Andrew Unterberger is a famous writer who invented the nickname 'Sauce Castillo' and is now writing for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez, as part of the 'If Not, Pick Will Convey As Two Second-Rounders' section of the site. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AUGetoffmygold and can also read him at Billboard.
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Wow, what an honor to even be casting one of these things for a second year. We tried to build a Pop Music Hall of Fame at a pop blog I wrote at many years ago and the combination of low voter turnout, poor artist participation and our own waning interest resulted in us quietly canceling the project before even announcing an inaugural class and hoping no one noticed. (No one did.) You never know with these things; the canons, plaques and induction speeches you’ve long envisioned in your head are sometimes just better left there.
Glad to know that the Process Hall of Fame was apparently an idea worth seeing through, even just three honorees at a time. Here’s the ballot I’ll be casting this year. One more and it’s officially a tradition.
5. Dario Saric
I sorta hate to say this, but I struggle the most to remember the good times with Dario. Not that I literally don’t remember the no-look passes, the awkward celebrations, the klumpyflumps upon klumpyflumps. But maybe just the combination of his lousy final stretch with the Sixers, him failing to really catch on with the Timberwolves after, his team’s miserable performance on his one return visit to Philadelphia and him since being jettisoned to the friggin’ Suns… I dunno man, it just feels a long time since Dario was so blazing on the court that his skin literally turned red. Sincerely hope he lights it up for Phoenix and I can go back to pining for him as The One That Got Away. One of the 492 Ones That Got Away, anyway.
4. Tony Wroten
T-Wrote’s time will come, but at the moment he’s seeming a little like one of those pre-Beatles ‘50s rock legends whose name you know and who you respect as one of the greats, but you could probably only actually name two or three songs by (and only actually sing one of them). You know they’ll get in eventually, but it’s tough to not vote for the folks with all of the classic hits first.
3. T.J. McConnell
Teej probably doesn’t even need my vote to get in this year, and that’s totally fine. He’s a Process immortal, and his timing of having just left (and then just appeared on the Ricky!) before voting commenced means that affection and wistfulness for him and his time in Philly is as high as it will be until he re-signs as our fourth point guard/veteran babysitter/GM-in-training ten years from now. He deserves it, I would just say the two guys in front of him on this ballot deserve it like 5% more. Maybe not even that much.
2. Robert Covington
It’s been almost a year since we traded him, and there’s still barely a day that goes by that someone doesn’t get into a Twitter fight about how good and important he was for the Sixers. If that’s not fucking Process then I don’t even know.
1. Brett Brown
I never really liked when college/NBA coaches get inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame while they’re still actively coaching, but I think I get it now, thanks to Brett this last season. It’s just so hard to survive as a coach in this game -- there’s 100 established reasons you can get fired at pretty much any time, and fans are always working on ginning up 100 more -- that if you make it long enough, you really deserve one of those old-timer’s Congratulations For Still Being Alive awards and ceremonies. Do you realize that next season, Brett will become the second-longest-tenured coach in Sixers history? Let’s just put him in the thing.
5. The MCW Trade
This was certainly a fun and important thing, and that Lakers pick that came with it has an outsized enough role in Sixers lore that it should maybe be its own nominee. Maybe my not wanting to vote for it is based on my continuing defensiveness over MCW himself -- about how he was in fact pretty good when he was here, how we was pretty good for Milwaukee too before he got injured, and about how I never understood why the faithful somehow decided he was an Enemy of the Process. The MCW Game against Miami should be going in first anyway.
4. T.J. Game Winner
A great moment for sure, but not totally sure why we have this one instead of T.J.’s Game Four against Boston, which would be in strong contention for my No. 1 vote in this category. Plus the T.J. Live Pod recreation of the moment (which I never actually saw but still) is arguably even more canon anyway.
3. Almost Beating the 73-Win Warriors
Someday, we’ll have to open an entire wing of the Process Hall of Fame just for things that almost happened but didn’t: almost trades, almost made shots, almost fights, almost wins. This one will certainly be first ballot for that wing, it’s Peak Almost as far as the Process is concerned. (And no, I don’t know if it’s part of the bit that Spike and Mike keep referring to them as “The 72-Win Warriors” or if I just haven’t been annoying enough in fact-checking them.)
2. The Confetti Game
As I’ve said before, I watched this one live in the stadium and feel like I blacked out everything from Marco hitting the shot to my parents and I driving dejectedly from the stadium while my girlfriend cursed my name for making her temporarily care about sports. Hear it was quite a thing, though.
Too new to be Hall of Fame-eligible? Arguable, but too undeniably Process to really be kept out for much longer. Just hope 91 shows up to give the acceptance speech.
5. Covington’s Ovation at the Lottery Party
A touching and necessary No Conference Finals, No Cry moment of Sixers healing. But I feel like we just induct RoCo himself and that probably covers this one OK. Don’t know if it really needs its own separate display in the HOF halls.
4. Toni Tony Tatone’s debut
I’d probably nominate Amos for our Veteran’s Committee induction, though. His all-around contributions to the Ricky and Process culture have been far too extensive to encapsulate in one on-pod moment like this.
3. The Paul Millsap All-Star Story
Mentioned before, but this played out so perfectly that even the time Spike replayed it on the pod under the guise of LOL Remember When This Happened it still got me all over again. I’d read a 5,000 word oral history about this moment. I’d write a 10,000 word oral history about this moment.
2. The T.J. Live Pod
Not like I’ve listened to more than two or three of them total anyway, but I remain exceedingly confident that the amount of live podcast rebroadcasts that are essential listens after the fact for those not originally in attendance can be counted on one hand. They could have recorded a live pod at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and you’d probably get 10 minutes through listening to the founding fathers’ inside jokes and awkward “Wait, is it my turn to sign or yours…?” fumbling before determining you probably Just Had to Be There and switching to the latest Who? Weekly. But they’ll teach the T.J. Live Pod in Process schools someday, and kids will call out for a homework encore.
1. Retweet Armageddon
Every time I see this on the list of nominees, I do a double take because I’m positive that we already inducted this last year. How could we not have? As far as I’m concerned, Retweet Armageddon was the centerpiece of the entire Process era, the thing it was all leading up to and the thing we’re all still coming down from. Expecting fans to understand a Process Hall of Fame without it is like showing someone Psycho but cutting out the shower scene. Gotta be this year.