BizFeed: Philly Sports Teams Take Nosedive in TV Ratings

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Ben Revere is unable to catch a fly ball triple by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick in the first inning of a July 6th game at Dodger Stadium.

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Ben Revere is unable to catch a fly ball triple by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Howie Kendrick in the first inning of a July 6th game at Dodger Stadium.

1. Phillies, Sixers and Flyers See TV Audience Shrink

The News: There’s not a whole lot of interest in Philadelphia sports these days. The Phillies are literally the worst team in professional baseball. The 76ers are coming off a horrific season, as part of its peculiar and (potentially genius) tanking plan. And the Flyers had an off year and missed the playoffs. That’s led to horrifying TV ratings for the three sports teams. For many fans, the Eagles’ Monday night opener against the Atlanta Falcons can’t come soon enough.

The Philadelphia Inquirer examined the Nielsen ratings, reporting that “Phillies viewership has plummeted 65 percent from 2011,” the last season of a glorious run of five straight playoff appearances. In news that should surprise nobody, “Sixers viewership has nosedived 72 percent over the same period.” The Flyers also lost audience, as viewership was down 36 percent. Read more »

Joel Embiid’s Latest Setback Is Not the End of the World

76ers general manager Sam Hinkie (right) talks with center Joel Embiid during pre-game warm-ups at the Wells Fargo Center on December 15th, 2014.

76ers general manager Sam Hinkie (right) talks with center Joel Embiid during pre-game warm-ups at the Wells Fargo Center on December 15th, 2014.

Late Saturday night Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers made official what many had been fearing for the last month: that Joel Embiid would require a second surgery to repair the Navicular bone fracture he suffered last June and would miss the 2015-16 NBA season.

“We have been consistent in our philosophy that our focus will be Joel’s long-term health and wellness to ensure he will have a long and impactful career in the NBA. After receiving the input of the aforementioned medical experts, as well as conversations with Joel and his representatives, there was careful consideration given to a number of options related to this particular situation. A collective decision has been made that the best approach to promote full healing would be to proceed with a bone graft of the fracture site. We anticipate the procedure will take place in the next 7-10 days and result in Joel missing the upcoming season. ”

Sixers president and general manager Sam Hinkie.

Read more »

Sixers Land 3 Players, Draft Pick in Trade With Kings

The Philadelphia 76ers acquired three players, as well as a future first-round pick and other draft considerations, in a trade with the Sacramento Kings last night. The trade can not be made official until July 9th. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal.

The Sixers sent a second-round pick and two European players drafted late in the second round of last month’s draft to the Kings, Arturas Gudaitis (47th pick) and Luka Mitrovic (60th pick). In return, the 76ers got a first-round pick in 2018, Nik Stauskas (the 8th overall pick in 2014) and veteran big men Cary Landry and Jason Thompson. The Sixers also got the right to swap first-rounders with the Kings in 2016 and 2017.

This is quite a haul for the Sixers for two players who were just picked late in the second round last month. The Sixers were rumored to have liked Stauskas back in the 2014 draft, but he was taken before the Sixers made their second first-round pick. (They previously took Joel Embiid third overall that year.) The Kings were willing to part with Stauskas (and draft considerations) in order to cut the salaries of Landry ($6.5 million) and Thompson ($6.4 million).

Stauskas was a high pick last year, but struggled to get on the court on a bad Kings team (just 15 minutes a game) and scored only 4.4 points a game — low numbers, especially for a guy expected to be a shooter. Still, he might instantly be the best shooter the Sixers have. (The previous best shooter was, um, Robert Covington.) Read more »

Sixers Hire Scientist to Head Performance R&D Department

The Sixers have hired a scientist.

Today, the 76ers announced the team had hired Dr. David T. Martin, a doctor who has worked in Australian cycling for 20 years, for a new position overseeing sports science. Martin will hold the title of Director of Performance Research and Development with the Sixers.

“We have made many investments – adding staff and integrating outside experts, partnering with pioneers in sports science and technology, and adjusting our day-to-day training, practice and recovery plans,” Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said in a release. “But none like David Martin. He is a scientist. He is also a coach to some of the world’s highest performing, most resilient athletes and coaches. We are delighted to add someone of his immense talents to lead and grow our efforts.” Read more »

Report: Sixers to Pay Pelicans $3 Million for Breaking NBA Rules

sixers-logoThe Sixers hired Sam Hinkie in May 2013, but The Process really didn’t start until the NBA Draft the next month. That night, Hinkie traded Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans. At the time, it came as a shock: Holiday was expected to be the team’s point guard for years.

