The people who seem to get a thrill giving Michael Carter-Williams grief need to find something else to do with their time.
When Michael Carter-Williams came to the Sixers in the 2013 NBA Draft, it was with very few expectations and people were just fine with that. The plan for the Season of Tanking was firmly in place and no one seemed to care what any of the rookies may or may not be capable of. MCW was replacing Jrue Holiday, who had just gone to his first All-Star Game, and fans were content to just wait and see.
Then on opening night MCW led the Sixers to an improbable win over LeBron James and the Miami Heat, recording 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and 9 steals in his debut. He recorded his first triple-double in December of 2013 (27 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists) and was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month three times his rookie season and finished the year averaging 16.7 points, 6.3 assist and 6.2 rebounds.
All of which led to MCW winning the Rookie of the Year award, the only bright spot in what was otherwise a very difficult season to watch.
So when the 2014-15 season began, expectations might not have been great for the team, but fans expected to see improvement from MCW. Instead, all his numbers across the board went down. The reasons for this could have been many; the shoulder surgery, the lack of talent around him, something as simple as a sophomore slump. But regardless of why, when the chance came to move MCW at the NBA trade deadline to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for the Los Angeles Lakers top-5 protected 2015 first-round pick, Sam Hinkie took it and ran with it.
It has now been almost a full month since the trade deadline passed and both MCW and the Sixers have moved on. In that time Carter-Williams has said nothing but good things about his time in Philly, playing for the Sixers and how the fans treated him.
The only thing MCW said in that time that could have been construed as possibly inflammatory is when he was asked about the trade before the Sixers played the Bucks shortly after the deal went down:
And honestly, he’s probably right in his assumption.
But despite the fact that Carter-Williams has been nothing but a class act, the MCW haters are still out in force, using every opportunity to bring him down. The latest trend seems to be comparing MCW to new Sixers point guard Isaiah Canaan.
3-pointers made w/ #sixers this season:
Michael Carter-Williams: 32 (41 games)
Isaiah Canaan: 36 (13 games)
— Michael K-B (@therealmikekb) March 17, 2015
Of course, no one brings up that MCW’s mid-range shooting has improved to 42.9% since the trade and he is getting to the foul line more often and converting more, shooting 83.0% as opposed to the 64.3% he was shooting with the Sixers.
But the bottom line is we get it. Carter-Williams’ shooting was a huge issue and more than likely the big reason he was sent packing. MCW knows it. Sixers fans know it. Everyone knows it.
And it’s time give it a rest.
I just find it incredible that someone who played as hard as MCW did, someone who never quit and never made any excuses can’t seem to get any love from Sixers fans or, especially, the media. They seem intent on convincing everyone every single day that the Sixers are better off without MCW that we ever were with him. No one mentions the reality that there is just no way Ish Smith or Canaan, the platoon of point guards who replaced MCW, will be here much beyond this season, but that doesn’t help their narrative, does it?
Was Michael Carter-Williams a core member of the Sixers future? We’ll never know. But anyone who can come into this city and play like he did despite the constant scrutiny and criticism deserves our gratitude and respect.
Carter-Williams has moved on. Now it’s time for everyone else to do the same.