Considering Philadelphia's 0-15 record entering Wednesday's game against Boston, "Trusting The Process" hasn't been effortless for 76ers fans this season.
Year Three in general manager Sam Hinkie's long-term alchemic plan to transform the Sixers into title contenders has mostly been like the first two - relentless collective losing, despite incremental individual growth within its young nucleus.
Along for the ride is head coach Brett Brown, a Gregg Popovich disciple with success in Australia's NBL, tasked with managing and developing one of the youngest rosters in NBA history. Brown's job has seemed Sisyphusian at times, and for all his work, Brown has a 37-142 record as a head coach.
But the Sixers still have fans that want to show their appreciation for Brown -- and perhaps try to prevent his sanity from suffering the same collateral damage as his coaching record.
Ronald AngSiy, a 25-year-old MBA student at the Wharton School at UPenn, has been a Sixers season-ticket holder since 2012. When the latest wave of gallows humor washed over a few NBA subreddits earlier this month, AngSiy decided to take action.
"Everyone talks about how Brown gets the crappy side of The Process," AngSiy told ESPN. "So we decided to send him some gifts to cheer him up."
Through crowd-funding, AngSiy said he's received more than $400 dedicated to giving Brown a relaxation package, which he will personally deliver later to the team later this season.
"As of right now," AngSiy said, "we have a fruit basket with herbs and tea; we have a box of truffle chocolates; we're getting a very expensive case of Jack Daniels; a spa treatment and massage. ... It grows by $50 increments every day. Maybe I'll buy him a puppy or something."
It's silly but earnest, and it means a lot to Brown who thanked AngSiy over the phone before tip-off in Boston.
"You speak to the fans of Philadelphia, and the fans are real," Brown said. "Patience versus tolerance is a fine line, and I feel the responsibility to get this right and reward that patience. I appreciate people sticking with the whole process that we're going through."
AngSiy is from Orange County, but he stuck to the Sixers when he heard about Hinkie's analytical pedigree. He's a devout believer in Hinkie's underlying conclusion -- that a team needs megastars one way or another to truly contend for titles in the NBA -- and he's willing to see it through.
"You don't watch Philadelphia in 2015 for wins; you watch for player development," AngSiy said. "You watch Nerlens [Noel] learn a new move and see him pull it off 50 percent of the time, then 75 percent of the time. That's rewarding.
"When you're watching a Sixers squad with Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes -- they can win games, but it's meaningless because you know that team isn't going to do anything. I would much rather watch the Sixers lose and see Nerlens start hitting mid-range jumpers. I get more enjoyment out of that than an Evan Turner buzzer-beater."
Isn't that a little masochistic? I ask. AngSiy laughs.
"Listen, being a Sixers fan right now takes a different mentality."
AngSiy's conviction is oddly comforting. He knows the depth of the team's faults, and he's willing to watch every loss along the way to see it through. If Hinkie's plan is a crime against the fidelity of the NBA's competitiveness - as detractors have accused - AngSiy makes it sound relatively victimless.
Well, maybe one victim.
"The person who suffers the most in this is Brett Brown," AngSiy said. "He has to reteach the same offense and defense every year. He's basically coaching a college team, and he's not a bad coach. This whole initiative is to say to Brown that we recognize him and we appreciate him."
But ultimately there has to be a payoff, right? When does it ever get to be too much?
"I support The Process as long as Brett Brown is there," AngSiy said. "As long as he believes, I believe. But if he's ever out, then I'm out too."
Brown values that level of faith.
"I'd be not telling the truth if I didn't say that hearing that makes me even more committed to what we're doing," Brown said. "We feel a responsibility on a bunch of levels to get this right to the fans, to a bunch of 20-year-olds in the locker room, to an ownership group that made an incredible commitment to a difficult strategy."
At 15 games and counting this season, it could be awhile before that strategy offers the Sixers even one night's reprieve from the loss column.
"The Lakers [on Dec. 1]," AngSiy said. "That's our next best chance to win. But if it gets to that point, we might need to have an Australian celebrity fly over and hug Brett Brown or something."
Brown has something else on his wish list.
"You know what I really want?" Brown said. "I want to know if they have any drills that can turn a bunch of 20-year-olds into 25-year-olds. If they have that, I'm all ears."