The 2013-14 Philadelphia Sixers were one of the worst, most unwatchable teams in NBA history. But you wouldn’t know it listening to Josh Harris’ PR spiel. Harris claims that their 19-63 season was a success based on his own metrics (translation: the tank job was executed perfectly). Per CSN Philly (via PBT):
“I think the season has been a huge success,” Harris said during a press conference at the team’s practice facility. “Obviously, I don’t like to lose. In terms of a losing season, it’s tough. It was incredibly fun to take down the Bulls in my first year when we were seeded eighth and they were seeded one. We want to get back to the playoffs and compete for the championship. That’s what we’re trying to do. To get to that point to be an elite team, there is no shortcuts. We came in knowing it would be a long season and we would be putting building blocks in place.”
Needless to say, it wasn’t easy for Harris during the season. That was especially true during the 26-game losing streak.
“I threw things, I turned off the TV, I tried to ignore it but it was hard to ignore it,” Harris said. “Emotionally, it was very difficult. I don’t like to lose. I don’t like to live through a season like this, it is not fun. It is not why I bought the team. So it was very hard emotionally.”
And yet Harris permitted his front office to put together a roster that, talent-wise, was not good enough, nor had the experience to win on most occasions. That was especially the case after the trade deadline.
“Sam Hinkie ran a very in-depth and thoughtful process,” Harris said. “We evaluated every single option. We had multiple conversations and we were satisfied with the results of what happened at the trade deadline. It was all part of the bigger plan. I am very happy with the job our front office did.”
“We are not out to lose. We are out to win every game,” Harris insisted. “I want to correct that. Our goal is to be an elite team. In order to get from here to there, sometimes you need to develop players. There are decisions that we make. I think the league is in great shape right now. Attendance is high and there is a lot of parity in the league, so I don’t think that there is a negative perception.”
[...] In the meantime, the rules say the Sixers will have the second-highest percentage of landing the No. 1 overall pick when the draft lottery takes place on May 20.