On Monday night, the Sixers defeated the Denver Nuggets, 123-104, in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Wells Fargo Center that cheered the return of Markelle Fultz, the first overall pick in June’s draft. It was the Sixers’ seventh-straight win, which keeps the team in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with just nine games remaining before the playoffs.
“He was smooth, confident, in control on the dribble and off of it,” my colleague David Murphy wrote of Fultz, who scored 10 points and landed 8 assists in his limited playing time. “The early returns suggest that Fultz can be a player who can help.”
But one person who wasn’t happy about the win was Rob Perez, a popular basketball personality on Twitter and the host of Buckets, a joint production of ESPN and Cycle, a media network.
Back in August, Perez predicted on Twitter that the Sixers had no chance to win 43 games, which wasn’t necessarily a bold take, considering the team hadn’t won that many games since the 2004-05 season.
“If the 76ers win 43 games I will eat my bet ticket on air and mail a 500-word apology to every Sixers fan who asks for one,” Perez wrote on Twitter at the time.
If the 76ers win 43 games I will eat my bet ticket on air and mail a 500-word apology to every Sixers fan who asks for one https://t.co/9vK00iYLB3
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) August 29, 2017
Of course, Monday’s win was the Sixers’ 43rd victory of the season, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed on social media. So Perez stayed up until early Tuesday morning writing, printing and mailing apology letters to about 13,000 people who requested one. He told the Inquirer and Daily News that he’ll spend the better part of Tuesday sending more apologies, and that he’ll fulfill the second part of his promise – to eat his bet ticket on air – during the yet-to-be-announced season premiere of Buckets.
“I am sorry for doubting ‘The Process’ as not only a viable basketball strategy, but as a lifestyle,” Perez’s wrote in his apology, sent from the appropriately named “email@example.com” address. “I doubted you, the coaching staff, players, executives, 76ers fans across the globe, and anyone who has ever #TrustedTheProcess to this point.”
Perez concluded: “I still don’t get it, but I will admit now: I respect it.”
So far, Joel Embiid hasn’t mentioned Perez on social media, but the Sixers star did favorite his tweet on March 19, after the Sixers won their 39th game, against the Charlotte Hornets. Considering Embiid’s social media footprint and his long memory when it comes to Sixers doubters, it’s likely a post is imminent.
Of course Embiid just favorited it.
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) March 20, 2018
Embiid also warned Perez the Sixers were nearing 43 wins after the team defeated the Orlando Magic on March 22.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) March 23, 2018
Perez isn’t the first pundit this season to offer a mea culpa after having doubted the Sixers. FS1 host Colin Cowherd, possibly the most hated sports media personality in town for calling Philadelphia the “dumbest sports city in America,” was forced to wear a No. 21 Sixers jersey on his show last week after wrongly predicting the team wouldn’t win 40 games this season.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 22, 2018
Among those who called out the often-wrong host for his incorrect prediction was Embiid, who posted a photo with coach Brett Brown on Instagram with the caption, “COLIN COWARD…. Coach deserves a lot of credit #40wins#TheProcess.”
A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on
“I’d love to have [Embiid] on this show anytime he wants… I made a bet. I lost. I’m not going to welch,” Cowherd said on The Herd, wearing the big man’s jersey. “They deserve the love”