Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons?  They are expected to be the first two selected in next month’s NBA draft. All week, I’ve been listening to the sports talk guys analyzing which is the best player for the Sixers and nobody has taken into consideration the factor that will really determine the first pick.

From the games I watched, Ingram is probably the better of the two players at this point in their basketball development, but not by much. The bigger, taller Simmons has some tricks up his sleeve and sure is fun to watch.

The 76ers, with the first pick, can’t go wrong with either youngster, but don’t be surprised if the decision has less to do with basketball skills and more to do with public relations.

The 76ers have been so bad for so long that it’s going to take a near miracle for them to regain a loyal fan base. The diehard Sixer fans never left as they still buy season tickets and show up to games wearing Dr. J jerserys while longing for any excuse to have an Allen Iverson sighting. But, it’s the casual fan, like the kids and ladies, they have to win back if they hope to fill the arena on nights LeBron, Westbrook, and Steph aren’t in town.

I can hear it now. “With the first pick in the 2016 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select…the tall light skinned guy.”

Yeah, it really has come to a point where the light skinned guys are taking over basketball.

Ever since President Obama took over the White House, there’s been a steady increase of uber talented basketball players who share the President’s heritage of white mom – black dad. It’s like Obama has let mixed race basketball players believe that it’s okay to come out now and compete at the highest level in the NBA.

Take 2015 as an example. Clay Thompson and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors were crowned the golden boys of the league. Not only did they light up the NBA with their amazing 3-point shooting accuracy, they also won the NBA championship. Team DeBarge is at it again this year breaking the NBA win streak record, and they did the impossible by only losing a scant 9 games all year, beating Michael Jordon’s Chicago Bulls thought-to-be-untouchable record.

At the NBA All Star weekend, Clay Thompson won the 3-point shooting contest and Zack LaVine won the slam dunk contest. It don’t get more light skinned than that.

Ben Simmons will become the face of the Sixers for many years to come. Once they see his Hollywood good looks and his flare on the court, a lot of young ladies who haven’t been to a game since the Iverson days will be buying tickets to see Simmons. When local businesses hear how articulate, polite, and pleasant his speaking voice is, coupled with his intellect and charm, Ben will be representing their companies and be seen on more commercials than any Sixer ever (provided he doesn’t drive 95 mph on the Ben Franklin Bridge or get in Boston bar fights).

The Sixers have a horrible image problem as a result of their decision to put a bad product on the court for almost a generation. With the first pick of the 2016 draft, that will all start to turn around when they bring in the tall light skinned guy from Australia.

Sure, it’s only a coincidence that he’s of mixed race, but in these times, the Sixer’s will bypass better talent to improve their public image, sell more tickets, and hopefully become a better team, too. Can you blame them?