In an apparently not-ironic overstatement, Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris has put a positive spin on the team's 2013-14 campaign.
"I think the season has been a huge success for us,"#Sixers owner Josh Harris— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) April 18, 2014
It takes some guts to call a 19-63 season a success, much less a huge one. On the heels of a season in which the Sixers nearly set a professional sports record with 26 straight losses, this owner would like you to know he sees the glass half full—even if there's nothing in it.
Barring the distinct possibility that Harris is delusional or was accidentally thinking about a different team entirely, there are of course a few explanations for his tone.
The Sixers will have a very, very good draft pick. If things pan out, this lost season will be a distant memory in fairly short order—hopefully, anyway.
But there are certainly no guarantees as SBNation's Michael Levin notes:
In truth, we won't know if it was worth it until the NBA Draft Lottery on May 20th. And then we won't know if it was worth it until the NBA Draft on June 26th. And then we won't know if it was worth it for a year or two when the 4-5-6-7 guys Sam Hinkie drafts come into focus.
At worst, though, the Sixers will have additional resources around which to build. Some of them could remain in-house; some could wind up traded. The bottom line is that Philadelphia is putting itself in position to retool with young, inexpensive talent.
There may be another season or two of growing pains still ahead, but they'll be part of a process that had to happen sooner or later.
From that perspective, losing seasons aren't entirely a bad thing. Nor was 2013-14.
The organization also got to watch some of its in-house talent blossom, namely Rookie of the Year favorite Michael Carter-Williams. The young point guard proved versatile and capable of becoming quite the triple-double threat as he continues to mature.
Finally, though rookie center Nerlens Noel never suited up for a game, he returned to practice in fine form, despite missing the season with a knee injury.
Believe it or not, there may well be some excitement surrounding this team going forward. It's assembling a core of talented youngsters before our very eyes—painful as it's been to watch.