The Philadelphia 76ers are finally on the up and up, but it was an excruciating, years-long climb out of basketball futility for both the team and its fan base that was the culmination of former GM Sam Hinkie’s controversial rebuilding efforts.
After Hinkie was deposed, Joel Emiid — the spiritual centerpiece of that philosophical endeavor — threw his support behind the fired executive by nicknaming himself “The Process” in honor of the now-iconic axiom that became Hinkie’s calling card during his tenure in Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, Embiid opened up about his relationship with Hinkie, saying that the two remain in contact and that he can’t help but feel somewhat responsible for his ultimately ill-fated run as the organization’s general manager.
Me: Sam Hinkie drafted you. Do you keep in touch with him, call, text?
JE: Yeah, we text sometimes. We talk to each other sometimes. I mean, that’s the guy that drafted me, and he made sure he put everything in place so I could get healthy. And I got healthy and I got back on the court. And I feel like he basically kind of lost his job because of me, because I missed two years. So I feel like I owe him a lot. Yeah, we talk. We talk sometimes.
On the one hand, Embiid is absolutely correct that a growing impatience during his injury-riddled first two seasons in the NBA was one of the main catalysts for Hinkie’s termination, although it was clearly something beyond his control.
Still, Embiid’s ongoing loyalty to his former GM is admirable. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to see what’s next for Hinkie. The Sixers’ success is certainly threatening to vindicate him, and we imagine it won’t be long before he’s back disrupting everything we thought we knew about the world, whether that’s in the NBA, Silicon Valley, or elsewhere.