These days, the Philadelphia 76ers are the top team in the Eastern Conference. If everything stays on track this year, they'll make their fourth-straight NBA Playoffs appearance. However, the organization has gone through some challenging times to get to this point. And Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes knows all about it as he was a part of the experience firsthand.
For the 2015-2016 NBA season, the Sixers went into the year headlined by two young centers in Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, surrounded by tons of roster hopefuls. While there was plenty of talented individuals on the team, who would eventually hit their stride later on in their career, the Sixers were bad.
Like, historically bad. As expected, they finished last in the NBA with a 10-72 record. And to no surprise, Philly fans were not amused. Although there weren't many fans attending the Wells Fargo Center during Richaun Holmes' first season with the Sixers, the young big man stuck around for three seasons and got to know the crowd.
As you could probably guess, Holmes believes the Sixers' fan base is truly unique in its own way. The Kings veteran recently spoke to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, and Holmes recalled his time during the infamous process and beyond. When asked about the Philly fan base, Holmes didn't hold back.
"I know a lot of fans would come at us crazy, especially in Philly. Philly fans are ruthless," Holmes said. "[The trash talk] would be everything that I can’t really say myself. Win some games. You get paid such and such. Get off your fat so and so. They were ruthless. We would probably get down like 10 in the first or second quarter, and those boos would come raining down."
In case you're an outsider wondering, nothing about the Philly crowd has changed since Holmes last played in Philly. While the 76ers are lightyears ahead of that dreadful ten-win team, the crowd still lets its own players hear it when they're dissatisfied, whether it be in the actual arena itself (pre-COVID, of course) or on social media.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_