As kids today -- or is it professional athletes? Hip Hop artists? I forget who says it exactly -- like to say, "haters gone hate."
Regardless of how exciting this young Sixers team is, or how well they're playing at any given moment, people who don't even watch the NBA at all are going to trot out their typical insightful analysis of, "who cares? The NBA hasn't been good since [insert 80's era superstar] played." This, of course, ignores one simple fact.
A whole lot of people care.
Sure, the Sixers may not be the perennial title contender that the Phillies have become. They may not be the well-oiled hockey machine that Ed Snider has built. And they certainly don't play in the NFL, arguably Philly sports fans' first love. But the fact remains that the Wells Fargo Center is going to have a whole lot of fans in the building tonight for the home opener to the 2011-2012 season.
So, get your "who cares" out of the way now and allow the hoops fans in this town to enjoy a team that has started out a respectable 3-2 on the road to jump start their season. Not only has Coach Collins rejuvenated a franchise that was totally in the dumps -- Eddie Jordan was here less than two years ago!?! -- just a short while ago, but a new ownership group has shown that they care immensely about you, the fan, and want to ensure you get a valuable experience when you pay money to come putt your butt in the seats.
The new lighting, the new PA announcer, the new music, the new video montages, the potential new mascot (?) … They'll almost certainly be a nice upgrade over what came before. Oh, and the new extra dancers, too. (And we admit, the mascot thing could easily go either way)
But the real excitement will be what takes place on the court when the clock is running. Tonight is your first real chance to get a look at the new Sixers up close and personal.
Before the season started, Coach Collins said his goal for the season was simple. To be better.
We're just happy to have relatively high expectations for once.
First tip from the Center scheduled for 7:00 p.m. as the Sixers host a banged up Pistons team. If there's a game the Sixers should win early in their schedule, this one is it.
You may not care, but keep it to yourself, will ya? Because plenty of love will be shown this year in South Philly for the 76ers.
Time to get better.