The haul, it turned out, was pretty good: The Sixers got the sixth pick that season (Nerlens Noel) and another first rounder in 2014. The Sixers turned that first-rounder into Dario Saric, two second-round picks and also got the Orlando Magic to waive the pick the Sixers owed them sometime in the future. Jrue Holiday has played just 74 games over two seasons in New Orleans, missing time in both seasons due to stress fractures in his legs. He had surgery in 2014.

The Inquirer reports Holiday first suffered stress fractures in his last season in Philadelphia, and that the Sixers have to pay $3 million to New Orleans for failing to disclose the injury. A Sixers team source disputed the report. The paper’s Keith Pompey also said the Sixers were looking to get compensation from the Lakers over the Andrew Bynum trade. Read more »

There Are Two Ways for Sixers Fans to Look at the Jahlil Okafor Pick

Joel Embiid (left) and Nerlens Noel (right) | Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports. Jahlil Okafor (center), Chris Steppig, NCAA Pool, USA Today Sports

Joel Embiid (left) and Nerlens Noel (right) | Bill Streicher, USA Today Sports. Jahlil Okafor (center), Chris Steppig, NCAA Pool, USA Today Sports

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

The results of Thursday night’s NBA draft left many Sixers fans confused about the direction of the team.

It also left many fans hopeful for the team’s future.

The drafting of Jahlil Okafor — who was thought of by most to be one of the three best prospects in the draft and one of the few who could legitimately be expected to turn a franchise around — can be looked at in two ways, both of which have some merit: Read more »

Jahlil Okafor Looks to Exceed High Expectations

Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) shoots the ball against Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the first half in the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 6, 2015, in Indianapolis.

Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) shoots the ball against Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the first half in the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 6, 2015, in Indianapolis.

Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland

“I’m familiar with winning,” Jahlil Okafor, told members of the media on Saturday during his introductory press conference.

That was kind of an understatement. Okafor’s run to the NCAA championship this past spring with Duke capped an amateur career marked by consistent excellence.

Okafor’s high school team, Whitney Young, won a Chicago Public League Championship in 2013, then followed that up with an IHSA 4A state championship in 2014.

Okafor won a gold medal at the 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Championships, where he earned MVP honors. The following year he won again, this time making the All-Tournament team on the 2013 FIBA Under-19 World Championship squad. He shot — get this — 77.2% from the field in that tournament.

So the title run with Duke — on a team that won 35 games in a 39-game season, only 2 short of the 37 win total the Sixers have compiled over the last 164 games — was just a continuation of the success that Okafor has become accustomed to.

The climb for Okafor, and the Sixers, to reach that kind of success will likely be slower than Okafor’s accustomed to. Rebuilds in the NBA take time, and the Sixers are no exception.  Read more »

Sixers Made the Best Possible Pick

Apr 6, 2015 Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) drives to the basket against Wisconsin on April 6, 2015 during the NCAA Men's Division I Championship game. | Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 6, 2015 Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) drives to the basket against Wisconsin on April 6, 2015 during the NCAA Men’s Division I Championship game. | Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers made the absolute best pick they could have made in taking center Jahlil Okafor with the third pick in the NBA draft.

Now, I could end this column right there, but my editors here at Phillymag.com require something like 500 words before they will actually consider giving me any payment. So the following is for the people whom I have heard bombard this selection with the zeal of a gunnery sergeant.

I hear the screams:

 What, another big man! They needed a guard! What in hell are they going to do with three big men now? Don’t they need someone to get those big men the ball? You’re telling me your starting point guard next season is Ish Smith? What was the purpose then of trading Michael Carter-Williams if you weren’t going to replace him in this year’s draft?

I ask this: As the draft evolved, what was general manager Sam Hinkie supposed to do?

Read more »

Embiid Not Expected In Summer League

USATSI_joel-embiid-940x540

Ever since the Sixers announced earlier this month that Joel Embiid‘s healing was not progressing as quickly as anticipated, the health of the Sixers potential franchise player has been at the forefront of most fans minds.

General Manager Sam Hinkie addressed Embiid’s health during his post-draft press conference today. While Hinkie was not able to provide much certainty on the big man’s future — they’re still in the process of getting opinions from various medical professionals around the world — Hinkie did say he did not expect Embiid to participate in summer league.

“I don’t see how he’d play in summer league. [Those are] not the kind of conversations we’ve been having,” Hinkie said. Read more »

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