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 »

Former Sixers Player Kevin Ollie Banned from Traveling to Indiana for Meeting

Kevin OllieKevin Ollie, former Sixers team captain and currently coach for the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, will not travel to Indianapolis next week for a series of meetings due to a travel ban instituted by his state following the passage of Indiana’s anti-gay Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

“In support of Governor Malloy’s travel ban to the state of Indiana, Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men’s basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a statement. “UConn is a community that values all of our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior.”

Ollie and his staff would have been traveling to Indianapolis for the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention and various events and networking gatherings. The team joins a growing number of others in the sports world standing up against RFRA, including NCAA President Mark Emmert, and Southern California athletics director Pat Haden, who stated in  tweet that he will not attend the meeting, because he is the “proud father of a gay son.”

It should be noted that Connecticut has a freedom of religion statute, but, according to USA Today, “there are state laws that forbid religion from being used as an excuse for discrimination, including against gay, lesbian and transgender people.”

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which basically gives business in Indiana the right to turn away LGBT customers, was signed in to law last week by Governor Mike Pence. Since the growing backlash, the governor has called for an amendment to the bill that clarifies that businesses can not reject LGBT customers. Stay tuned for any developments.

(h/t: USA Today)

More Reading: 

The Sixers’ Futility Was a Clue on Jeopardy! Last Night

Great, now your grandmother knows the Sixers started 0-17 this season. Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers 0-17 start was a clue on Jeopardy! last night in a category called Sports Jeopardy. That category also had clues about a long jumper struck by a javelin, skier Vinko “The Agony of Defeat” Bogataj and Gilbert Arenas pulling a gun on a teammate.

So, actually, now your grandmother knows that there are a lot worse things that can happen in sports than starting the season 0-17. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week

October 20, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) yells at Dallas Cowboys fans before the game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

We were resigned to the Sixers. Hey, it’s a long-term plan, right? And we’d sort of come around on the Phillies. (Maybe Ryan Howard can make a comeback. Maybe you can build a team on Carlos Ruiz’s 36-year-old knees!) But then this week, we bade farewell to Trent and Cary and Shady and hello to Kiko, and it became dazzlingly clear that our lives were about to change. With no Sixers, Phillies or Eagles worth watching, we’ll all turn off our flat-screens and head outside this spring, summer and fall. We’ll play catch with our kids! We’ll plant tomatoes in the backyard! We’ll reconnect with our neighbors across porches and fences! We’ll have so much more free time! Damn, maybe we’ll even go check out the Union! We hear Chester’s pretty this time of year.

How to Root for the Tanking Sixers — and Their 2015 Draft Picks

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).

With just one second on the clock, Utah’s Gordon Hayward got a good look. He caught the inbounds pass from the other baseline, took a dribble and fired a deep three …

It clanked off the back of the rim, though the referee was waving it off anyway.

And just like that, Sixers fans could exhale. The Lakers had won.

Wait. What?

Yes, as strange as it sounds, Sixers fans were cheering for the Lakers in last Wednesday night’s matchup with the Utah Jazz. And odd as it will feel, they’ll be cheering for them for the rest of the season. Regardless of how one feels about Sam Hinkie’s controversial plan for rebuilding the moribund 76ers, we can all agree on one thing: He’s to blame for the fact that Sixers fans will have to root for the purple and gold from here on out. Read more »

The Sixers Are Good at Math. The Phillies Aren’t.

sixers phillies
We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.

The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.

ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.

The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last.
Read more »

WATCH: New Sixer Isaiah Canaan Hits Amazing Shot

Isaiah Canaan was acquired from the Rockets last Thursday at the NBA trade deadline, and he’s already the team’s starting point guard. The 2013 second-round draft pick scored in double figures both games he’s played for the Sixers.

Late in the first half against the Miami Heat last night, Canaan fired up a prayer with the shot clock running down and banked it in. Originally ruled a three, it was a two-point bucket that put the Sixers down a point heading into halftime. Read more »

Report: Man Who Plays Sixers’ New Mascot Hated on the Sixers on Twitter

David Dow | NBA Photos

David Dow | NBA Photos

Earlier this month, as the Sixers’ season continued its spiral into the abyss of record-setting defeats, ahem, strategic tanking, the team revealed its new mascot, Franklin, seen here surrounded by a bunch of smiley school kids. But it turns out that the man believed to be inside the suit is no fan of the team he has been hired to promote — or at least he wasn’t a few years ago. Read more »

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