Thursday, June 25, 2015

Trust this process: Hinkie is done

By John McMullen

PHILADELPHIA - Russell? Okafor? Porzingis? Mudiay?

No matter what embattled Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie has up his sleeve on Thursday night, his three-card-monte act, which has turned one of the NBA's marquee franchises into a national embarrassment, has run its course.

We all understand the "Sons of Sam" will defend anything Hinkie puts his fingerprints on so arguing whether D'Angelo Russell has the necessary athleticism to turn into the sequel to Stephen Curry (he doesn't) or Jahlil Okafor can ever develop into a competent NBA defender (unlikely) or if Kristaps Porzingis is the next Dirk Nowitzki (please), is an exercise in futility.

Whomever Hinkie winds up with will be the logical decision to those tortured souls.

Sam Hinkie has a big problem

NBA general managers, though, do not perform their duties in a vacuum and, believe it or not, basketball will not even define Hinkie's failed stint in Philadelphia.

And it's so ironic that the elitists who parrot Hinkie's basketball philosophies and believe his process is a religion are the most obtuse of all, blissfully unaware that the most important news regarding the 2015 Sixers draft broke long before the event even started.

"There are agents that have told the 76ers not to draft their players," ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard said on Mike and Mike this morning. "Because of the history of losing the last few years, trading away the rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams after a great season.

"So, there are guys that do not want to play in Philadelphia."

Fellow ESPN reporter Jeff Goodman confirmed Broussard's take calling it "Absolutely true."

FOX's Howard Eskin has been reporting that at the local level for months but his general lack of credibility and personal disdain for Hinkie was all the cultists needed to ignore the warnings. And they can continue to do so at their own peril but two different agents e-mailed confirmation of Broussard's reporting to the Phanatic Magazine this afternoon.

If they had their druthers, virtually every power broker in basketball wants their clients anywhere but Philadelphia.

Russell, the consensus "it pick" for the few Sixers fans left, dispelled that to the diehards by playing public relations 101, claiming he didn't have a problem playing for Philadelphia in front of the microphones as his agent worked tirelessly behind the scenes to steer his client away from the City of Brotherly Love.

In fact the planted rumor that claims the Lakers are set on taking the former Ohio State star at No. 2 overall and had many Sixers devotees contemplating jumping off the Ben Franklin Bridge came directly from Russell's camp.

The hard truth is there is probably no transcendent player in this draft and the lone possibility will be calling Minneapolis home (Karl-Anthony Towns) so those worried about the repercussions on the floor between Russell and anyone else the Sixers might take are burying the lede.

You see the whole problem with #TrusttheProcess is that those blindly following the dogma are part of the same generation which has no interest in playing in Philadelphia.

To the Russells and Okafors of the world this is no longer the franchise of Wilt, the Kangaroo Kid, Dr. J, Moses, Charles and A.I. This is a barren wasteland where players are treated like disposable pieces in some kind of twisted lottery.

And the funny thing about human beings, no matter the generational differences they don't like being treated  that way.

Some might argue that's what professional sports is at its core. And guess what? They're right but optics and theater matter, and the great ones understand that ... Hinkie does not.

The real heavyweights in this sport have spoken and they want nothing to do with Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers.

That's the process you've been trusting.
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