Last week former Philadelphia 76er and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley came out and told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Sixers should tank the season.
Nothing against Barkley, but really?
That idea is just terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.
He specifically stated: "Why is Doug Collins trying to win games? That's stupid. They should just develop the young guys and try to get a better draft pick."
In my opinion, I would take this as a fair argument if it were before the season or during their long slump, but now is just too late.
This Sixers squad has shown a lot of potential this season and has become very consistent. Not only that, but they have also been contending in every game this season.
Collins is doing a great job and it's not time to tank the season at this point. You can't stop the chemistry these guys are building on right now.
So Mr. Barkley, you are wrong in your assessment, and here are 10 reasons why.
Right now, the Sixers have a very young lineup. They have been playing great lately and they have a lot of potential.
However, the true weakness in their lineup is at the center position. Nothing against Spencer Hawes, but he just isn't getting the job done.
The Sixers could and should shoot for a reliable and good center like Chris Kaman or Marc Gasol.
It's probably best to trade Hawes and a first-round pick for a center like Gasol, since he will demand money in Memphis that the Grizzlies don't have.
After all, Gasol is not having his best season so we could get him for cheap.
However, if we were to get Kaman, we would most likely give up Andre Iguodala.
One of the best things I heard Doug Collins say this season was at the end of their victory against the Knicks on Friday.
When asked about the teams growth and development, Collins responded: "These guys have learned mistakes from themselves. They don't need me when it comes to that."
Elton Brand also put it in good words when he stated: "It says a lot about our growth and maturity. Earlier in the season, we don't win that game, but now we do."
This goes to show you how much confidence our coach and lineup have and how much the team has grown.
And in Barkley's argument, he stated that it will help the younger players.
It will clearly stop them from getting better and stop the momentum. If they "tank" the season, they won't try and therefore won't get better.
I don't care what you say about the 76ers. Whether you love or hate them, you have to know and accept the fact that if there is anyone to put this squad in the right direction, it's Doug Collins.
He continues to push the troops every game this season and is always competing. There is no such thing as "tanking" in his vocabulary.
He has confidence in his lineup and that's something every coach should have (unfortunately Eddie Jordan didn't have that, yet he couldn't even coach a middle school basketball team).
I cannot stress how much I love his philosophy of taking the season game by game. He wants to prove to all the other NBA teams out there and the fans that this team can be good and cause a scare to other teams.
The chances of tanking a season under Collins?: .001 percent.
The Sixers have done a great job of contending in games this season.
This year they have been in close tussles with the Lakers, Heat, Magic, Hawks, Knicks, Grizzlies, Wizards and more.
They have four overtime losses and a heartbreaking one to Memphis. In 10 of their last 14 losses, there deficit was just five points or less, all against good teams, mind you.
Sixers fans, the team isn't bad!
Every time they go out there, it's a game. Don't put the Sixers on a level like the Cavaliers because the 76ers have been playing some great basketball.
The Sixers are just 23-27 and are three games behind the Knicks for the sixth seed. Now take away those 10 losses that were easily wins and their record transforms into 33-17.
And guess what? With that record, they would be the fourth seed in the East, just three-and-a-half games out of first.
That's pretty impressive if you ask me, especially if we didn't spend over $100 million dollars on a guy like Amar'e Stoudemire for a team that doesn't have a superstar.
Case is closed here.
This year's NBA Draft does not have that great of a class. In fact, it's one of the worst in years.
In case you guys haven't noticed from last year's, there wasn't anyone spectacular besides John Wall. That trait is starting to carry on for years to come.
We won't see another draft like 2003 for a long time.
The projected first few picks in this year's draft are Jared Sullinger, Derrick Williams and Perry Jones.
These guys are all players with potential, but they are also forwards that the Sixers don't need right now. Remember, our No. 1 focus for upgrade is at center.
Speaking of which, there are only three projected centers (and I'm being generous, because one also plays PF) to be drafted in the first round this year.
Plus, only one of them is projected to go in the top 10 (which is the one who plays PF).
There is no need to tank a season to get another bench player or load up on a position that is already over filled and not needed on the bench.
Ever since that terrible 3-13 start, the Sixers have improved to 20-14 and currently hold the seventh seed of the playoffs. Not only that, but the Sixers are also just three games behind the Knicks for the sixth seed.
As I stated earlier, their record is not what it shows.
They could easily be a lot better record wise. But one thing they have shown specifically is consistency.
Every game they come out hungry for a win and make every game close. Game by game, they improve on the mistakes they made the night before.
They are getting better and hotter as we progress through the season.
One aspect that the Sixers have struggled with off the court is attracting a fan base.
In the beginning of the season, the arena was practically empty (come on, we can't turn in to the Florida Marlins!).
But now they are starting to attract more fans. In their recent hot streak, they have shown fans they can be fun to watch and a dangerous team.
If we tank the season, absolutely no fans would want to go watch the games. They have finally started to attract fans, so why ruin it now?
Plus, the more fans that go to the game help the players for support and certainly don't hurt the business side of things.
Andre Iguodala's name has swarmed around trade rumors all season.
Many people want him gone and some fans want him to stay. Either way, if they tank the season, Iguodala's value will drop extremely.
He won't be playing at his best and other teams won't give much value for him.
We should trade Iggy, but only for the right price. Knowing our front office, they will give him up for nothing as soon as Melo is dealt.
So we can't just let him walk away for nothing. If we tank, Iggy's value goes down and that's the key concept here.
In the stage we are in right now, a trade involving Iguodala is certainly possible and if we do let him go, it can't and better not be for nothing.
It's too late in the season to do it anyway.
We are already approaching the All-Star break and the Sixers hold the seventh seed, pushing for the sixth slot.
If we tank now, we would probably be looking at a No. 4-7 overall pick. If we are going to tank, then I want to start at the beginning of the season when we would get the No. 1 overall pick.
This team is playing too good lately and the momentum can't be stopped.
Bringing up the concept of tanking at this time of the year is just wrong and it won't work. They already have a playoff spot. If they were out of it, then maybe.
In all seriousness, is it even possible?
We say it like it's so easy to be done.
If the Sixers tank, wouldn't you think it plays an effect on people's jobs? Doug Collins, maybe?
They paid him and brought him in this city so he can turn this team around, not tank. We have witnessed this happen very few times.
It's not good for a team and it practically puts them a game behind.
Collins knows what he's doing, so no need to waste a season.
This team has a lot of potentials and now is not the time to quit.
There's a lot of young talent and depth. They are virtually just a player or two away.
Barkley, now is not the time to tank.
The Sixers are playing great. But, most importantly, they are getting a lot out of this season.
They have learned from many mistakes this year that will help them grow into a better team.
So you are wrong, Charles Barkley. The Sixers should not and will not tank the season.