It’s time to reveal the results the athletefirst of its kind Philadelphia 76ers Fan survey.
We received 1,120 responses. And while the data here isn’t nearly enough to speak for the entire Sixers fan base, it does provide a sense of where things stand in the 2022-23 season.
One note about survey methodology before we begin: For questions where the grading system is numbered from one to five, the first number is least confident (or least successful, least frustrated or least satisfied) and five is the most. This was expressed when the questions were asked but will not appear below within the results.
There were 24 questions that everyone who participated had to answer, as well as two open-ended optional questions. Since there is a lot of information out there, we’ll split the post into two separate sections. The second half will start on Thursday.
about your fans
1. When did you start following Sixers regularly?
I was curious how many the athlete Readers have followed the Sixers in the past decade. Rewind back 10 years and the team was mostly an afterthought on local radio and television because they had been stuck in the middle for so long. But sometimes the Sixers seem to have gained more popularity than any other NBA team over the past decade.
Perhaps that is the case but not necessarily for this group of fans. Only about a fifth started during the operation era with Allen Iverson’s timeline ending as the most represented group with a healthy margin of 36.7 percent. About a third of our voters started even before Iverson took the floor. These people have seen a lot of bad basketball in their lives.
2. The regular season and playoffs combined, the Sixers played 94 games last season. How many have you watched?
This is the kind of question that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver should be paying attention to. I’ll use myself as an example: I consider myself an NBA addict, but if that’s not my job, there’s no chance I’d fall into the “over 90” category like 15 percent of our respondents.
So it makes sense to me that roughly 50 percent of Sixers fans surveyed here fall into the “60 to 90 games” category. I’m assuming the group watches every playoff and all major matches of the regular season, but some matches seem skippable when the schedule comes up. After all, Sixers play a game Hornets More often every season.
3. How many Sixers games have you attended this season?
Nine out of ten voters hardly make a trip to “The Farg” during the winter months, although this question doesn’t give us their reasons for doing so. “None” and “1 to 5” made up a total of 89.8 percent of this answer.
It’s possible that some of the lack of personal viewing has something to do with the site. Sixers fans are spread across the country, and based on some of the Twitter accounts that follow me, the whole world. Some of these findings may relate to the ease of watching a game on TV in the comfort of their own home. Combined with the results of the last question, this group is very familiar to broadcasters Kate Scott and Alaa Abdel Nabi.
However, the Sixers have ranked at or near the highest official league attendance figures in recent seasons. Wells Fargo Center is a large building by NBA standards, although it is generally full or close to capacity on game nights.
4. Sam Hinkie took over as general manager in 2013, and the Sixers proceeded to lose 199 games over the next three years. On a scale of 1 to 5, do you think Hinkie made the right decision to rebuild the way he did?
After all these years, this is still a hot issue. When the Sixers exit the second round, it quickly turns to a referendum on the process. In my personal experience, it is a problem that is answered along the lines of the generation gap.
At the very least, this was not necessarily the case with this survey. As we saw in the first question, respondents were fairly distributed between generations. Despite this, this group is in favor of the process. Hinkie has been out of the NBA for years, and while a lot of his fan base might say they’ve relocated, he’s still a popular figure in Philadelphia. I generally agree with this sentiment. Those three lost seasons reaped Embiid, the kind of talent that this privilege was sorely missing. Talking about …
5. Is Joel Embiid your favorite Sixers player of all time?
47 percent of fans who voted affirmative is an impressive number, especially considering a decent number of older fans were surveyed. Watch Julius Irving, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson.
Embiid provided more than enough individual excellence. Even if he couldn’t break through the regular season awards, he was already voted the second best player in the league twice. Embiid is also an unforgettable character who is funny at times but also ready to fight in a way that Philly fans will love. All that’s left for him is to win a title. If it did, that number would likely rise by 47 percent.
6. Embiid removal, who is your favorite Sixers player?
This is one of the questions that tells me that respondents took this survey very seriously. Therese MaxiThe overwhelming popularity among Sixers fans—chosen by 88.7 percent of their favorite non-Embiid players in this survey—was evident even during the junior season when he was a fringe player being pulled in and out of the course. Like Embiid, he has an infectious personality that goes with his game.
Paul Reed However, getting only 1.2 percent of the vote is a bit surprising. Some BBall Paul people love them.
7. Who is your favorite Sixers player from this group?
I thought this question might be a bit pervasive, but I was somewhat surprised that the player who wiped out the Sixers this season (and rubbed it in their faces) ended up on top. Butler (26.3 percent of the vote) was stellar in the 2019 playoffs and left under awkward, unclear and surprising circumstances, so Sixers fans gave him the opportunity to doubt. I would like to know Embiid’s answer to this question.
