FBA: Sixers Post-A.I.

Updated: January 12, 2007, 3:19 PM ET
By Jason Langendorf | ESPN.com
It's advice that's too late to help, but the lesson being learned by Billy King and anyone who cares about Philadelphia sports right now: Be careful what you wish for.

Fans thirsty for a title run and fantasy owners alike had grown tired of the 76ers' one-man act, and a tag team of stars wound up being even less effective. So when King traded stalwart/icon/shameless gunner Allen Iverson to Denver and shed Chris Webber's contract and gimpy knee only days later, the line was drawn. The franchise was making a clean break from the past and giving a new crew a chance to create what has been missing in Philly for some time: an identity. Andre Miller and Joe Smith don't exactly set pulses racing, but the Sixers are trying something different, and that means it has to be better.

Or does it? King and the rest of Philadelphia are learning that trading away a marquee attraction and spreading around the spotlight a bit doesn't automatically turn your club into the Pistons. The most recent evidence: Wednesday's 106-99 loss to five-games-under-.500 New York. It's too early to judge the new 76ers, but it's safe to say that when Samuel Dalembert is your No. 2 scoring option and Alan Henderson is a key rotation player, Greg Oden -- and not the playoffs -- should be the short-term goal.


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Jason Langendorf is the boxing editor for ESPN.com.