How The Greatest Trolling In Sports History Gave Me One Of My Life’s Mottos

| November 6, 2018

The 2013-14 NBA season was probably a pretty forgetful one. I honestly couldn’t tell you if it was or not, because I forget. However, one thing really memorable came out of the 2013-14 NBA season. A visionary named Sam Hinkie took over as the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. Hinkie’s strategy was to take the most mediocre team in the league and metaphorically set it on fire, acquiring high draft picks and young players with team-friendly contracts in return for every player of value that the 76ers had. Hinkie acquired a lot of 2nd-round picks and undrafted players who could be key pieces or be traded easily. The main idea was to lose to increase the chances of getting a high draft pick. Every team tanks, they just don’t like to admit that they do. Hinkie’s 76ers were more open about it than any team has ever been or will ever be. They completely messed with the NBA and mocked the system of “rebuilding” much of which involves tanking, and it was beautiful. Horrific to watch, but beautiful to watch at its fruition. This involved a lot of losing, plus the third pick in the 2014 draft, center Joel Embiid being sat for two full seasons because of injuries, both to make sure he would be healthy and to improve the tank job. Embiid is now one of the best players in the league, so that clearly worked. 76ers star point guard Ben Simmons was also sat for a full year after he was drafted due to injuries. Anyway, this involved a lot of losing and the plan was not always clear. The phrase “Trust The Process” was a sort of mishmash of quotes from both Hinkie and then-76ers coach Brett Brown until about the middle of 2014. Embiid tweeted it, and has since become synonymous with the whole thing, making it his own. Guard Tony Wroten, however, is credited with popularizing it, saying it in an ESPN interview. It became a regular chant at 76ers games over the past few seasons. Sure enough, the 76ers made the playoffs last year, losing in the 2nd round to the Boston Celtics, but they are poised, with their two-headed monster of Simmons and Embiid, to be a mainstay at the top of the NBA for a long time to come. Unfortunately, Hinkie could not see The Process through, losing his job in 2016, but anybody watching the 76ers now can tell that The Process worked, and that the fans were right to Trust it.

How does this have anything to do with life? Because “Trust The Process” is just a really good phrase for use in general life. God calls us to trust His plan for our lives. The revelation of God’s plan for our lives does not happen all at once. It is a process. When I was growing up, there was a lot of surgery and there was a lot of feeling left out when my friends would tell me about their football games and stuff. My mother would always tell me that God has a special plan for me, but it was difficult for me to believe that for the longest time because it had not been revealed yet. Recently, I was invited to speak at the youth group meeting at Our Lady Of Sorrows in South Orange. I spoke about my involvement in the pro-life movement and why I am so involved. It went really well, so I think I am going to keep going to places and speaking to people. I think that is what I will do for the rest of my life, or, at least, as long as it is needed. This is what I believe that God wants me to do with my life, and it feels really good to know what to do with my life, but it took 20 years for this to be revealed to me, 20 years that were mostly good, but also involved a lot of pain. I’m not going to pretend that I know all of God’s plan for me, and I expect that there will be more pain and trial before it is all revealed to me, but I expect it to be revealed to me and I will trust that it is a good plan. In the phrase “Trust The Process”, replace “The Process” with “God’s plan”, and it is everything I heard growing up going to church. We can all live better lives by not only trusting God’s plan, but by trusting that God’s plan will come, not on our time, but on His. We should remember that God’s plan coming together is a process that should be trusted. The phrase being popularized by the Philadelphia 76ers reminded me of this and my life was made much better because of it. Whenever I hear “Trust The Process”, I am reminded to Trust God’s Process in my everyday life. God bless Sam Hinkie, Joel Embiid, Tony Wroten, and the others involved in making that phrase a motto, not just for basketball, but for life. #TrustTheProcess