Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Their Wildly Separate Paths to the Sixers

Left: Joel Embiid (Cal Sport Media/Associated Press); right: Ben Simmons (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Left: Joel Embiid (Cal Sport Media/Associated Press); right: Ben Simmons (Steven Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images)

Ben Simmons wears the face of a kid getting dragged to Sunday school when he’d rather settle in for a Call of Duty marathon with friends. He looks the part, too, a neatly buttoned white dress shirt and skinny black pants clinging to his lanky six-foot-10-inch, 20-year-old frame. His teammates on the 76ers are within arm’s reach, laughing and joking as they go through a pregame practice in gray t-shirts and blue shorts at the Wells Fargo Center.

Simmons wants to be out there with them, but for the moment he can only hover at the edge of the court and stare at the gleaming maple floor and the UFO-size Sixers logo. Pockets of fans who show up early for this mid-December matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers start to notice him standing there — the savior in the flesh. Ben. Ben. Hey, Simmons! Bennnn! He turns and walks down a tunnel to the locker room, frustrated, injured, alone. Read more »

Can Kevin and Brendan Boyle Save the Democratic Party?

Kevin, left, and Brendan Boyle. Photo by Chris Loupos

State Rep. Kevin, left, and U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle. Photo by Chris Loupos

Brendan Boyle had only been on the campaign trail for a couple of months when his high-priced D.C. consultant told him he should quit.

It was the summer of 2013, and the baby-faced state representative from Northeast Philadelphia had decided to run for Congress. His reason, he says, was simple: The American dream was slipping away, and he wanted to help wrestle it back. So he hired a “fancy” adviser from the Beltway, as he now sneeringly describes him, and paid for a poll. “He told me there was good news and bad news.” Read more »

One of Us: Dwight Evans

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

My name is … Dwight Evans. My grandmother named me after Dwight Eisenhower.

I was born … at Pennsylvania Hospital, the country’s first hospital, which Ben Franklin founded with 200 pounds of public money and 200 pounds of private money.

When I grew up in North Philly in the ’60s … the neighborhood was strong, active, and very positive. There was so much economic activity.

I graduated from … Germantown High School — it recently closed after 99 years — Community College of Philadelphia, and La Salle College, where I was the head of the Black Student Union. Read more »

Sixers Defense Leads The Way to 93-92 Win Over Blazers

Sixers center Joel Embiid congratulates Robert Covington, mid-interview, for his game winning basket | John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers center Joel Embiid congratulates Robert Covington, mid-interview, for his game winning basket | John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the most jarring aspect of the Sixers recent winning ways — which was extended to an 8-2 stretch of play after last night’s 93-92 victory over the visiting Portland Trailblazers — is the confidence the team has inspired from fans late in close games.

Defined over the last few years by their complete inability to execute down the stretch, the Sixers have flipped that script entirely over the last few weeks. As Kevin Pelton of ESPN pointed out last night, the Sixers went 4-22 in games decided by five or fewer points from October 2015 to December 29th, 2016. They’ve won five of their past six such contests since.

“Our guys, to their credit, they’re feeling good about themselves. They’re winning here at home, and we found a way to, again, win ugly,” head coach Brett Brown said after the game. “I think you have to give our guys, without Joel (Embiid), a lot of credit, a lot of credit, to be able to find a way to win at home under the circumstances we were in.”

Read more »

Sixers Fans Are Raising Cats to Celebrate the Team’s Success

Raise the Cat — sixers photos

At left: Dennis Grove, the founder of the #RaiseTheCat movement (“movement”). At right: The Penn Vet school’s contribution to the #RaiseTheCat movement.

My cat was on the news yesterday.

OK, it wasn’t quite prime time. But at 6:25 a.m., little Detective John Munch made an appearance on a CBS 3 news report. Channel 3 did a little report on #RaiseTheCat, the month-old tradition in which Sixers fans on Twitter raise their cats over their heads after a Sixers victory. Read more »

Multiple Anti-Trump Protests Planned in Philly Today

Donald Trump at Geno's

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talks with customers during a visit to Geno’s Steaks, Thursday, September 22th, 2016, in Philadelphia | AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

It’s happening.

Today, WWE Hall of Famer and former Trump Steaks pitchman Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States of America.

Only 15 percent of Philadelphians voted for Trump. As one might expect, there are multiple protests planned for today.

Cops have been talking with protest leaders, and say they expect a relatively low-key day. Police say to expect delays “especially in the areas of Center City, City Hall and Independence Mall from 12:00PM through the evening hours.” Yeah, so all of downtown. Read more »

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