The rest of the list is very logical: Dario Sarik (15.8%) J. J. Redick (15.3%), TJ McConnell (12.9%), Robert Covington (12.5%) and Seth Carrey (7.2%) were all playing valuable roles that fans generally loved. Given the organization’s leadership and handling throughout this stretch, Sixers fans saw a revolving door of supporting characters surrounding Embiid.
8. Who is your least favorite Sixers player from this group?
No surprises here. The unanswerable question I would like to know is what the breakdown could have been before the 2021-22 season. Once Ben Simmons (53.5 percent of the vote) decided he’d rather sit down than play for The Sixers, which sealed his fate among most fans. Al Horford (26.5%), who was horribly fit for Philly only to return to Boston and find the Fountain of Youth on the same contract the Sixers initially signed, certainly wasn’t very popular either.
about last year
9. On a scale of 1 to 5, how successful are the 2021-22 Sixers season?
For such a subjective question, the survey appears to have reached a general, neutral consensus. 58.8 percent of voters went with “three” here.
I don’t think it’s possible for the season to be five given that the season ended with the same disappointing exit. But as much as a championship or stagnation mentality may be, a total fiasco is unfair given the difficult conditions to start the season. This leaves us somewhere in the middle, give or take one place depending on how high your expectations are.
10. Without including any feelings about the Simmons business, how well would you do business with the company you kept on a scale of 1 to 5?
There were updates to the series almost daily. But even with the Sixers winning, the decision to stick with Simmons was a controversial strategy. There was a belief that waiting for a deal would miss a season of Prime Jewel Embiid.
Looking back at the timeline, this group was generally positive about the Sixers’ handling of elimination. And while it was Daryl Morey’s patience that drove the franchise, much of that credit goes to the team. Maxi, Doc Rivers, Tobias Harris And (ironically) the curry was awkward at times during this stretch. Embiid was superhuman since Thanksgiving until Deadline Trade. If the Sixers hadn’t commented hard, the results might have been different.
This was one of the questions where I found the results—only 10 percent of fans polled here have an overall negative view of yield—that was a bit surprising. This is primarily due to the volatile nature of Harden’s short first season in Philly.
I feel confident when I say that Harden’s highest level (Match 6 vs. Toronto4 vs. game Miami) are the offers that no other player could give the Sixers. But there were also some very frustrating efforts, especially when Harden came out cool against Miami in Game Six.
What was available to the Sixers, a disgruntled player whose commercial value was well below his peak on the field, is unclear. But the pressure is heavy on Harden to put the Sixers in the championship competition for the next few seasons.
Feel free to express your feelings about dealing with Simmons’ opposition and eventual Harden’s return. What do you think of Morey’s approach? Was it worth waiting until this season? Did playing Harden at the end of the season change your mind about the deal?
This is probably the best format for Simmons/Harden questions because I’ve received a more diverse set of answers. On the plus side, there were plenty of answers that went along with “Morri did his best reasonably”.
But even some readers have expressed some skepticism about Harden. Many commented that this season will be crucial to sorting out their feelings. One voter wrote, “Not yet considered. If Harden plays like a top 20, that’s a good deal. If that’s what we got last year, they’d be better off going in another direction.”
One player mentioned in a lot of the responses was Therese Halliburtonwhich was moved in last season’s deadline mainly for Dumantas Sabonis (With other players moving into that deal). Haliburton was a popular name in the Sixers trade rumors that led to Deadline. He has a long way to go to reach Harden’s peak level, but he’s also 11 years younger than Harden and is already an excellent offensive player. The player-to-player comparison sparks a discussion about the Sixers title window enlargement and what that really means. Unless Harden returns to the elite level this season, I think he won’t go away.
12. What was the biggest reason why the Sixers lost to Miami in the playoffs last season?
This generally sounds like an optimistic group of Sixers fans, although I understand the logic here. With the last two losses shrinking, the Sixers’ margin of error was zero in the second-round series. And when Embiid played, it was only 2-2 difference. The two best answers, combined with 80.8 percent of the vote, will probably be the easiest to resolve for next season (Embiide not having an odd injury, plus off-season extras).
This is a tough question, given that the reason for the Sixers’ demise was likely a confluence of all of these factors.
13. Not taking into account the unknown variable of tampering and fraud allegations, how well did the Sixers’ offseason team do on a scale of 1 to 5?
We’ll have to wait and see what kinds of penalties the NBA achievement might inflict. But given the resources they had at the start of Free Agency (very few), boosting their depth in such a crucial way seemed like a huge win.
(Photo by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: Elsa/Getty Images)