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Friday, December 9, 2011

Sixers Reaching Out to Fans and Mascot Vote Dominates Feedback

          On Tuesday, new Sixers’ CEO Adam Aron tweeted that the response to the vote for the new mascot far outweighed the feedback the organization received about the team. He reported, “Mascot FYI: 16,000 votes cast in one day. Huge response vs. only 6,500 fan ideas on all topics at in full month.”

          I realize this is due to marketing and the fact that casting a vote for a mascot doesn’t take a lot of brain power, but that’s really a sad statement about the apathy for basketball in this town. Then again, based on the response he got this morning to another tweet, maybe the fans should stick to mascots.

          Aron took to Twitter again to ask, “Serious question to my Twitter GM’s: how u making your proposed @Sixers big player moves with little cap room? How u threading that needle?” Just a sampling of the responses he received follows with the names deleted to protect the stupid.

          Trade the bad contracts away.” Oh! Nobody ever thought of that. And I’m sure other teams are just lining up to take the Sixers bad contracts.

          “[T]rade iggy and picks for Eric Gordon. Next season make run at Kev love. Future star trio jru Gordon love.” And the Clippers are doing that, why? Granted, they’re the worst organization in sports, but nobody is trading a young, 20+ point a game scorer for Andre Iguodala.

          “[S]houldn’t the issue be, how do we have cap room problems with the players we have?” Gee, why don’t we go back in history and not trade Moses Malone and the right to draft Brad Daugherty. The tweeter isn’t wrong, but the new owners obviously have to deal with the sins of the past.

          “[N]eed to get rid of Elton Brand’s contract somehow, then you will have plenty of money to spend.” This may or may not be true. More importantly, Brand was their leading scorer and rebounder last year, so I wouldn’t just waive him. He’s also older and just starting to return to form after the Achilles and shoulder injuries. In other words, he’s probably not all that attractive to other teams.

          For what it’s worth, I still would have waived Iguodala, then continued to work to get below the salary cap, and keep the flexibility for future moves that can actually happen. I had one genius on my Facebook page tell me that my recent suggestion to use the amnesty clause on Iguodala was the dumbest suggestion ever. His brilliant suggestion was to use it on Andres Nocioni.

          Waiving Nocioni doesn’t have enough impact. As I said before, Iguodala represents an underachieving or just a flat out losing era for the fans. The Sixers needed to take the opportunity to rid themselves of that “stink.” Dollar for dollar, it could be argued that Nocioni brings less value, but according to his profile on he’s paid a little more than half of Iguodala’s salary and has one less year on his contract. I’d rather get more in terms of the future cap flexibility.

          After getting some feedback, Aron added, “We need a strategy that gives @Sixers more SWAGGER and more pride. We will make 76ers a team star players want to join. How? . . . Treat @Sixers players well, improve practice facility, play in full arena, win more, play up rich 76ers heritage, be committed owners.”

          I applaud Aron’s efforts to reach out to the fans, and his ideas for everything around the team sound nice. But it will take a lot more than mantras to get the Sixers to the level of a contender.

          Aron also revealed that the Twitter accounts of the Sixers potential mascots are unofficial fan accounts. Hopefully that means the tweet suggesting that the Moose won the fan voting was fraudulent. We gotta get something right with this team.

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