going to stand pat and watch teams like the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder dominate the league for the next five years. While the 76ers have some exciting young talent, the owners recognize the need to change things. For the first time in a long time, fans have a reason to believe that this team can become a contender.
While the 76ers make changes, we need to extend some trust to them. Some players are going to be gone, including guys that many fans like. In addition, building this team into a title contender isn't going to happen overnight unless a shocking trade somehow develops. While no one is going to be overly patient, we have to believe that these owners are doing what they can to make this team a strong one. In my opinion, this change in philosophy is enough for me to grant them a little breathing room. Based on what this team has already shown me, I don't think I'll be disappointed.
Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong 76ers fan.
- Sports & Recreation
- Rod Thorn