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October 05, 2018

The Sixers want to trademark phrase 'Trust The Process'

Does this mean The Process is complete?

The Philadelphia 76ers, currently reaping the benefits of a few strategically bad seasons, recently have applied to trademark the phrase “Trust The Process," according to a filing by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

(Hat-tip to Twitter user and D.C. trademark lawyer Josh Gerben for noticing the filing Friday morning.)

You may recall that Sixers leadership once balked at acknowledging anything related to The Process, which originated from Sam Hinkie’s early press conferences and a rabid section of the team’s fanbase, which put its trust in the enigmatic former general manager.

The team seems to have completed its reversal with the trademark filing on Sept. 26, which it plans on using for many things, including television shows, basketball camps, mascot appearances, video games, and coloring books.

You can read a comprehensive history of Trust The Process from Process historian Max Rappoport, but here’s a quick refresher. 

Trust(ing) The Process was a three-word distillation of what those tough, tanking years were all about — a mantra that empowered fans to endure seasons of pain with the promise the Sixers would emerge on the other side with generational stars?

The first time Joel Embiid, the face of The Process, used the phrase was in 2014:

The first time the Sixers’ Twitter account used any version of The Process was the following June, months before the team began the 10-72 season that would push Hinkie out of power:

Plenty of people led to the phrase’s rise, namely the Liberty Ballers and Rights to Ricky Sanchez crews, and it became a bit of a litmus test for Sixers fans: Do you Trust The Process? Eventually, Embiid started calling himself The Process.

These days, the Sixers have seemingly eclipsed The Process and will likely be vying for top-three seeds in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future. But apparently the team thinks the phrase still has a bright future.

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