Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil checked in with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson. Press Play Below To Listen!
Not even Rocky Balboa could have written the script any better. the city of Philadelphia and its surrounding area has been nothing less than tinseltown.
The Eagles are Super Bowl champions and the Villanova Wildcats, who play their home games at Wells Fargo Center are college basketball National Champions.
Add to the pot of jambalaya a fourth place Philadelphia 76ers team who finished the season at 52-30 and currently hold a 3-1 lead over the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
The last time the Philadelphia 76ers appeared in the NBA Playoffs was the 2011-12 season. They’d exit in the Eastern Conference semis to the Boston Celtics.
A lot has changed since then. Injuries were the main culprit. Last year, the Sixers only won 28 games. Their worst season during that stretch was the 2015-16 season, when Philly went 10-72.
“You know Philadelphia,” Sixers CEO Scott told me on Scoop B Radio.
“You know it well. Its a sports insane crazy town. And we’ve had three years of very difficult times; of course it’s been well documented. And our business continues to go up every year. Our ticket base has doubled since I’ve been here. It’s pretty crazy when you think about that when you consider what steps we’ve taken to tear down this team, and build it back up.”
Many trades, drafts, firings and GM changes later, the “Trust the Process Mantra” is a nod and smile in Philly.
Interest in the Sixers deep in the NBA Playoffs has not been ‘a thing’ since the early 2000s when Allen Iverson and Larry Brown had a love/hate relationship.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson talks Sixers and more with CNN.
These days, a retired Hall of Famer Iverson is courtside supporting his team, with Philadelphia native, Kevin Hart.
“I’m not sure everybody really remembers, talk about about the Iverson era and there were certainly three or four good years there,” O’Neil told me.
“But even when he first came in, it was a bit of a struggle both at the gate and down the court; and then at the end it was pretty rough at his departure. So it’s been quite some time since we’ve had a really competitive team that can challenge the best in the east and the best in the NBA. You know you’re talking ‘01 since the big run. So since then, I think it’s 12 or 13 years since we won more than 40 games or so. So this is a franchise we definitely knew we needed to be patient with.”
Patient they’ve been.
Drafting Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz are the highlights for the Sixers over the last four years.
Key role players like Dario Saric, J.J. Reddick, Robert Covington, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova is icing on the cake!
“We’ve certainly have to take our time and we’ve did that and now it’s time to bear the fruit,” said O’Neil.
“We’re really fortunate, Sam Hankie left a lot of draft picks and couple good young players and some cap space. So with that you got to make sure it’s the right way. And I think we’re all committed to get the team a title.”