Brown worries about not winning another game 'all the time'
Adam Silver, seen here speaking at the NBA All-Star game, took over as commissioner in February. (USA Today Images)
Saturday night was intended to be a night where Allen Iverson, who wore a Sixers jersey for 10-plus seasons, was celebrated for the great player he was.
But when NBA commissioner Adam Silver made himself available to members of the media, the topic of “tanking” took center stage.
It was brought to Silver’s attention that former Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy called what the Sixers are doing with their current roster “embarrassing.”
Silver strongly disagreed with that premise.
“I don’t agree with Coach Van Gundy at all,” Silver said. “It is an insult to the entire league suggesting these guys are going out on the floor and not doing their very best to win games.
“Now if Coach Van Gundy is addressing appropriate rebuilding which every organization goes through and not just in sports,” Silver continued. “In any business you look at short-term results and long-term results. This organization is planning for the future and building from the ground level up.”
Silver suggested that there is a strategy in place with the 76ers that he felt was badly needed.
Silver did not really address the fact that the Sixers have the second-worst record in the NBA and a roster that lacks experience as well as talent that, on a nightly basis, can be competitive.
“I don’t want to ignore the issue that the chatter is out there,” Silver said. “If there is a perception out there that teams need to be bad to get good, we need to address it.
“We have a draft lottery in place. The purpose was to take the incentive away from teams potentially losing games in order to get a higher draft pick. We have tinkered with it (draft lottery) over the years and if we need to adjust it again then we will.
“I am concerned about the perception. I am not concerned about what is happening in Philadelphia."
The Sixers proceeded to allow the Wizards to score 74 first-half points, the most points in any half in this building. Eventually the team dropped its 13th consecutive game, 122-103 (see story).
They are now 15-44 on the season.
“Not every team is going to be successful every year,” Silver said. “What you ask for as fans is that there be a strategy and vision in place to win over time.”