Changing the Culture. What does that even mean?

By Sam Rubenstein

Of all the sports cliches out there, of which there are thousands, my favorite one of all is when a losing organization decides it’s going to turn things around by “changing the culture.” You put up some inspirational plaques, you convince people that they should expect to win, maybe a head or two rolls, really things change without changing. Today the Philadelphia 76ers with the great Billy King are pulling that move. Words like “accountablity” get thrown around. Some quotes from Mr. King:

“In changing the culture, it’s going to be little steps along the way, but we’re going to get there. It’s not something that can happen overnight.”

“It’s about people being held accountable. That’s where we’re going to start from. Everybody’s going to be accountable.”

“We’ve all got to be accountable for everything we do on the court. We’ve got to realize it’s going to take a team effort. The things we’re talking about, rebounding and team defense, they’re not easy. They’re not the glamour things, but those are the things it takes to win.”

Hmmm… the non-glamorous things. Seems like he could use players like Kenny Thomas and Brian Skinner. Maybe he could trade Chris Webber for them? Oh wait. Maybe someone should be held “accountable” for trading away guys like that.
This following quote should make fans of the Sixers extremely angry. Khalid Salaam, before you read this, just think about how you were rubbing the Pedro injury in my face half an hour ago. Now Billy, speak your mind:

“The teams that had a lot of movement, had a lot of cap room. You’ve got to be careful making moves just to make moves. I like a lot of our players. I believe in a lot of our players.”

O-kay. Chew. Digest. Well, it is true that the Sixers were unable to make any moves because of their cap status. You know the names behind the contracts: Iverson, Webber, Dalembert, Korver, and so on. Those are the type of contracts that make it very difficult for a GM to have flexibility when doing his job. Now you have to ask, who was the guy that put him in the position of being saddled with those contracts? Why, that would be Billy King! If the contracts are a problem, shouldn’t that Billy King character be held… ACCOUNTABLE? Fun throwaway line of the quote at the end there about believing in a lot of his players. So who doesn’t he believe in? Should we play the guessing game?

But hey, at least they’re bringing in Moses Malone to teach Samuel Dalembert how to play like a three time MVP.