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Trust the Protest: How Sixers fans can honor Joel Embiid at the NBA All-Star Game

Philly’s rookie phenom was snubbed! Here’s how much it would cost to have your voice heard in New Orleans.

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Do you love Joel Embiid and wish the young Sixers star wasn’t snubbed for the All-Star Game this season?

How much?

No, not how much do you love the star Sixers rookie. How much would you be willing to spend to show the rest of the country how much you love him?

In other words, if you Trust the Process, go to games, chant M-V-P and raise all the cats in your neighborhood every time the Sixers win, would you be willing to take that enthusiasm on the road?

To, say, New Orleans?

Philadelphians have shown over the last two weeks how important rallies, marches and protests can be to raise the public’s consciousness to a cause. And if making hilarious basketball puns at very serious public events is your kind of rally, well do we have the idea for you, fine Philadelphia sir or madam! (Ed. note: We are not equating those things with this thing. We are, however, sure some of you are steamed.)

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Chris Krewson / Billy Penn

Yes, you should Trust the Protest. In fact, if you care that much about Embiid, you and your friends should conduct your own protest. In New Orleans. At the All-Star Game.

Let the NBA hear your voice, Joe and Jill Sixer fan, and show the rest of the country what’s important to you. A large man playing in a basketball game against other, slightly smaller but more experienced men.

Now, first, before we send you off to New Orleans on the weekend of February 17th, we need to make a statement to the rest of the NBA today. Fans are hot about Embiid missing out on the All-Star Game, and it just so happens the good ol’ Sixers have a nationally-televised game tonight against the Houston Rockets on ESPN. Fans will undoubtedly be vociferous in their chanting of “Trust the Process” and “MVP” tonight, especially with an actual MVP candidate in James Harden at the Wells Fargo Center. And you, too, can be a part of that scene for just $69. For how good the Sixers are right now, that’s not a bad price.

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StubHub

And yet, one person does not a protest make. You need to bring your friends, and you all need to go to the craft store for $3 t-shirts and a fabric marker to write P-R-O-C-E-S-S on your shirts.

So…are there any tickets available for tonight for you and six friends to sit in a row and stand up proudly displaying your creative Process? Nope. Sorry. You waited too long, bandwagon jumper. There’s one section with that many seats but it’s a box in the rafters and nobody will see you, plus it’s super expensive.

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StubHub

Huh. Well… what if you left two friends at home and just went with the way cooler T-R-U-S-T shirts? Is there room for five seats in a row tonight?

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StubHub

Success! Trust me, people will like that and you will almost surely get on ESPN.

The better way to make sure to get on national TV would be to take your Process protests to the Big Easy and make a scene — a positive, friendly, make-Philly-look-good scene — at the All-Star Game. That will cost a little bit more than going to tonight’s game.

Okay, a lot bit more.

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Expedia

It’s New Orleans, so there are a ton of hotels, but it’s also All-Star weekend, and you’ve waited until virtually the last minute to get a flight and hotel, so you’re going to have to pay a premium, if you can still even find a hotel.

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Kayak

Oh, and just to be clear, that’s the price for ONE flight and hotel room (double occupancy.) If you go with four of your friends, it’s going to run more than $10,000 for the group. And yet! You do get to spend an entire weekend in New Orleans, from Friday all the way through President’s Day, returning to Philly on Tuesday. That could be quite the Process trusting weekend.

There is a cheaper way, if you’re actually serious about taking your Sixers energy to New Orleans. Flights on Friday morning with a return on Tuesday morning will cost $552 round trip.

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AA.com

Rather than a hotel, you and your -R-U-S-T buddies could rent a house, or at least part of a house. Like this part of this house.

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Priceline.com

That’ll cost $1,500 for four of you, so plan to take the smallest of your friends — assuming the U — and sneak him in to save some money. Or just pay a little extra for another bed. Your call.

Or you could Airbnb in New Orleans. For the five days from Friday to Tuesday, there’s a nice little “Sweet Treme Home” that is a decent drive from the arena but only $594 per night plus fees and taxes, which comes to…$2,834 for five people.

airbnb

But wait…neither of those prices include tickets to the All-Star events. How can you protest the All-Star Game not including Joel Embiid if it also doesn’t include…you?

So, first you’ll need tickets to the All-Star Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, which is a good place to test out your “Trust the Process” chants. Those tickets are plentiful, even for groups of five or more, with the cheapest seats around $30.

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StubHub

Sunday’s All-Star Game is going to cost you a lot more, like $445 per ticket for the top row of the upper deck. So now we’re at $2,052 for the cheapest room and flight and around $500 for tickets to the two games. You’ll have to miss the slam dunk and three-point contest on Saturday because, sheesh, who can afford this?

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StubHub

And yet, that estimated cost doesn’t account for anything else you’ll do in New Orleans, so let’s figure four nights out, plus three meals per day, plus some extra scratch for bail money just in case and you’re looking at at least another $750 to $1,000 in walking around cash. (ProTip: Don’t actually carry that much cash around. It’s All-Star weekend. That’s crazytalk.)

So we’re up to around $2,600 for transportation, hotels and tickets, plus another $1,000 for “incidentals” and that weekend will run you $3,600 and you only get to see Embiid play once!

Protest or not, that seems pricey. Let’s re-think this.

What if you JUST go for the Rising Stars game, wear your T-R-U-S-T shirts there and hope you make so much noise that not only do they put you on TV the entire game — there are three Sixers playing in the game, so there will be ample discussion about the Process — but make so much darn ruckus that they can’t not talk about you on local TV and maybe even during the actually All-Star Game two days later.

That’s a lot to ask, but it would be way cheaper, and still a lot of fun.

One-day airfare to New Orleans will run around $420 and you can stay out at the Raddison near the airport for $190 on Friday night.

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Hotwire.com
radissonneworleans

That’s a double occupancy rate, so you can cut that hotel price in half, meaning one night in New Orleans will cost around $515 per person, plus the very reasonable Friday night event tickets.

You could Airbnb for just one night for about the same price. Here’s a house for $484 all-in for one night that sleeps five right near the French Quarter and closer to all the action.

Your return flight on Saturday wouldn’t be until 7:50 p.m., so it will give you plenty of time to stroll around the city, too.

All in, with food and drink and rideshares to and from the hotel, we’re looking at a $700 trip. For one night in New Orleans. With Joel Embiid.

Who’s with me? I’ll be the T in T-R-U-S-T. No, the other T, because for $700 I’m getting an aisle seat. Oh, and I’ll buy the poster board and markers if someone grabs the t-shirts.

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