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)

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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

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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.
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WATCH: New Sixer Isaiah Canaan Hits Amazing Shot

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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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So it’s come to this:

“It’s 14 degrees in Philadelphia … and the heater has broken inside the Wells Fargo Center — so the visiting Indiana Pacers are warming up in full sweats and winter gear,” TMZ reports. “Unclear when the heater crapped out … but multiple team sources tell us the same thing — ‘It’s f**king freezing in here.'”

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Reports: Sixers Trade MCW, McDaniels on NBA Trade Deadline Day

Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) is defended by Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) is defended by Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers, 12-41 and out of contention for the foreseeable future, were not expected to be a major player before the NBA Draft deadline today. What little we knew.

In a pair of deals just before the deadline, the Sixers appear to have shipped out starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams, last season’s rookie of the year, and promising first-year small forward K.J. McDaniels. Both reports come from NBA trade guru Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. McDaniels is headed to the Rockets, while Carter-Williams  will be with the Bucks. Read more »

Sixers Tease New Uniforms for Next Season

sixers-tease-new-uniforms-940x540

It’s not just a youth movement where only one player who has logged minutes this year was born before 1988. It’s not just a new in-arena presentation. It’s not just a new mascot, Franklin the dog. The Sixers’ rebuild will soon also include new uniforms.

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