The Philadelphia 76ers were widely expected to have made it to the NBA Finals after the fruits of the process earned them numerous top picks. Sam Hinkie may not have been around to see it through, but the picks eventually made them a good team. They got a perennial MVP candidate in Joel Embiid, an All-Star in Ben Simmons, and enough assets to add Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to the roster along with JJ Redick.
In 2019, the Sixers looked primed to finally go all the way but fell short to a historic performance and shot from Kawhi Leonard. The Toronto Raptors won a dramatic Game 7 and went on to win the championship. The Sixers' team went downhill, they lost Jimmy Butler and eventually also Ben Simmons after a dramatic saga. Even after all that, though, NBA fans can't believe that team never won a championship in 2019.
"Kawhi really changed the lives of two teams with that shot."
"They still processing."
"All because of Kawhi."
"Can't believe they let Jimmy walk, man."
"A bounce away from possibly winning it all."
"A 1 in a million shot animation sent them home."
"I needed a lot more of Joel and Jimmy in my life."
"Ppl forget Jimmy was and still is very good and underrated."
"They played with 4 on offense in the playoffs. Did you watch?"
"Egos got in the way!"
"That team was mad stacked now that I think about it."
"They should have won, man."
"Good reminder for folk just what Kawhi can do. He comin again next season."
That team had every opportunity to go all the way, and it's not hard to believe that they would have if they had gotten past the Raptors. Kawhi Leonard was truly unstoppable, though, and sometimes one just has to tip their cap to greatness. The Sixers have a chance to rewrite everything next season, with James Harden looking good and the roster as deep as it's been in a while.