Well, that didn’t take long.
Even before the highly anticipated season opener between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Washington Wizards, “Trust the Process” chants found their way to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.
Eager to see the regular-season debuts of Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, the last two No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft, plus Philadelphia favorite Joel Embiid, Philly fans were already in midseason form before the game, chanting “Trust the Process” as Wizards guard Bradley Beal addressed the home crowd at the newly renamed Capital One Arena.
Bradley Beal addresses the crowd but then Trust the Process chant breaks out. pic.twitter.com/Zqu8vEb14S
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) October 18, 2017
The “Trust the Process” phenomenon then continued during the matchup, when fans — encouraged by Embiid on the sideline — chanted as the big man came out of the game with 9:29 left in the second quarter. They also started chanting when Embiid was at the free throw line. Really, the Philly fans just chanted whenever they wanted to.
Wizards fans tried to drown the chants out with boos. It was only mildly successful.
Embiid really started TTP chants on the road pic.twitter.com/IacZXF817h
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) October 18, 2017
On Monday, Embiid told Sixers.com he was getting excited to hear the chants early in the season.
“Fans should be happy,” Embiid said. “Basketball is definitely going to be fun. I think the games are going to be amazing. I can’t wait to hear the first ‘Trust the Process’ chants. It’s going to be exciting.”
Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweeted that he thought the crowd in D.C. was about 30 percent full of Sixers fans.
Very loud Trust the Process chants here with #sixers making a run in the 2nd quarter. Would guess at least 30% of the crowd is Sixers fans.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) October 18, 2017
It wouldn’t be the first time the Philadelphia faithful made its way down to D.C. to cheer on their team.
In January, 350 Sixers fans — using the hashtag #BusTheProcess in an event organized by the The Rights To Ricky Sanchez Podcast — traveled to the then-Verizon Center to support Embiid and the Sixers against the Wizards. While Embiid didn’t play, due to the Sixers restricting his minutes and appearances in back-to-back games, the fans still got a photo with him on the court.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 15, 2017
There’s no telling whether other road environments will be this welcoming for the Sixers in the upcoming weeks, but Embiid and company are sure to get an outpouring of love from the home crowd Friday night as the Sixers return to Pennsylvania to face the Boston Celtics.