In the end, the Sixers even sucked at sucking.
They ended their season Wednesday night just as they started it: with a victory over the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Given that everybody knew going into the season that the plan was to stink up the joint as much as possible, those two wins are … unforgivable? Because they helped give the Sixers only the second-worst record in the NBA this season — which means the even more putrid Milwaukee Bucks now have the best chance of capturing the top pick — and, with it, perhaps a semblance of a future in professional basketball.
Still, we’re not sure this is the worst season in Philly sports history. Yes, it was bad, but everybody knew to expect it. It’s the stomach-punch seasons — where expectations and achievement misalign badly — that should count. And there are lots of contenders for that prize. Here’s a nominee from each of the city’s major remaining pro teams:
Read more »
With talk rising of college athletes unionizing and seeking pay for their services, the Washington Post reports on a Drexel University study on what college athletes are actually worth:
A study by Drexel University and the National College Players Association calculated the fair market value of a player between the years 2011 through 2015 and came up with a figure of $178,000 for football players. The biggest stars, like Johnny Manziel, might be worth as much as $547,000 (from 2011-12). The biggest money, though, is in college basketball, where the fair-market value for a player over the same time frame is $375,000. The players expected to be taken early in the NBA draft, like Andrew Wiggins of Kansas, might be worth upwards of $1.6 million.
The good news for the Sixers? That’s still not as much as Wiggins will make by declaring for the draft and leaving school early. The pros still pay more. For now, at least.
The April issue of Philly Mag features Bob Huber’s “The Last Days of Bill Conlin,” an examination of the decline and fall of the legendary Daily News baseball columnist who retreated from the public eye after child molestation allegations emerged in 2011. Conlin died last year.
Huber spoke this week to PhillyMag.com about how he reported the story, the demons haunting Conlin, and whether Conlin should retain the sportswriting award he received from the Baseball Hall of Fame before the allegations became public.
Read more »
DeSean Jackson’s departure from the Eagles is generating plenty of chatter online…..
Read more »
We’ll take a break from our Sixers laments for a moment of hometown pride. Markieff Morris, who grew up here, is helping power the Phoenix Suns to an unexpected playoff spot — they’re just on the outside, but have had more of a winning season than anybody expected — and may be a candidate for the Sixth Man Award.
This season, Morris is averaging career-bests in points (13.6 per game), rebounds (5.9), assists (1.7) and field goal percentage (47.8 percent). His three-point shooting has dropped all the way down to 28.9 percent, but since Morris only takes 1.4 attempts from downtown on a nightly basis, the Suns can live with it. Phoenix is 20-8 this season when Morris scores at least 15 points.
What about his twin brother, Marcus? Sun-N-Gun reports:
This season, Marcus is averaging 10.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. His contribution to the Suns surprisingly successful season has been major, because he is a versatile scorer off the bench. His ability to hit jump shots in important to an offense with point guards based around slashing and driving to the rim. His rebounding has clearly improved and his confidence is far greater than it once was. On a Suns’ team where any one player can almost take over a game on any given night, Marcus is a very useful tool.
The Sixers’ losing streak now stands at a mighty 22 games, but would they be any better off if they hadn’t held their trade deadline fire sale? Here’s a quick look around the league at how two former Sixers “stars” are faring with their new teams (hint: not well).
Read more »
Via The 700 Level, which correctly observes: “Never has Ivy League baseball looked so awesome.”
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?
Read more »
Via The 700 Level comes this commercial featuring a retired Allen Iverson:
It’s been a little over a week since news broke that the Phillies turned draft pick Ben Wetzler into the NCAA. And, somehow, things have gotten worse!
According to the report, from Baseball America‘s Aaron Fitt, the Phillies thought Ben Wetzler would sign with the team when it selected him in the fifth round of last year’s draft. The Phillies didn’t meet the dollar number Wetzler wanted, so he went back to Oregon State.
In turn, the Phillies ratted on him to the NCAA for using an agent. They also allegedly told the NCAA about Jason Monda, a sixth-round pick of the Phillies who decided to return to Washington State. According to NCAA rules, players are not allowed to sign with an agent until they leave school. According to Fitt, it is standard practice for players to have an “advisor” who helps them negotiate with the team. It is immoral to force college kids to negotiate without any representation, but it makes sense: Best I can tell from its rules, the NCAA brass hates college students. (The rule: “If the student-athlete is considering returning to an NCAA school, that advisor may not negotiate on behalf of a student-athlete or be present during discussions of a contract offer, including phone calls, email or in-person conversations.”)
Read more »