There are two things in this world that I love unequivocally. The first, of course, is live news footage of overmatched local authorities trying to wrangle one or more wild animals that just escaped from a zoo or circus. The best is when the whole thing is shot from the station’s helicopter, in part because it gives you a wide aerial view of the festivities to really take it all in, and in part because it means some weary station manager in some cramped control room got to live the dream for a moment by shouting “GET THE CHOPPER IN THE AIR. WE NEED EYES ON THESE LLAMAS.” We all remember the llama chase, yes? That’s basically what I’m talking about here. Other animals will work too, though. I would probably pay $9.99 for a 10-minute cell phone video of mall security guards trying to corral a giraffe. So that’s number one.
The second thing is the Philadelphia 76ers.
But while the first thing is a pure and simple love, a joyous glee that appears from nowhere once or twice a year before floating away in the wind, the second is … harder. It requires work sometimes. Here’s what I’m getting at: I love the Sixers with all of my heart but sweet liberated kangaroo are they ever exhausting right now.
They’ve been exhausting for a while, actually. It all started right around when they hired Sam Hinkie to be the general manager and he instituted what is now commonly referred to as The Process. Man alive, did people have opinions about this. So many articles and so many talking heads talking with their heads, all over teams that struggled to win one game per month. Battle lines were drawn: Nerds and lunatics sided with Hinkie (hello!), and your more serious basketball old-school types thought the whole thing was a travesty.
Eventually, after years of losing and stocking draft picks and rolling out lineups filled with guys who were in the G League the night before, the quote-unquote adults in the room pushed out Hinkie. To replace him, Sixers ownership and the NBA brought in a fellow quote-unquote adult, Bryan Colangelo, who proceeded to guide the team with a steady hand for a period months until he was forced to resign amid a truly ridiculous scandal involving burner accounts and his wife and large-collared dress shirts. The team then headed into the biggest offseason and draft in its last five years with no general manager. Not ideal. Very exhausting.
(Worth noting: Want an idea how much has gone on with the Sixers lately? The Colangelo thing happened like seven months ago and no one even mentions it anymore.)