Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports

November 28, 2020
Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports

"TANKING TO THE TOP is the best basketball book inyears." —Wall Street JournalHow the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers trusted The Process — a boldplan to get to first by becoming the worst.Including exclusive interviews with Joel Embiid, BenSimmons, and Coach Brett Brown, Sam Hinkie, and more.When a group of private equity bigwigs purchased thePhiladelphia 76ers in 2011, the team was both bad and boring.Attendance was down. So were ratings. The Sixers had an agingcoach, an antiquated front office, and a group of players thatcould best be described as mediocre.Enter Sam Hinkie — a man with a plan straight out of the PEplaybook, one that violated professional sports' Golden Rule: Youplay to win the game. In Hinkie's view, the best way to reach firstwas to embrace becoming the worst — to sacrifice wins in thepresent in order to capture championships in the future. And tothose dubious, Hinkie had a response: Trust The Process, and theresults will follow.The plan, dubbed "The Process," seems to have worked. More thansix years after handing Hinkie the keys, the Sixers havetransformed into one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. They'veemerged as a championship contender with a roster full of stars,none bigger than Joel Embiid, a captivating seven-footer known forboth brutalizing opponents on the court and taunting them off ofit.Beneath the surface, though, lies a different story, one ofinfighting, dueling egos, and competing agendas. Hinkie, pushed outless than three years into his reign by a demoralized owner, ajealous CEO, and an embarrassed NBA, was the first casualty of TheProcess. He'd be far from the last.Drawing from interviews with nearly 175 people, TANKING TO THETOP brings to life the palace intrigue incited by Hinkie'sproposal, taking readers into the boardroom where the Sixers laidout their plans, and onto the courts where those plans met reality.Full of uplifting, rags-to-riches stories, backroom dealings,mysterious injuries, and burner Twitter accounts, TANKING TO THETOP is the definitive, inside story of the Sixers' Process and afun and lively behind-the-scenes look at one of America's mosttransgressive teams.