Fans in Philadelphia are as excited as they've been about the Sixers in at least a decade, and who can blame them? After trading up to obtain the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Sixers have a trio of potential stars in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz, all of whom fit together great on the court. The young crew has to go through some growing pains, but they're set up to make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
But some of the excitement has gotten out of hand, and Sixers fans have tried to push a bunch of nicknames on the core before they've even played a game together yet. One of the names that gained some traction is “The FEDS,” an acronym for Fultz, Embiid, Dario Saric, and Simmons. Embiid has even come out and endorsed this title.
The nickname has been divisive in Philadelphia—mostly because it's wild corny—and one NBA superstar agrees it should go the way of the dinosaur. During a conversation with teammate Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant mocked the “FEDS” moniker, saying, “How they got a nickname and ain't played no games together?”
Say what you will about Philly fans, but one thing they won't let you do is disparage one of their own. After a barrage of insults was sent Durant's way following his comments, he clarified that it's not the team he has a problem with, but the nickname.
You may disagree with Durant's move to Golden State as a fan of a competitive NBA, but he's 100 percent in the right here. Good sports nicknames have to be organic, rising from moments and circumstances that make them worthwhile.
The city of Philadelphia knows the value of waiting on a name until the moment is right. Embiid dubbed himself “The Process” after Philadelphia fans started a rebuilding movement referred to as “The Process” by short hand, and since he was one of the public faces of the struggle, it made perfect sense. Philly fans have also seen great team nicknames rise from nothing before—they still talk about the Broad Street Bullies, a rough-and-tumble hockey team from the '70s whose play reflected their title.
You can't just shoehorn nicknames whenever you feel like it, and if you do, you can expect people to mock you. Durant knows this better than anyone after he tried to get people to call him, “The Servant,” so maybe he's just trying to stop the young Sixers from making the same mistake.
Besides, not all of the players in Philly seem too invested in the “FEDS” nickname.
Truer words have never been spoken. Focus on getting wins and staying healthy, and the rest will come later.
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