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Sports Beyond Measure: Do The Sixers Risk Losing Their Fans?

By Ray Boyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If someone would have asked you a week ago who your favorite Sixers player was, and your answer would have been Michael Carter-Williams, you were undeniably a little upset on deadline day.

If you believed in the high-flying potential of K.J. McDaniels, you were pretty upset on that day as well. Sam Hinkie has since made it clear that the trading away of those two players was done so in an effort to move the team forward.

However, the issue for some fans is that you cannot root for assets. There is no jersey you can wear that reads "top-five protected pick," on the back.

Do the Sixers risk losing the fan base to a point where even if the plan does succeed, the fans will be too disillusioned to return and support the team?

That was the topic of debate on the Sports Beyond Measure podcast. Vince Quinn, Ray Boyd, and Eric "Turtle" Golden came together to discuss the Sixers plan and the risk they are taking.

LISTEN: The Sports Beyond Measure crew discusses the Sixers recent moves (25:50 mark):

"In Hinkie I trust," said Golden. "I love the plan. I love the motivation and I love the thought process.

"There's no downside to this right now because the team wasn't even stuck in mediocrity. They were stuck in the bottom of the barrel."

The question is whether or not the fan base sees what the Sixers did on deadline day as a step backwards. For this set of 82 games, it is safe to say that it was. However, the options that it gives the team moving forward is the reward that the team wants us to believe made the risk worth it.

"What the Sixers need are opportunities to get superstars," Boyd explained. "The type of pick that they got back, that Lakers pick, is a very very valuable selection. Those type of picks are really rare."

Opponents of the draft pick driven mentality argue that the Lakers pick may not hold value should it be conveyed next year in a season where the Lakers might be better. With that said, the move still falls under the idea of calculated risks which Hinkie preaches about a lot.

The Sixers want to create a climate in which they have a multitude of opportunities to strike it rich on a player. The more picks you have, the more chances you have.

Will the fans stay along for the ride?

"You need to do something soon where you give people a chance to actually get attached to someone," Quinn argued. "The casual fan, which is going to get you a lot of money when this team gets better, they can't be turned off to the point where they despise you as an ownership group."

Is it reasonable to assume that even if the plan is successful that the fans will not return? "My last concern right now would be the fans," Boyd said of the Sixers. "If you win, they will come back."

The Sports Beyond Measure Podcast is a weekly sports podcast that delivers a fun perspective on the latest headlines in national sports, Philadelphia professional sports and community-based sports. The series is hosted by 94 WIP's Vince Quinn, Ray Boyd and Eric "Turtle" Golden. You can download/subscribe for free on iTunes.


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