By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Dear Sam, Thank You.
You were on our minds on Tuesday night when the ping pong balls finally bounced the Sixers' way. We all know you were responsible for that good fortune and hopefully you realize that as well.
When you came to us in 2013, we had no stars and sadly we sent a number of draft picks packing as well in an effort to sell now middle of the road NBA players, as building blocks that were one key piece away from competing.
You knew that wasn't the case and many in this town wish they knew that as well.
Thank you for willingly becoming a laughingstock and having your method ridiculed because you refused to appease talking heads with interviews riddled with stock quotes.
Thank you for never answering the question: When will the Sixers finally be competitive?
The Sixers spent three years in the basement of the NBA and have acquired a collection of young players and assets that they wouldn't have even come close to had they had three straight 35-38 win seasons, which was clearly what they were destined for.
You taught us process. You taught us about long-term focus. Opponents of the plan were quick to point out the Sixers' dreadful win total, but they won't cite the fact that those win totals will land the Sixers their choice of Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram (likely Ben Simmons) to add to a crop of young talent, more future first round picks and a pile of money.
Thank you for leaving the Sixers in a much better state than when you found them. Prior to your arrival, the team traded away a first round pick in exchange for Andrew Bynum, a center that never suited up for the team.
You moved back two picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, from 10 to 12, got the player you wanted anyway in Dario Saric, and acquired that pick back from the Magic. We didn't have a 2016 NBA Draft first round pick when you arrived. Now we have three and one of them will be the first pick.
In 2017, we will likely have two first round picks and if we don't then, we will in 2018. Next season, we can swap picks with the Kings who are traditionally a dumpster fire.
Sam, thank you for being unapologetic. Thank you for taking the high road and saying nothing to your critics when there was really nothing nice to say. You were quiet, but anyone with knowledge of the game can see that you were very busy working.
The building blocks are in place. If the Sixers fail from this point moving forward, it won't be your fault. You built the car from the ground up and now the Colangelos just have to do everything they can not to crash it.
Thank you for a future based on hope, not mediocrity. Now, the team can actually set goals like competing for titles as opposed to a 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs.
Sam, thank you.
A relieved Sixers fan.
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