The spring of saw Trust the Process become the rallying cry for analytically minded basketball geeks everywhere, but evidence suggests the phrase was already floating around Sixers Twitter in the months prior. One famously prolific Twitter user got in on the action during a particularly rough stretch of losing in a season filled with rough stretches:.
Point is, embrace the struggles for the rest of the year and trust in Hinkie, the process. We all talked about this before the season began. The evolution is understandable.
- Failure to Communicate (The Process #47).
- The Process!
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- Sixers have filed trademark for 'Trust the Process,' the unofficial motto of Sam Hinkie's regime;
The "process" part was there all along, both in the existing lexicon of NBA rebuilding and through Hinkie's rhetoric. Through sheer repetition and clever T-shirt marketing, they were able to turn Trust the Process from a sports-team quote to a lifestyle. Torre—ESPN's cool-headed, process-supporting reporter—served as a national proselytizer for the cause both in his writing and during on-air appearances on the network.
Torre: " I heard those three words for the first time on the evening of January 5, , from Tony Wroten in the Sixers locker room just before a home game against the Cavs. I just searched the transcripts I have saved on my computer to be sure.
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Wroten via Torre's transcript : " They tell us every game, every day, 'Trust the Process. Eskin: " I'm not sure when I actually heard it first in regard to the Sixers. It seems logical that it was Tony Wroten in Pablo Torre's article, but I must have heard the phrase itself previously.
There was actually an official team T-shirt that had the Astros logo and just said 'process' on it.
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They were in the same situation that the Sixers ended up being in. Like finding the perfect pair of pants…I recall it being very laborious to say, 'The Sixers plan to tank, which does not mean losing games on purpose but just prioritizing wins in the long term rather than the short term. Not that acronymizing something is a creative feat, but it definitely felt like it became our version of nWo then. Torre: " First, it represents a big idea, and there is no grander tension in sports—no, life—than the one between process and results. Second, it's both desperate and defiant, a phrase you might repeat to yourself while hiding inside a tank taking heavy artillery fire.
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Third, and most important, it is super chant-able. Eskin: " I remember pretty clearly when we started saying it on the podcast all the time. I told him to make a design with Sam Hinkie and a pingpong ball machine and put the phrase 'Trust the Process' on it. I remember Mike laughing, liking it, and saying it was 'very cult-y. So I asked for a shirt instead.
Where does Trust the Process come from?
Holding it up was my homage to a fanbase that quickly realized how fun and absurdist an allegedly cold and heartless story could be. It wasn't until the draft, when our amazing fans were all over the crowd, and the camera kept stopping on them. I remember whomever was doing the broadcast was laughing every time the camera went on to these guys. Levin: "I think it picked up steam primarily because of the sheer loudness of process folk. But it simultaneously gave us a level of legitimacy and absurdity—Hinkie on a T-shirt playing with lottery balls, that pleased me.
Levin: "Once it went everywhere, it felt like it wasn't solely ours anymore. Like it grew up and moved out and started smoking and we couldn't protect it anymore. But we'll always be proud of it because we're its mom…. It takes too long to explain, and it just sounds like you're bragging in the weirdest way.
Not worth the trouble, usually. When you find out the pick swap is happening! Torre: "When I transcribed my interview with Tony Wroten, I never imagined I'd serve as the journalistic outbreak monkey in a pandemic. I see Trust the Process everywhere now, and I laugh every single time I do.
'The Process' is over in Philadelphia, long live 'The Process'
Eskin: "It's pretty neat that it's gotten this popular. Especially because the team itself hasn't really embraced it meaning the organization…the players mostly have. It's just been a grassroots thing. I'll never forget opening night last year against OKC, people chanting it in the crowd. There is a little bit of a loss feeling because we don't own it anymore, but more than anything it's a combination of pride and it being hilarious.
The nickname stuck, and over the past 10 months Trust the Process has transformed from a declaration of faith in the Sixers' rebuild to something more akin to a pro wrestler's catchphrase. Eskin: " The day before he called himself 'The Process' on Twitter, we ran a poll on the Rights To Ricky Sanchez account asking if that should be his nickname. I think it's great, he's great. But in all honesty, it's about time to say the name [of the podcast], JoJo.
He's also forced the Sixers' hand in acknowledging TTP, which has been a fun journey of brand awareness and a brand relenting to its radical base. Or does the Process continue for as long as any players that came to the Sixers as a result of Hinkie's strategy remain on the team, and therefore as long as they have a nucleus that's led by Embiid and Simmons? The two events with the greatest claim to represent the end of the Process are probably Hinkie's resignation in , and the trade of Covington and Saric for Butler in But it's absolutely defensible to place the beginning of the Process at the moment of Hinkie's hiring, and the end at whatever time the last players from that era depart.
Your mileage may vary on that, as will that of the entirety of the local and national sports media. In the meantime, I can absolutely see Joel Embiid, in 15 years, announcing his retirement from basketball, and the local media declaring that No. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device. Elton Brand's bet on Tobias Harris - and himself - is one worth making.
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The Definitive History of 'Trust the Process'
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