By: Ian Wixted
The city of Philadelphia has been waiting for this moment for two decades since 1996 when the 76ers drafted a sophomore from Georgetown. This is the first time in 20 years that the Sixers have the number one overall pick in the NBA draft. Our former GM Sam Hinkie taught this city a harsh lesson over the past couple of years, to rebuild a franchise you have to do it through the draft. Love it or hate it, but Sam Hinkie’s process is what got us here today, the day when this cherished franchise starts the foundation for something special down the road.
It’s no surprise that with the first overall selection, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Australian phenomenon Ben Simmons. After announcing his draft status as a freshman at LSU, Simmons shot up to the top of most teams draft boards. Touted as one of the best players the draft has seen in recent years, it was a no-brainer for the Sixers to invest their future alongside with Simmons future.
This city has been patiently waiting for competitive basketball to make a comeback. The last time the 76ers had the first overall pick, they chose a player that completely changed the franchise and turned the NBA on its head. The last time the 76ers had the number one pick in the draft, the young man they just drafted was born. Funny how things work out huh?
Ben Simmons Welcome to Philadelphia
Mr. Simmons, welcome to the City of Brotherly Love! You had your first taste of the Philly life when you appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. One of Philly’s greatest musical groups, The Roots, welcomed you to the stage playing the Philadelphia 76ers classic theme song from the 70s. You had your first official Cheese Steak, no need to add the “Philly” in there anymore. You will learn early that in this city, Cheese Steaks are a neighborhood thing when it comes to which is the best spot (Shout out to Steve’s Prince of Steaks!)
Now we all know that to outsiders the Cheese Steak is what Philly is most famous for, but we have so much more to offer from food to art to history! This is the home to the hoagie, WaWa, TastyKake, soft pretzels, The Reading Terminal, pork roll, scrapple (if you’re adventurous) and so much more to discover. We are The City of Murals, boasting over 3,000 painted murals throughout the city. Philadelphia is the birthplace of America, this is the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed and was the nation’s first capital. Our biggest sports heroes are, in no particular order: A.I., Dr. J, Michael Jack Schmidt, Randall Cunningham, Brian Westbrook, the late Reggie White, just to name a few of a long list of Philadelphia sports heroes.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard how rabid of a fan base we are, but don’t always believe what you are told. The city of Philadelphia is a hard-working, blue-collar town and we use major sports as an escape from our daily lives. We are very passionate about all of our teams and will be there, through the good times and the bad, cheering you on. This city is the greatest sports town in the world, and we will embrace you immediately, mark my words.
Philadelphia Welcome to Ben Simmons