The 2010s were a decade of dramatic changes for the Philadelphia 76ers. The team started with Allen Iverson’s farewell season and are ending it with a Joel Embiid led superteam. A lot has happened in the past ten years, some of it was good, some bad, some incredible, some devastating. The good and the bad should be remembered. We should remember the good fondly while learning from the bad. Being that the feeling around the team currently positive (for the most part) that’s where we’ll start.
Here is a look at the top ten Sixer’s moments this decade:
NUMBER 10 – The Process begins
Beginning our list is what began all that you see now, the Process. The process began by trading Jrue Holiday and Pierre Jackson to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans 2014 first-round pick. The Process, so far, has been a success after years of struggles, but this remains at ten purely for the fact that the Sixers traded a budding young star for a bust, even though it also netted them Dario Saric.
NUMBER 9 – The 2012 Playoff run
The Sixers entered the 2012 NBA playoffs as the lowly eighth seed going against prime Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately game one featured a horrific injury to Rose that altered his young career. If it had not occurred, the Sixers probably would have been swept and that certainly lessens the achievement.
The Sixers did go on the win the series against the Rose-less Bulls but the team continued to show more fight than anyone expected. Taking the Paul Pierce led Boston Celtics to a game 7 the Sixers earn the respect of many in the NBA.
NUMBER 8 – The TJ McConnell game
Processor for life, fan-favorite, more clutch than Kobe. Okay maybe not, but on January 11, 2017, TJ McConnell was elevated above almost anyone else in Philadelphia. McConnell, an undrafted point guard and heart of the process, took matters into his own hands to defeat the New York Knicks.
With the seconds winding down, McConnell received the ball and instead of passing per his nature, he shot a miracle spinning fadeaway to win the game. A special shot from a special player sealing a place in the hearts of Sixers fans. No, it didn’t involve the playoffs or landing the team a star, but moments like these are important and must be treated as such.
NUMBER 7 – Hey now, you’re an All-Star
Joel Embiid was finally coming into his own. In a season that saw him average almost 23 points and 11 rebounds, the Sixers finally had their first All-Star since Jrue Holiday. Not only that, but Embiid was also the Philadelphia player selected as a starter since Allen Iverson in 2010. He even made an impact in the game, scoring 19 points and pulling down 8 rebounds in 20 minutes.
This was the first of what will be many by the time Embiid calls it a career. Now considered a perennial All-Star, this game was a big steppingstone in Embiid’s career. It was also one of the first signs of the success of the process.
NUMBER 6 – The Sixers unveil the Big 4
February 6th, 2019, that is the day that the Sixers traded for Tobias Harris to turn their Big three into a Big 4. The Sixers gave up a near king’s ransom for Harris including sharp-shooter Landry Shamet. The trade did not result in a championship but it was far from a failure. Harris contributed to the winning attitude the Sixers needed and later resigned with the team ensuring that he would continue to fight with this squad.
NUMBER 5 – And Jimmy makes three
The Sixers were star hunting, and no one seemed to want to be hunted more than Jimmy Butler. Beyond dissatisfied with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Butler was thrilled to come to a team as hungry as the Sixers. This, unfortunately, came at the cost of long-time processors Robert Covington and Dario Saric. The trade was worth it though as the team soon became a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference.
It may not have ended pretty with Butler, but the journey was exciting and in the end, gave us Josh Richardson and Al Horford.
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Lead Philadelphia 76ers writer for Philly Sports Network. Follow me on Twitter @ZCiavoPSN and follow the rest of our team for more quality content.
“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life – mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical” – DR. J