76ers center Nerlens Noel—on the injured list all season after being drafted last summer—might actually appear in a game or two before the season ends. Does that mean the 76ers could actually win another game?
Aw, weren’t things so nice in early November? There was no snow on the ground — and the Sixers were 3-0!
Of course, since starting 3-0 the Sixers have lost 46 games with only 12 wins. They’re 15-46, second-worst in the league, and haven’t won a game in February. Since trading three players on deadline day they’ve been even worse. At the Iverson jersey retirement game the Washington Wizards — a top 10 team in defensive efficiency — were very clearly not even bothering to try on defense, and they won by 19.
The Sixers haven’t won since the now-departed Evan Turner beat the buzzer against the Celtics on January 29. There is a real chance they will lose out the rest of the season.
Rejoice, Sixers fans! Although opposing players may compare trailing your favorite at halftime to being pooped on by a bird, there is some good news to come out of the Wells Fargo Center this week: Allen Iverson is back!
Okay, Allen Iverson returns to the Wells Fargo Center quite often. He was even there opening night. But this Saturday they’re retiring his number! It’s literally the last time the Sixers can trot him out until, what, the 15th anniversary of the 2000-2001 Finals team? That’s not until the 2015-2016 season! This is the last time you’re going to get to see Iverson in a while.
The Sixers are celebrating his return to town with a deal: Buy season tickets for the next, presumably Iverson-less, season and have your photograph taken with the No. 3 jersey banner after Saturday’s game. And Iverson will autograph the photo for you at a later date. (Presumably Iverson will be chained to a desk while signing these, à la Michael Jordan in Space Jam.) In a town full of ridiculous sports memorabilia, this is one of the weirdest.
Get used to this scene in Philadelphia the rest of the year. Ten players standing around in front of a handful of fans, dribbling out the clock as the Sixers lose another one. Regardless of the team’s fortunes next season, the Sixers are going to be bad the rest of this one.
Last night, the Sixers lost their 12th straight game, this one a 101-90 defeat to the Magic. The Sixers haven’t won since Evan Turner hit a layup at the buzzer to beat the Celtics on Jan. 29. Yes, the Sixers went 0-for-February.
I have always loved the Philadelphia 76ers.
I would go to the old Spectrum in 1973 and buy a cheap seat and eventually end up courtside. If you think the 76ers are bad now, you have a short memory. The 1972-73 team was historically bad — winning just 9 out of 82 games. They were so bad that when I sat courtside I had to suppress the urge to yell “next!” like I did to play in pick-up games.
Things quickly got better. By the mid ’70s, the 76ers were a powerhouse in the NBA. I believe the same thing can happen with the 2013-2014 version of the 76ers.
Will the 76ers win another game this year? After the team’s 11th straight loss, a 130-110 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched a question. The Bucks are the only team with a record worse than the Sixers this season.
Monday night’s game was such a snoozer for the Sixers that it literally put a fan in the front row to sleep.
— mare (@ScarletMcKfever) February 25, 2014
Tuesday night, the Sixers gave out “Together We Build” blueprints to the 372 fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center. The next important date in the 76ers’ rebuild? Early season ticket renewals for fans!
The team lied, though, as the next big day was the trade deadline on Thursday. Yesterday, the Sixers swung four trades, acquiring five players and five second-round draft picks in exchange for Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen and a second-round pick.
What the heck is going on?
Since a 3-0 start the Sixers have been, as advertised, one of the worst teams in the NBA. But there is hope about the near future of the franchise, and one of the reasons is new coach Brett Brown. There’s a lot to like about him. He was an assistant to legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich from 2007 to 2013 before becoming Sixers coach. In interviews he sounds like one of the smartest basketball minds you’ll hear.
And he seems to stay true to his word, too. When he arrived as coach of the 76ers, literally all he could talk about was getting in shape. He wasn’t going to take any guys who couldn’t run up and down the court on his basketball team. “As a professional athlete, it’s your responsibility to get in great shape,” Brown said at the time. He’s right! Pro athletes should be in the best condition they can get themselves in — it’s their job. Brown called being in shape “non-negotiable.”
Sneakers are big business, and so it’s no surprise that NBA players — young athletes with lots of disposable income — are into them. In an entertaining New York Times article about NBA sneakerheads, several Sixers come up.
My knuckles are white as I grip the steering wheel, trying in vain to keep up with Michael Carter-Williams, who’s burning serious rubber up ahead. The Sixers’ rookie point guard agreed to meet me here at Dave & Buster’s on the waterfront for a head-to-head competition. As we walked through the arcade, he chose our first event—a racing game, “for Paul Walker,” he said, a nod to the Fast and the Furious actor who just died. Carter-Williams is a pop-culture hound; if he has Sunday night off, he’d rather watch Homeland than SportsCenter. He tells me he’s not a gamer, though. I think I may actually have a shot at beating MCW, as he’s known—something not many people can do these days.
Carter-Williams laughs as his hot rod leaves mine in the dust. He speeds through turns with ease, weaving in and out of traffic with abandon. My foot’s on the floor, and I still can’t keep pace with him. He takes the checkered flag in second place. I finish last.
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