My hometown Philadelphia 76ers have been a very bad basketball team for several years. Their former General Manager, admitting that the team could improve only via high draft picks, decided the Sixers’ best route would be to lose games, year after year, and stockpile these high draft picks (which would presumably be very talented basketball players). After multiple high-pick players had been added to the roster, according to the plan, the team would actually be good.
That former GM, Sam Hinkie, named this strategy The Process. While the team couldn’t announce that they were keeping the team non-competitive on purpose, it was obvious that’s what they were doing.
The first part worked: The Sixers sucked. Out of 82 games, the Sixers won 19, 18, 10 and 28 games the past four seasons.
The second part worked: The Sixers had high draft picks (top 3) each of those seasons.
The third part was trickier. The high draft picks had to actually be good NBA players, always an inexact science. Just like at any job, you never really know if a new hire will pan out, no matter how glittering their resume.
To compete in the current NBA, you need at least 2 All-Star-Level players on your club. Out of all their draft picks, the Sixers currently have those 2 players — Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid — and a possible (rookie Markelle Fultz). All three players have missed significant time — full seasons or nearly the full season — with injuries. As of this writing though, they’re all healthy and playing.
The fourth part is less tricky, but harder: Actually play games and win those games. Well, the Sixers won 52 games this season (5th-Best in the 30-Team NBA) and made the Playoffs. Tuesday night, in the franchise’s first playoff series in six years, the Sixers finished off the Miami Heat, 4 games to 1.
Even if they don’t win another game this postseason, we can positively state that The Process has worked: The Sixers are a good basketball team.
It’s fun to talk about today. But, for 5 years, FIVE YEARS, no one knew this whole thing would actually… work. Sam Hinkie, creator of The Process, was himself fired a year ago and couldn’t see his plan come to fruition (though he will be a hero in Philadelphia forever). Embiid missed two whole seasons with injuries. Summons missed all of last season. Both times while waiting for their debut, fans had no idea if these guys would even be good or not.
Turns out they are.
And, as I shared a couple days ago, this is the Sixers’ year to go all the way to the Finals. Not sure they can win, but getting there alone would be huge. Next up in the Playoffs will be Boston or Milwaukee.
For Your Game
- We all go through a Process at different points in life. The key to sticking with a Process is Discipline. Will you stick to the plan when it gets frustrating? 30 Days To Discipline is made to help you.
- As a Process moves forward, you will eventually get your chance. Make sure you’re ready to perform, as you may not get 82 games to prove your ability.
- The Process works only when someone has the vision and foresight to plan ahead. What’s the desired outcome, and, working backwards, what steps must be taken to get there? What’s the first step to take today? That person also must have the authority to keep everyone on the same page when the Process gets rough. Who’s that person?
What Process are you in right now? How well are you sticking to the plan? Reply and tell me about it.