Will the Sixers Find Their Hero in the Draft?

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The ping pong balls were neither unkind nor kind to the Philadelphia 76ers the other night at the NBA draft lottery.

The Sixers, armed with lucky charms up the ying-yang, Nerlens Noel, and Sudden Sam Hinkie hiding in the shadows, got the third pick in the upcoming NBA draft. That likely means they will take one of the two top rated point-guards in the draft, either D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State, or Emmanuel Mudiay, a high school kid who last year played in a professional league in China rather than play his freshman year for Larry Brown at SMU.

That of course is presuming that the first two teams who will draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves and then the Los Angeles Lakers, take the best two big men in the draft, Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor of Duke. Read more »

Fans Cheer As Sixers Land No. 3 Draft Pick

Last night, hundreds of Sixers fans crowded a Buffalo Wild Wings in the Far Northeast to cheer on the team. Of course, the 76ers aren’t in the playoffs — they’re in the NBA Draft Lottery for the third consecutive season.

That didn’t stop a certain subset of Sixers fans — the ones who believe in general manager Sam Hinkie, and think he’s setting the team up for Spurs-like dominance over a decade or so — from cheering like the Sixers were in the playoffs. The party, held by Sixers blog Liberty Ballers and Spike Eskin’s Sixers podcast, jammed in so many fans people had to tailgate in the parking lot.

The mantra was #OneSixEleven, which was the best possible result in the Lottery for the Sixers. The 76ers wouldn’t get the Lakers’ or Heat’s picks unless each team dropped in the lottery. The best-case scenario would see the Lakers falling to No. 6 and the Heat falling to No. 11. They could also move up to the No. 1 selection in the draft, from No. 3.

This had a .28% chance of happening. Still, the fans at this party didn’t let it get them down that the Sixers didn’t land pick No. 11 or pick No. 6. They were just happy the Sixers stayed at the No. 3 spot. Read more »

The Five Most Surprising Moments from the New Allen Iverson Documentary

Tomorrow night marks the premiere of Showtime’s Iverson, a 90-minute documentary that traces Allen Iverson’s life from his childhood in the mean streets of Newport News to the day the Sixers lifted his #3 jersey to the rafters, through archival footage and a new one-on-one interview. Considering the project is executive produced by Gary Moore, Iverson’s longtime advisor and father figure, it’s also a more balanced view of his career and personal struggles than one might expect. For those who experienced the AI era as Sixers fans, following every game—along with all the controversies—much of the film plays more like a nostalgia trip than a revelation. But even die-hard fans of the Answer will find a few surprises. (And that time he crossed up Jordan!) Read more »

Are These the New Sixers Jerseys?

There are many questions about the future of the Sixers. Which draft picks are they going to get in the lottery next week? If the Sixers get just one draft pick in the lottery — as is likely — will fans be upset? Who are they going to take in the draft? Will the team be any good next year or are we stuck with another year of awful basketball? Why won’t Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil say the name of the arena the team plays in? Did his family once lose its fortune in a Wells Fargo stagecoach robbery?

And, of course: What will the team’s new jerseys look like? The Sixers promise an actual announcement on June 18th at the Wells Fargo Center (or, as Scott O’Neil puts it, “the arena where we play”). But yesterday, Chris Creamer — of the famous-if-you’re-a-sports-dork SportsLogos.net — tweeted out images of the possible new Sixers jerseys. Or, at least, the words that are potentially on them.

The Sixers had previously teased new jerseys in February, hinting they’d be a mix of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s jerseys. Read more »

13 Years Ago, Allen Iverson Delivered His “Practice” Rant

Thirteen years ago today Allen Iverson strode onto a podium and gave an end-of-season press conference for the ages. A year removed from the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and a trip to the NBA Finals, the Sixers finished 6th in the division in 2002. They rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first round of the playoffs to force a winner-take-all Game 5 in Boston. They were routed, 120-87. Read more »

The Sixers Are A Muddled Mess

After two years of tanking, this is all the Sixers have to show for it so far.

After two years of tanking, this is all the Sixers have to show for it so far.

The 76ers owner gave a state of the team address the other night, and one thing became perfectly clear to me: None of those fancy courses Josh Harris took at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School included Public Speaking 101. I’d love to think Harris knows what’s going on in his own organization, but I haven’t seen a Sixer that stiff since Shawn Bradley.

Everything else with the Sixers is a muddled mess. The team concluded its second year of Tank Fest with another 20-win season, which is supposed to be good news. Losing for two straight years was supposed to mine more talent from the NBA draft. And as Harris said – between the countless “uhs” and “you knows” – it takes about four really good players on the floor at the same time to field a championship caliber team.

So where are the Sixers right now? They have exactly ONE reliable player in their foundation: Center Nerlens Noel, who rebounded from a shaky NBA start to get into a Rookie of the Year conversation. The other semi-foundation player is 7-foot Joel Embiid, who sat an entire season with an injury, but delighted folks in YouTube videos with shooting displays prior to a game he wouldn’t play. Who knows about Embiid?

The remainders are folks who may or may not be bench players in the NBA, and maybe not even bench players on good NBA teams. There are no players wearing Sixers jerseys right now who one can pencil in as starters next season alongside Noel and Embiid. Read more »

The Sixers Did Their Part and Lost Last Night. It Didn’t Matter.

Sixers

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer; Photo credits, from left: Nerlens Noel (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports), Franklin (David Dow, NBA Photos ), Brett Brown (Jason Getz, USA Today Sports) and Joel Embiid (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports).

The Philadelphia 76ers will likely have just one first-round draft pick this year.

That wouldn’t be an issue for many teams — after all, you originally just have one — but the Sixers were in line to have as many as four. And now they’ll probably have just their own pick, currently slotted as the No. 3 selection going into the draft lottery.  Read more »

The Sixers Absolutely Need to Lose Tonight. The Problem? So Do Their Opponents.

Sixers

Photo illustration | Alyse Moyer; Photo credits, from left: Nerlens Noel (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports), Franklin (David Dow, NBA Photos ), Brett Brown (Jason Getz, USA Today Sports) and Joel Embiid (Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports).

 

Last month, we told you how to root for the tanking Sixers the rest of the season. It wasn’t just about watching the team develop, but rooting for certain other teams so that protected draft picks would convey to the Sixers.

Well, you didn’t root hard enough. It’s the last day of the NBA regular season, and there is a good chance the Sixers will not get any of the three first-round draft picks they acquired in trades.

It’s quite complicated, but Derek Bodner has continued to update his NBA draft pick tracker to simplify things for fans. Here’s a summary of what’s going on with the four picks the Sixers could have received this year. Read more »

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