76ers

While the 76ers' "Process" of sacrificing wins now for a good team in the future has yet to truly pay off, there are lessons to learn from it, both on the court and in our own lives, says Yosef Weitzman.

Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Burkett | Creative Commons / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Trust The Process.”

The phrase is only three words, but for Philadelphia 76ers fans, it has come to mean so much more. And while every Sixers fan has a strong opinion on “The Process,” I’m sure it is a little less well-known here on Penn’s campus. So for those of you have never even heard of The Process, here’s my best effort at explaining it in under 100 words.

The Process refers to the rebuilding efforts of the 76ers, which most would agree began with the hire of General Manager Sam Hinkie in 2013. Acquiring a team that had been mediocre for years, Hinkie decided it was time for change. Seeking a fresh start, Hinkie traded away most of the Sixers’ proven veterans in return for young players and draft picks. Since Hinkie took over, the Sixers have gone 19-63, 18-64, and 10-72. Hinkie resigned at the end of last season, but with many of the players he drafted just starting to hit the floor, The Process lives on.

Now that we have a working understanding of The Process, it is important to realize that it is very controversial. There are many – we’ll call them the “distrusters” – who see The Process as a disgrace to the game. The distrusters believe teams should always try to win as much as possible now, not later. At the same time, there is a growing contingency of so called “trusters.” The trusters have bought into the Sixers’ future – they think everything will all eventually come together. In simple terms, the trusters believe the ends will justify the means.

While I respect where the distrusters are coming from, I want to be clear. I trust The Process.

I trust The Process because it has given the Sixers a purpose. I trust The Process because youthful energy is fun to watch. And yes, I even trust The Process because of the losing.

It isn’t that I’m rooting for the Sixers to lose, but I think their lack of success does make them more fun to root for. Everyone loves a good underdog, and the Sixers are the underdog in literally every game they play. Now there are other teams out there that lose a lot too (looking at you, Cleveland Browns), but I’m not sure if any losing team loses with the same tenacity and optimism that the Sixers do.

I feel weird praising a team for how they lose, but I think the Sixers are teaching a lesson that we can all really learn from. Sometimes you just have to “take the L,” and the Sixers do that better than anyone else. The Sixers lose a lot, but you’d never be able to tell that from how they approach their games. They come ready to play every single day and don’t let their past losses haunt them.

And as students entering finals season, I think this is the perfect time to start trusting The Process of everyday life. We are going to be tested over the next couple of weeks, and we may or may not fail a couple times along the way. It is important though, that we don’t get down on ourselves and let those losses impact our future performances. We should follow the Sixers’ example and face every new challenge as a new opportunity.

While I hope this message inspires a few more people out there to start trusting The Process, I think another Philadelphia sports legend actually puts it best – and you’re probably a little more familiar with this one. To quote Rocky Balboa, life is about “how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.