So you thought the Philadelphia 76ers' famous "Process" was complete just because the franchise got back into the playoffs?
"The Process is never going to end," All-Star center Joel Embiid said following Philly's 114-112 series-ending loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, according to The Athletic's Jared Weiss. "There was a process to get to the playoffs, we did it ... When you actually win it, you start the following year and you do it all over again. So the Process is never going to end."
The Process has long been interpreted as the Sixers' willingness to seemingly throw seasons away under former general manager Sam Hinkie in an effort to procure high draft picks. The stretch of futility finally paid dividends in the form of Embiid, current Rookie of the Year favorite Ben Simmons, and perhaps with recent No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz.
"I don't think we were trying to lose on purpose, as far as the players go," Embiid also said after Wednesday's game. "No players in the league go out every night and want to lose on purpose. It was just unfortunate that it happened that way.
"But I feel like everything happens for a reason. Sam Hinkie did an amazing job. Looking at everything we got, he was a big part of it."
Philly increased its win total from 28 in 2016-17 to 52 this season, good enough for third place in the Eastern Conference. That improvement followed the 2015-16 campaign, when the team won just 10 games, barely avoiding setting an NBA record for futility.
This season also marked the Sixers' first postseason appearance since 2012.
Embiid finished with a team-high 27 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks on 9-of-18 shooting across 39 minutes of action in Wednesday's defeat.