While Philadelphia’s former team—can we still call the Warriors that when they left town in 1962?—is being lauded as the best basketball team in history, finishing the 2015-16 regular season 73-9, it’s worth remembering just how moribund the team that replaced them in Philly has been.
The Sixers went 10-72 this season, winning one more game than the Warriors lost. When combined with the 18 wins last season and the 19 wins the year before that, the Sixers have won 47 games over the three seasons forever known as “The Process” era.
The last time the Sixers resembled an actual NBA basketball team, albeit barely, was 2012-13, coming off the team’s last winning campaign in the shortened 2011-12 season. The Sixers were 41-41 in the first year under Doug Collins, then backed that not-losing season with an actual winning one in 2011-12, finishing 35-31 and making it to the Eastern Conference semifinals, thanks to Derrick Rose’s untimely playoff injury, and a lot of dumb luck.
The last year of the Doug Collins era, months before his ridiculous resignation press conference, things started somewhat promisingly, but the losses outnumbered the wins—34 to 48—and Collins slowly lost his mind… his team. Now, three full seasons under Brett Brown, Sam Hinkie and Joshua Harris later, the last year of the Collins era is contextually notable for one ignominious reason, and one particular game.
November 27, 2012: the Sixers 73rd win.
Led by Evan Turner’s 22 points and Thaddeus Young’s 20 points and seven rebounds, the Sixers beat the Dallas Mavericks 100-98 on November 27, 2012 to better their overall record that season to 9-6. The Sixers played 67 games the rest of that year, winning 25.
Over the last three seasons—246 games—the Sixers won 47 times, losing 199.
Those numbers, if the horrible math is correct, means that the Sixers have won as many games in their last 314 games played as the Warriors won in their last 82.
The Warriors, for what it’s worth, have won 191 games over the last three regular seasons, not including their 19 playoff wins, and counting. And, still, things ebb and flow.
The Sixers franchise has an overall record of 2,726-2,578 (.514), far better historically than the Warriors 2,590-2,884 (.473). The Warriors have actually been much worse since leaving Philly, with an overall record as the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors of 2,032-2,339 (.437). That said, since coming to Philadelphia, in the post Syracuse Nationals era, the Sixers are 2,150-2,141 (.501).
Yes, the Sixers are 10 more losses-than-wins away from being a losing team. Fingers crossed they get to November 27th before it happens.