Sixers Marketing Head Leaves for Philadelphia Union

tim mcdermott union

Tim McDermott

From the frying pan into the fire?

The Philadelphia Union on Wednesday named Tim McDermott as their chief business officer. He comes from the 76ers, where he was chief marketing and innovation officer, and has previous experience working for the Eagles and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.

“Tim’s experience in the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL coupled with his knowledge of the Philadelphia market will enable him to serve as a tremendous business leader for the Union,” Philadelphia Union Chairman Jay Sugarman said in a statement. Read more »

After Public Spat With Wells Fargo, Sixers Finally Ink New Banking Sponsor

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Breakups are hard — especially when they’re public. But in the aftermath of the hilarious and wacky breakup between the Philadelphia 76ers and Wells Fargo, the Sixers have finally found a new banking sponsor in Firstrust Bank.

It all started when Wells Fargo stopped sponsoring the team in the early stages of its tanking era. (The Sixers say Wells Fargo wanted to focus on tennis and golf. The bank declined to comment when I reached out a few months back.) Read more »

Neshaminy Coach Returns to Classroom

neshaminy-jerry-devine

The Neshaminy basketball coach who drew national attention for apparently head-butting a referee during a game has returned to his teaching position, officials said, but remains suspended from coaching.

The Bucks County Courier Times reports that Jerry Devine is returning to his teaching position “effective immediately.” But the Jan. 5 incident in which he sent a referee tumbling to the ground is still under investigation by the Bucks County District Attorney, and his suspension from coach remains indefinite.

6ABC offers the full statement from the Neshaminy school district:

“Neshaminy High School teacher Jerry Devine is returning to his teaching position at the high school effective immediately.

“Mr. Devine had been on administrative leave since an incident at a varsity basketball game on January 5, 2016 involving himself and a referee. At that time he was also indefinitely suspended as head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team. His status as coach remains unchanged.

“As this is still an ongoing personnel matter, the District will not be releasing any additional information about this case at this time.”

No timeline for determining possible charges has been announced.

While You Were on Vacation, the Pennsylvania Ballet Got a Sick Burn on the Eagles

Photo: Pennsylvania Ballet Facebook page.

Photo: Pennsylvania Ballet Facebook page.

Memo from the Pennsylvania Ballet to the Philadelphia Eagles: Man up.

The Eagles’ season of turmoil ended — thankfully — on Sunday afternoon with a win over the Giants, but not before Coach Chip Kelly was fired, and also not before taking a really sick burn from the Pennsylvania Ballet.

Here’s the message the ballet — which is under new artistic direction by famed dancer Angel Correa this season — sent out on Facebook on Wednesday: Read more »

Larry Brown Really Hates Sixers’ Tanking

Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

You know who can’t stand losing? Larry Brown.

Think about it: He’s the one coach who has managed to drag the Sixers all the way back to the NBA finals in the last 30 years or so. He’s the coach who inspired Allen Iverson‘s “practice?” rant. And (ahem), not incidentally, he’s the coach that got not one, not two, but three different colleges in trouble with the NCAA.

So you can imagine what he thinks about tanking. And about the Sixers tanking. He’s not for it.

“I’m sick of what’s going on there,” Brown told Sheridan Hoops (via 94WIP) this week. Read more »

Check It Out: Joel Embiid Isn’t Fat

Remember those stories about how injured Sixers prospect Joel Embiid was out of shape, and living the high life of drinking massive quantities of Shirley Temples? Embiid does. Which might be why he posted this to his Instagram over the weekend:

Coming along nicely #TrustTheProcess #shirleytemple

A photo posted by Joel Hans Embiid (@joelembiid) on

The 700 Level observes: “It’s seemingly from a shootaround at the Barclays Center last week and the message is clear. Embiid is jacked.”

