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The slogan “Trust the Process” can be used in many situations for really any industry. Every time it is used, though, it’s always traced back to the Philadelphia 76ers.

When the Sixers were run by former General Manager Sam Hinkie, he urged the team’s supporters to trust the process of tanking and focusing on building a better future while taking on tons of losses.

Did “the process” actually work? Well, that’s up for debate. While the tanking helped the Sixers land some high-end draft picks — not everything went perfectly for the 76ers, as some of the selections didn’t pan out.

And while the Sixers went from NBA bottom-feeders to consistent playoff contenders in the post-Hinkie era, they haven’t reached the ultimate goal of winning the championship with a team led by the man who considers himself to be the face of “The Process” Joel Embiid. 

In Philadelphia, many might say it worked because it ultimately landed the 76ers an MVP-caliber franchise player Joel Embiid, who keeps the team competitive every year. But if you watch HBO Max original show ‘Hacks,’ you’ll find out that outsiders actually view “The Process” as a joke.

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“I do always remember this thing he told me about this one team. Their motto was ‘Trust the Process.’ I remember thinking that’s a good philosophy, you know? Every game win or lose, that’s just part of it. You’re on the path to something bigger so the individual setbacks don’t get you down. 

… 

“Sorry to eavesdrop but that team you were thinking of, is the Philadelphia 76ers. … They blow it every year, they suck.” 

With no Conference Finals or NBA Finals title to show for since “The Process” has unofficially concluded, it doesn’t seem everything went according to plan. 

While the Sixers are consistently in the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, they haven’t made it out of the second round since they started competing in the postseason again in 2018. 

And until the Sixers have some hardware to show for in the post-process era, they’ll likely continue to be the butt of some jokes as their postseason struggles continue. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.


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