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ESPN Metrics Rank Sixers 21st Best Franchise in Sports, Top in Town

Sep 7, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

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It’s been one hell of a growth spurt for your Philadelphia 76ers.

This time last year, the league was in the middle of a lockout, the team’s direction was largely aimless and we were just hoping these owner guys wouldn’t muck things up any worse or have crazy, hidden plots to move the team elsewhere.
Well the team has gone somewhere: up.
According to a complex system of metrics that include championship viability, affordability, affability and other things ending in -ability, ESPN has ranked the Sixers 21st out 122 franchises in its “Ultimate Team Rankings.” Their ranking is the highest of any Philly team and a 36-spot jump from last year’s list.
The name “Andrew Bynum” is, of course, largely responsible for the leap, but ownership nonetheless deserves credit for taking a number of steps to repair the team’s relationship with its fans long before Iggy, Vuc, Moe and a first for Bynum was even a possibility.
As for your other Philly teams on the list — and how they compare to their spots from last year — the Phillies are 49th (down from 24), the Flyers 55th (down from 41), and the Eagles 73rd (down from 51), which once again proves the age-old talking point that the Eagles really don’t care about you.
Although they do appear to love you more than 49 other teams love their fans. You could live in Toronto and happen to like hockey, for example.
In all seriousness, though, reading through the list’s stated method and taking a look at the Flyers’ position kind of calls the whole project’s credability into question.
Check out the full list and try to figure out their basis for comparison here.