Why the Phillies Were Right to Trade Ken Giles

Sep 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Mets, 7-5. | Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles (53) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Mets, 7-5. | Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball’s winter meetings took place this week. While these were once the time when the Phillies laid the groundwork for major deals like trading for Roy Halladay or re-signing Cliff Lee, that was in the team’s glory days of, um, a few years ago. The Phillies lost 99 games this year, the worst record in baseball. Unless they lock up a guy long term, it doesn’t make any sense for a young, rebuilding team like the Phillies to make a big splash for a major-league player.

But they did agree to a trade yesterday. The Phillies will send closer Ken Giles to the Astros for four prospects. In essence, the trade is similar to the trade of Jimmy Rollins last winter, or the in-season trades of Ben Revere, Jonathan Papelbon, Cole Hamels and Chase Utley: These guys are solid players, and the Phillies are not going to be good next year. Why not trade these players now for younger prospects who may be in their primes when the Phillies are good again? (This assumes the Phillies will ever be good again, but stay with me here.)

There is one major difference: Ken Giles is only 25. After Papelbon was traded on July 28th of last season, Giles finished 22 games for the Phillies and had 15 saves. He had a 1.71 ERA after assuming the closer’s role. Opposing batters hit just .198 during that stretch. He’s pretty good! A rebuilding team may not need an elite closer, but Ken Giles is young! He might still be good by the time the Phillies are good again.

So why is it a solid move? Read more »

Sixers Owner’s Helicopter Forces Cancelation of Youth Soccer Game

January 6, 2012: Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris gets interviewed by CSN Philly Sixers Sideline reporter Meredith Marakovits during an NBA game. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

January 6, 2012: Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris gets interviewed by CSN Philly Sixers Sideline reporter Meredith Marakovits during an NBA game. (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

Deadspin has a fun story today concerning Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris. The Penn grad also owns the New Jersey Devils. A recent trip to a game at the team’s home arena, the Prudential Center, caused the cancelation of a local youth soccer game.

Huh? Here’s what happened: Several rich people with ties to Newark have an agreement with respected Catholic prep school/basketball and soccer star pipeline St. Benedict’s Prep. When these businessmen need it, the school allows them to use its soccer field as a helipad. St. Benedict’s said a few people take advantage of the school’s generosity, but primarily Harris. Read more »

Sixers CEO on Marketing the NBA’s Most Radical Rebuilding Plan

Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil and Coach Brett Brown. (Michelle Farsi/Courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers)

Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil and Coach Brett Brown. (Michelle Farsi/Courtesy of the Philadelphia 76ers)

As the 2015-2016 Philadelphia 76ers season begins, fans have hope that the tanking phase of a long rebuilding process is finally over — and the actual building has begun. That’s certainly how CEO Scott O’Neil feels, and he’ll tell anybody who’s willing to listen. To the ever-cynical fans that saw the Sixers win just 18 games last year, it remains a hard sell.

How do you sell tickets and raise interest when your most marketable player (Nerlens Noel) is only in his second season, and two other marketable players (Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid) have never played an NBA game — and one is sitting out his second straight season with an injury? You change the logo, give season-ticket holders killer perks, and convince people that this year’s four potential first-round picks will yield a goldmine.  Read more »

Sam Bradford Isn’t a Championship Quarterback

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves in a quagmire of an NFL season with two directions: With several wins in a row they hey can re-establish their pre-season status as one of the better teams in the NFC, or they could go down the drain faster than a dropped Advil in the sink.

(Think about it, have you dropped an aspirin and saved it from sliding down the black hole?)

As I look out unto the football landscape, I see more bad things going on with the Eagles from this point than good. The bad deals mostly with the quarterback Sam Bradford. There are two schools of thought with Bradford. One, he is a quarterback still on the mend, both physically and mentally. Coming off of two ACL surgeries, Bradford is said to need more time to find his groove playing the most trying position in the NFL. The other theory, the one I believe most, is that Bradford has lost his edge as a professional player, that battled by injuries and inconsistencies in his pro career, he no longer possesses the requite competitive instinct needed to succeed at the championship level. Read more »

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