I guess I have a different perspective and tolerance level since I'm a long distance fan. I would have preferred tanking or at least not backing into the playoffs in 2014-15. You have to get really lucky if you just tank one season.
I mean, the enjoyment we've had watching a decent team over the past three seasons (and in future seasons) is worth something. If both teams end up back in contention at the same time I definitely like our way better.
I agree. Over the past 2 1/2 seasons the Celtics have won 73 more games than the 76ers. For those who don't watch games that might not matter. But for those of us that do, we've got to see some good basketball and competitive games. I don't take that for granted. I can tolerate one tanking season, but Philly's tank is going on half a decade now. It's ridiculous.
We definitely set out to tank a second season in a row in 2014-15. Read Ainge quotes at the time he was pretty transparent he preferred a top pick to a pointless playoff series. We essentially traded every vet left on the roster that year. We traded both Rondo and Jeff green. We got rid of rotation players for picks. That team was set up to tank as well as any GM can really set up a team to tank.
Two things happened:
#1. Ainge underestimated the genius of Brad Stevens. He got young kids and former bench players to overachieve.
#2. Ainge saw an opportunity to land Isaiah Thomas for a lowly 1st round pick and jumped at it despite the impact it might have on the tank job. Too good of a player to pass up.
It worked out fine, but the team got predictably swept in the playoffs and Ainge tried and failed to give up 6 picks to move up and select Winslow in the draft.
Kinda just goes to show you... losing culture disappears as soon as teams start winning. We were in the midst of a two year tank job when our tanking abruptly ended. You will eventually see something similar happen with Philly when thinks suddenly start clicking. Way too much young talent for it to not happen.