Thoughts From a “Fellow 76er”

Ryan with basketball (photo by Wendy Kennar)

The NBA Playoffs began on Saturday.  In our house, that fact is a big deal because our Clippers are playing.  We are enthusiastic Clippers fans, following their wins, their losses, their challenges.  (In fact, I even wrote a piece about all the lessons my son is learning from watching the Los Angeles Clippers.  You can read it here at 

But the last place team on the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers, also has held my attention this basketball season.  While the Clippers have won 53 games and lost 29, the 76ers have won only 10 of their games, and lost 72. 

I first began paying attention to the 76ers because I like their name.  My husband and I were born in 1976 so we’re 76ers too. 

The fact that the 76ers (my son refers to the team as “your 76ers”) have the worst record in the NBA makes me feel somewhat protective of them.  It’s not easy being in last place.  And these players are still the sons of women who want to see them do well. 

Even though their team ranking isn’t exactly enviable, these men are professional basketball players.  They get paid to play a game that countless children play in their own backyards.  Even though their team isn’t doing well, these men have all accomplished something that many boys will only dream of — becoming a player in the National Basketball Association.  I still think that’s quite an accomplishment.

Though my son only knows the Clippers as the top-notch team they are now, I remember when they were much like the 76ers.  At the bottom.  Discounted.  Teased.  And look at them now. 

Someday the tides will turn, and the 76ers will find themselves in a better position, up near the top.  And you’ll hear me saying, “I knew they could do it.”

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