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Chasing the Ghosts of Chicago From Philadelphia

written by: elijah bennete

Fifteen years into his career, Lebron James is cemented as basketball’s holy trinity: combining best-in-class on court play, pioneering a generation of athletes to be off-court social leaders through positive messaging (fucking bums am I right Bron Bron?), and business savvy leading him to be the wealthiest athlete of all time. 

The allure of the 76ers

Lebron is not only the world’s most talented basketball player in history, but also a prominent cultural touchstone. With nothing left to prove, he might as well destroy the pleasurable nostalgia of ghosts past. Where else to do that but Philadelphia?

The only person that will beat Lebron is father time. Versa climbers only go so far. Bodies only so far. Lebron can only be the Lebron we see today for so long. He needs the help that all other basketball GOATS have had, and that does not come in the form of an undersized point guard with the hips of a decaying grandmother, or whatever hope is presented by acquiring a decaying asset such as what the Nets did.

Philadelphia has the fruits of Sam Hinke’s league breaking strategy (one thread of all historical basketball greats is that the rules are changed to address the imbalances that they present) for the foundation for what is going to be a super team which will debase any history made by the current Warriors squad. A picture-perfect center for modern NBA ball, a playmaker who blossomed under the auspices of Lebron, a ball handing three-level-scorer who can play off-ball, and a 3&D player who would happily have locker offers league wide. Lebron can be the elder statesman that elevates the aforementioned into a wikipedia page longer than the sum of all false thought GOATS.

A bright future

With his on & off court leadership and science-fiction-like training & nutrition regimen, he will immediately transform Philadelphia into the leading Eastern Conference team. NBA Finals lie in the future. However, as Lebron ages and his athletic prowess declines, Ben Simmons—aka Lebron 2.0—will ideally assume the role of playmaking lead allowing Lebron to get his much-needed rest. I present an image of an older Lebron: big bodied, down low, stretch-four complimented with signature playmaking. Pair this with the newest banana boat member Kyle Kover, and Ben Simmons works perfectly..

This is not to discount Joel Embid, a transcendent talent who acquires skills as if he were downloading them directly into his head (he saw his fucking first basketball game in 9th grade!) and reminds me of an NBA 2k cheese character straight from my park. As a twenty three year old with only around 40 games to show, he is dominating down low, stretching the floor, handing the ball, and changing games in ways only see by generational centers, but now with a deadly three-point shot. Pairing him down low with Lebron gives you two modern, defense-breaking floor spacers. What talent outside of the Pelican’s can compete with them on both sides of the floor?

The complementary pieces—which is a funny phrase to say about a first overall pick—are too overwhelming to ignore. Robert Covington to guard & stretch the floor; Markell Fultz, who excels in every guard-like quality; Nik Stauskus & TJ McConnel, depth players who know their role & are happy to fulfill it; and Bender, a stretch-scoring four form a complete roster ready to compete. They wait for Lebron to come & settle any ghostly apparitions perpetuated by those who can not appreciate greatness.

There are some challenges, but nothing insurmountable. Among the Sixers, injury concerns are prevalent. Thus, instead of the NBA practically eminent domain-ing Hinke out of leadership they should have replaced all Philly medical staff with Suns staff if for no other reason than “basketball science.” There’s no definitive proof that Brett Brown can coach at the most competitive levels and make their money work. The roadblocks mean nothing; the talent is too much. Lebron’s drive is too much. The future is clear and it is Lebron in Wells Fargo.

The future is clear and it is Lebron in Wells Fargo.

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