Last March the Sixers avoided ending up on the wrong end of the history books by beating the Detroit Pistons for their first win after 26 straight losses. This season they may not be so fortunate.
After Monday's loss to the Spurs the Sixers sit at 0-17 to start the season; one game away from tying the NBA's all-time record for worst start to a season, two away from breaking it.
While the Sixers flirted with the history books last season by embarking on the record-tying 26-game winless streak, they were ultimately happy to avoid the distinction of longest losing streak.
"It's not something I wanted to be part of," Michael Carter-Williams said at the time, "so it's great we got that win."
This season however, the history books may be unavoidable. All that stands between the 2014-15 Sixers and a unique record for futility is the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thaddeus Young, who was mired in that 26-game streak last season, will now be on the other end with his team having a chance to hand the Sixers their record-tying 18th straight loss to start the season. Also on the other side with Young will be Andrew Wiggins, who Sixers Coach Brett Brown anticipated landing in the 2014 NBA Draft.
If the Sixers don't best Young and his new team in Minnesota on Wednesday, they will only have one other opportunity to avoid landing the longest-losing streak distinction. That opportunity comes in Philadelphia on Friday against annual Western Conference powerhouse Oklahoma City.
With Tony Wroten sidelined for both of those games, and the Sixers still struggling on both ends of the ball, losses seem likely. By Saturday the Sixers may very well possess the NBA's all-time longest losing streak to start a season.
The team's tilt with the history books this season may not end with the season's start however. The team will eventually win a game, or so you would think, but the worst all-time record, set by the 1972-73 version of the team, is also at stake. The Sixers aren't favored in any of their remaining games, and at this point it is somewhat difficult to picture them putting together a double-digit win count.
The franchise is fixated on the future, and the team will continue to struggle throughout the season in the name of improvement. Some of the players currently on the Sixers may not be around for long, but some of the marks for futility the team sets this season very well may be.