Last night, the Sixers lost a nail-biter in OT to the Denver Nuggets, giving them their first home loss. The team’s overall record for this year is now an impressive 10-4, placing them atop the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division. It is all very exciting, and for a team that had fallen behind in fan attendance and support prior to the lockout, it is doing wonders. But is it just excitement? Or are the Sixers back?
The TV ratings are up 64% from last year and ticket sales are undoubtedly growing, but is it excitement, or is it fandom? The team is very much what Philly fans love to root for: they’re scrappy, they’re team players, and most of the players (at least before the season) were fairly anonymous. The new ownership is kicking ass in the social media department (even after the whole mascot debacle), and on top of all that, they’re winning.
But if they can’t continue to win, and the excitement fades, will there still be fans? Sure, there were a few before the season, but we’d say that many of the people getting themselves wrapped up in Sixers fever are new to the team, or returning after some years away. The organization (and team) have done great work so far, but if the excitement fades, who knows what will be left. But for now the family-friendly, teamwork-driven Sixers are a refreshing change to the ego-driven teams of the past. And of course, bringing back Big Shot/introducing Black Moses couldn’t hurt.