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Sunday, February 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hey Sixers! Losing to get ahead isn’t working

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 16, 2017, 9:59 p.m.

The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping former Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz can help end their losing ways. (Winslow Townson / Associated Press)
The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping former Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz can help end their losing ways. (Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

So, what are we to make of The Process, the Philadelphia 76ers’ analytically correct, anatomically challenged Frankensteinian attempt to conquer the NBA for years to come?

The Process, in which the 76ers have been intentionally bad for several seasons in order to obtain high picks in the NBA draft, boils down to this:

Lose now so we can win later.

The 76ers’ team credo is: Trust The Process.

(This, of course, is almost a direct contradiction to Couch Slouch’s credo: Trust Nobody, Not Even Yourself.)

I contend this is a flawed “process,” intellectually, spiritually and practically-speaking.

It is flawed because it is fraught with flaws; if that isn’t a fool-proof argument, I don’t know what is.

Deliberately putting out a bad product is a bad-faith gesture to your paying customers and impugns the integrity of the game. It stinks to high heaven, if there is still a high heaven.

If this idea of failing-now-to-succeed-later were applied to, say, the conjugal world, that would entail someone going through a series of miserable divorces in order to subsequently equip themselves for a series of flourishing marriages.

(Actually, to be honest, I appear to be in the process of doing this.)

So these 76ers just endured 19-63, 18-64, 10-72 and 28-54 seasons to assemble their dream team.

That’s four years of abysmal basketball, losing on purpose, which goes against The American Way and goes against The Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals.

Incidentally, it appears almost every Philadelphia professional sports team is in the midst of The Process right now. Flyers, Phillies, Union, Sixers – what’s that, a hatful of winners?

Even the symphony orchestra sounds like it could use some fine tuning.

(Note to the Philadelphia Orchestra: My apologies; I’ve never heard you play – you’re simply artistic-license collateral damage here.)

By failing up, the 76ers have assembled a turbo-talented, young quartet of starters that somehow already has a nickname; as Joel Embiid tweeted after Markelle Fultz was selected with the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA draft, “The FEDS are coming.”

The FEDS would be Fultz, Embiid, Dario (Saric) and (Ben) Simmons.

Appropriately, Kevin Durant told Warriors teammate Draymond Green shortly after, “How they got a nickname and they ain’t played no games together?”

(Indeed, you think the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse got their moniker while picking out their stallions at a barn in South Jerusalem?)

Anyway, these once-in-a-generation players still could go bust, injury-wise or otherwise. Simmons, entering his second season, has yet to play an NBA game. Embiid, entering his fourth NBA season, has played all of 31 games. Fultz was a one-and-doner in college, where his school, Washington, was 2-16 last season in Pac-12 conference games.

But the Philadelphia fan base largely believes in this Sam Hinkie-hatched, tank-to-the-top radical reboot of the franchise.

I spoke recently with precocious 76ers fan Max Brooks, 17, a McLean (Virginia) High School senior.

(Max is son of my erstwhile friend and Philadelphia native Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. This chump-and-a-half is so Philly fanatical, if he were already in Philadelphia, he would drive out of town just so he could experience the ecstasy of driving back into town.)

Max told me, “We now have the potential to be a top-tier team for the next five or 10 years.”

Ah, to be young and naïve again.

Alas, diehard supporters of The Process – which, I’d like to remind you again, is a morally bankrupt, fatally sinister application of the worst instincts of sporting imperialism – are both presumptuous and preposterous.

Perhaps they are not familiar with the sage words of Robert Burns from his 1785 poem, “To a Mouse”:

The best laid schemes of mice and men/Often go awry/And leave us only grief and pain/For promised joy.

You’re staring at 39-43, Philly.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Do the 49ers intentionally lose in order to cause the opposing team’s quarterback to take a knee at the end of each of their games? (John Stewart; Manassas, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. I don’t understand why the Miami Dolphins pushed out Chris Foerster for snorting cocaine off his desk. I mean, he was the offensive lines coach, right? (Perry Beider; Silver Spring, Md.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. If the New York Jets really wanted to tank this season, wouldn’t they just have rehired Rex Ryan? (William Murray; Chicago)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Is it true that Ken Burns is working on a nine-part documentary entitled “A Major League Baseball Game”? (Terry Golden; Vienna, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

Q. Do all Yankees fans also have MLB umpire certification? (Charles Raasch; Alexandria, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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