Somewhere in or around the City of Brotherly Love, it’s easy to imagine Sam Hinkie smiling. Why? Not because the former Philadelphia 76ers general manager is happy he felt the need to resign before his decision-making powers were further marginalized. Instead, Hinkie is likely taking solace in the knowledge that one of the most ardent competitors in history of the NBA seems to believe in one key principle of The Process.
Shortly after his Los Angeles Lakers set a record for single-season losses for the second year running, Kobe Bryant was asked his thoughts on leaving the purple and gold during these all-time depths.
In our opinion, though, that’s a ridiculous take coming from a player. Is the toll of losing 60 games really equal to the one of losing 40? That’s not just the difference between competing for a playoff spot and competing for lottery balls, but also the difference between consistent glimmers of hope and consistent darkness of futility.
Anyone who’s ever played competitive sports understands the scope of that discrepancy, right?
Bryant, though, is wired far differently than the rest of us and even his playing peers. Hinkie is, too. To us, though, the distinction of their wildly disparate job titles makes the latter’s approach to winning and losing much more reasonable than the former’s.
And remember, Hinkie claims he lost 20 pounds this season alone due to the Sixers’ sweeping ineptitude. Maybe a similar physical reaction is the real justification behind Bryant’s retirement.