If you have ever been to the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, you'll notice that the centerpiece of the main street isn't your typical tourist attraction. The Art Museum is a little ways away, as is the Franklin Institute, and there are a number of nice bars and restaurants that you can happen upon.
But right in the middle of all the action is the gigantic, ominous Eastern State Penitentiary, once an active prison that held high-profile criminals including Al Capone among others that has since become a popular museum for visitors to walk through. Closed as a prison since 1971 after a near-150-year run of operation, it's a U.S. National Historic Landmark, a fun way to spend your weekend, the home of a terrifying Halloween tour and, most importantly, the subject of a new and incredible Philadelphia 76ers meme.
I first saw it on Reddit from a user named popfilms, though I'm not sure what the exact origins are. But, to whoever out there made it, kudos to you. It's a heck of a meme. Various versions have popped up on Twitter, and they're all hits in my book.
These works of art describe a whole new dimension to playing lockdown defense, as Warden Simmons quite literally locks up his opposition. It's really clever, and "Benitentiary" is a heck of a lot better than some of the other nicknames that are supposedly Simmons' monikers.
While several 76ers fans were harping on the NBA's recent Defensive Player of the Year ladder, which ranked Jazz center Rudy Gobert at No. 1 only for Joel Embiid to utterly dominate him soon after, we should probably be giving more attention to just how amazing the No. 2 defender on that list has been throughout this season and his whole career.
These memes don't just appear for no reason. The fact of the matter is that Simmons can lock up pretty much any position on the court, with both the eye test and the stats to show for it. Heck, his defense is so impressive that Kevin Durant was visibly frustrated when LeBron James selected Simmons in Thursday night's All-Star Game draft before Team Durant could get its hands on him.
According to the penitentiary's website, the complex was intended to hold 250 inmates but held 1,700 at some point. So there's plenty of room inside Eastern State Benitentiary for the second half of the season, and Sixers fans are hoping to stuff the cells with some more unfortunate victims.