ESPN: Kobe Bryant Has Destroyed the Lakers

The Sixers were awful last year, and they’re going to be awful again this season. But not all is lost for the Philadelphia basketball fan. Take last season: The hated Celtics won only six more games than the Sixers did and missed the playoffs.

And Sixers fans’ second most-hated enemy, the Los Angeles Lakers? They went 27-55 and finished last in their division. The Lakers! In last! If the Sixers are going to be bad, at least the teams Philly fans love to hate are doing poorly too.

And now, some even better news: The Lakers aren’t going to get much better anytime soon. ESPN reports Kobe Bryant — Lower Merion High School basketball legend, five-time NBA Champion, surefire future member of the Baskebtall Hall of Fame, et cetera — is sabotaging the Lakers from within.

He’s such a ball hog and bad teammate that literally no one wants to play with him. Allen Iverson hogged the ball, but at least he said nice things about his teammates in the press.

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Unveiled: The New Wilt Chamberlain Stamp

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Wilt Chamberlain’s life is the stuff of legend, from his time at Overbrook High School to his towering frame to his incredible feats both on and off the court. And so, it is only fitting that the United States Postal Service’s new Wilt Chamberlain stamp is a third taller than most postage stamps. Read more »

Nerlens Noel Finally Plays a Game for the Sixers (Kind Of)

nerlens-noel-jpg

I enjoy NBA summer league basketball immensely. I like basketball, of course, and will watch it when I get the chance to. But there’s more: Where else can you see young NBA talent and young, not-quite-NBA talent play in a gym that would be too small to hold Holy Family’s basketball camp? At the end of the Orlando Summer League, the top two teams even play in what might as well be a camp championship!

With the Sixers drafting two top players this year who won’t get on the court for a year or two, the summer league becomes a little more fun. How much different will the summer league team be than the regular season squad? You might be seeing swaths of the actual team already! Plus, this year, Sixers fans get to see Nerlens Noel — a player the team took in 2013 who didn’t suit up all last season.

Noel finally saw some game action on Saturday, and acquitted himself quite well in the opener: Though he only grabbed two rebounds, Noel had 19 points, 4 steals, 4 assists and a block in 26 minutes in the first game, a loss to Orlando.

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Grantland Remembers Philly’s Eddie Griffin

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Grantland has a long piece today about Eddie Griffin, the Philly basketball phenom — he scored 100 points in a game! — who went on to the NBA, but died tragically young when his SUV ran into the side of a Union Pacific train. The story examines Griffin’s struggles with depression and alcohol, but also takes time to celebrate his athletic gifts. One game — Griffin’s Roman Catholic High team versus Camden High — is lovingly recounted:
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76ers Seek $82 Million Grant to Build Headquarters in Jersey

“The Philadelphia 76ers have applied for an $82 million grant — spread out 10 years — from the state of New Jersey for a new practice facility and headquarters it hopes to build in Camden, N.J.,” the Philadelphia Business Journal reports. “The amount became known Monday when the New Jersey Economic Development Authority listed the annual figure, $8,204,050, on its agenda for discussion at its June 10 meeting.”

Given their recent history, we assume that if the Sixers don’t get what they want out of this process, they’ll just go out and accidentally on purpose lose a record number of games next year until they get something more out of their liking.

Anyway, both New Jersey and Pennsylvania have big giant budget problems right now. If Jersey wants to take money it should be paying into police pension funds and give it to billionaires and the millionaires they employ to pay a kid’s game, let them. We should be smarter than that here.

Why Did it Take the NBA So Long to Discipline Donald Sterling?

AP Photo | Mark J. Terrill

AP Photo | Mark J. Terrill

Yesterday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine on Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

For reasons that escape me, many found the decision commendable and that the league had done its part to respond with quick and decisive action against Sterling because of his disgusting (and confusing) racist remarks, which were recorded by his, um, “female friend” V. Stiviano, who, by the way, is a mixed race (black and Mexican) woman of color.

What didn’t happen yesterday was two-fold:

  1. Silver made no announcement about any of Sterling’s peers in the owners association coming to decisive action about Sterling’s continued ownership of the Clippers; and
  2. There was no satisfying answer from the commissioner about why Sterling had been allowed to go on this way for so long.

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Former Sixer Battles Teammate in Playoffs

He’s no longer a Sixer, but apparently Evan Turner still exasperates. Yahoo reports: “On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson.”

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WATCH: Delaware 87ers Player Throws Down Amazing 360º Dunk

The Sixers may not be doing so well this season, but their minor league is … well, okay, their minor league team has the worst record in the D-League, and three fewer wins than the Sixers.

But that doesn’t mean everything is bad. Take Rodney Williams. On Friday night against the Maine Red Claws, the first-year 87ers small forward got ahead of the pack and threw down this incredible 360 dunk that looked more appropriate for NBA Jam than a real game.

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Everyone Says Philly Is a Great Basketball Town

nova-sad

Philadelphia’s a great basketball town.

You’ll hear this a lot, and it makes sense. The city has a rich basketball tradition. After being invented in Springfield, basketball spread to other east-coast cities, and eventually the Philadelphia SPHAs were one of the top teams. The Sixers may be down now, but they’ve had some of the biggest superstars in NBA history: Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley. More recently, the Sixers had Allen Iverson, the most exciting, interesting player of the post-Michael Jordan NBA.

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