I am a prisoner to context. Each time I get into an argument about The Process — 7 a.m. Pacific Time every morning since May 2013 — I feel a near-possessed desire to educate people on what led to The Process so they can fully appreciate it. They couldn’t possibly understand why Sixers fans were willing to tank multiple seasons for a top pick unless they survived the Eddie Jordan era with nothing but Evan Turner getting blocked 18 straight times at the rim to show for it.
There’s simply no way they’d grasp the importance of not wasting a mid-Process Era roster spot on a mediocre veteran point guard unless they lived through Doug Collins riding a 33-year-old Damien Wilkins the last month of the season to an inexplicably strong finish. And they’re not going to accept the fact that the Andrew Bynum trade was the most important trade in Philadelphia 76ers history unless they’ve been stuck in the mud in Alabama — step on the gas, one tire spins, the other tire does nothing.
Bynum is where we’ll start, because even though Andre Iguodala, Nikola Vucevic, and a first rounder is a steep price to pay for a guy who played … *checks repressed memories* … zero games for the Sixers, it blasted apart a team that finished between 27 and 43 wins every season for a decade straight. Good enough to be the poster franchise for mediocrity. Aimless enough to continue shelling out money to middling free agents without any semblance of a plan. Brian Skinner enough to claim two stints of Brian Skinner’s career. So even though the trade was an unmitigated disaster in terms of production, it was a huge success in pushing the car out of the mud into, finally, a direction.