The Sixers are looking really bad in this right now. They just suspended Jahlil Okafor for two games for the second fight video that was released by TMZ earlier today. The team released the following statement shortly after the suspension.
The Sixers are looking really bad in this right now. They just suspended Jahlil Okafor for two games for the second fight video that was released by TMZ earlier today. The team released the following statement shortly after the suspension.
Last night, Jimmy Fallon poked fun at the Sixers for setting a record in U.S. professional sports by losing their 28th game in a row. Good times. The Roots, the Tonight Show band, who are from Philadelphia, also joined in on the mocking. Though, their acting skills are on point. They looked pissed.
Video after the jump.
This is unreal. A day after TMZ released video of Jahlil Okafor getting into a fight outside a Boston bar, the Inquirer's Keith Pompey and CSN Philly's John Gonzalez uncovered something that's very disturbing - the fact that Okafor had a gun pulled on him in an altercation outside a Philly club in October.
According to five sources who spoke to The Inquirer independently on condition of anonymity, Thursday morning’s incident in Boston was not the first time Okafor has been in an altercation with a heckler while out and about.
At a Philadelphia club in October, sources said that Okafor exchanged words with a heckler while with teammates. As he and his teammates left the club, a source said, the heckler pointed a gun to Okafor’s head outside the establishment.
A source said the incident was witnessed by federal officers, but there is no known official report of the incident. Okafor did not want to speak about the situation.
The October incident combined with Thursday morning’s fight outside a Boston nightclub shows a pattern that the Sixers and Okafor need to avoid.
The 19-year-old Sixers’ rookie was outside an Old City nightclub after 2 a.m. on October 4 when he and another person began arguing with two men sitting in a parked car near the corner of 2nd and Walnut Streets, according to a witness. The verbal disagreement escalated and a witness said he saw Okafor try to punch the driver through the open driver’s side window. During the altercation, the driver and passenger exited the car and the passenger pointed a gun in the direction of Okafor and his associate, per the witness.
U.S. Park Rangers – who patrol nearby Independence Hall – arrived on the scene during the altercation, according to separate reports filed by the U.S. Park Rangers and the Philadelphia Police Department and obtained by CSNPhilly.com. The man who exited the passenger side of the car fled on foot and appeared to toss his gun, per multiple witnesses. According to the police report, the driver got into a black Camaro with red stripes and sped off. The car was not stopped.
According to the police report, a U.S. Park Ranger chased the unidentified passenger on foot but lost him when the man ducked into the garage at the nearby Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel at One Dock Street. The report also indicated that police and K-9 units “swept the parking garage and first floor of the hotel with negative results.” Hotel surveillance video revealed the man never entered the hotel from the garage.
A law enforcement source told CSNPhilly.com that a gun magazine was recovered near the scene and submitted for fingerprint analysis. The law enforcement source said the investigation is ongoing.
It is unclear what happened to Okafor or his associate after the incident or if they were interviewed by U.S. Park Rangers or PPD. A Sixers’ spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Not long after that, Pompey [two days after Howard Eskin] reported Okafor was pulled over for doing 108mph on the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Four sources independently comfirmed to the The Inquirer the 76ers center was pulled over on the Ben Franklin Bridge around three weeks ago for 108 miles-per-hour. Anything over 40MPH is considered reckless driving.
Yikes. I was 19 once. I did dumb things. I've been pulled over for speeding. But, 108mph on a bridge? Yeano.
Okafor went to Twitter to issue a statement, and that seems to be the end of it. For now.
TMZ has released the above video today which shows Jahlil Okafor engaging in a brawl outside of a Boston bar last night. This isn't good at all. The story is still developing, so stay tuned for any updates regarding the situation.
The Philadelphia 76ers are through four preseason games thus far and have had all close games since getting blown out in the preseason opener by over 30 points.
In the last three games, the 76ers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers at Wells Fargo Center by one point, defeated the Brooklyn Nets in Albany by two points and most recently lost by six points to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The team leader in scoring has been different in all four contests for Philadelphia, which is encouraging that points can be poured in from different directions. Nerlens Noel led the team with 13 points in the first game, while Jerami Grant had 19 points to lead the way the following game. In the last two contests, Robert Covington dropped 23 points against the Nets, while Isaiah Canaan poured in 18 points against the Knicks.
The 76ers only have three more preseason games before the regular season campaign kicks off on October 28th. The Sixers host the Washington Wizards on October 16th at Wells Fargo Center in the cheapest remaining preseason game on the secondary market according to TiqIQ, with an average price of $24 and a get-in price of $4. Two days later, the Sixers travel to the Barclays Center to play the Nets with an average ticket price of $47 with a get-in price of $5 and finally, they play the Boston Celtics on October 23rd at Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire with an average price of $124.37 and a get-in price of $41.
Before prices shoot up for the regular season, attending a Sixers’ home preseason game may be in the best interest for fans looking to get a great value for an NBA game. Hipmunk.com has Philadelphia flights, in addition to having hotels near the Wells Fargo Center on Hipmunk to create a basketball getaway this weekend against the Wizards.
Their final preseason game against the Celtics will be a tuneup for the team’s first regular season game, which is on the road against Boston at the TD Garden. The first Sixers’ game of the season has an average ticket price of $77.51 with a get-in price of $25.
The combination of the defensive-oriented Noel and the offensive-oriented Jahlil Okafor seems to be developing into a nice pairing for the Sixers this season. Keep an eye on if these two players can mesh together into a formidable front court duo.
You thinking of doing a little early Christmas shopping? This Saturday would be a perfect start as the annual Wells Fargo Center blowout sale begins at 10am and ends at 3pm. Flyers, Sixers and Phillies merchandise will be available for up to 90% off during the sale. Oh yeah, and there's free parking in the WFC lot, too.
Can't skip breakfast? No worries, there will be hot dogs, popcorn, chips, soda and water, along with $1 snack specials during the sale. It'll quite possibly be the best breakfast you've ever had.
The MeiGray Group, the official jersey and equipment source of the Philadelphia Flyers, will have a display on the Wells Fargo Center concourse on the 11th street side featuring Flyers game-worn jerseys, and pro-stock equipment, such as skates, sticks, gloves and more available directly from the Flyers locker room. Blowout sale merchandise discounts do not apply to items available for sale from MeiGray.
The first 100 individuals who purchase merchandise at the blowout sale at Wells Fargo Center will receive two free admission tickets to Fantasy Fest at XFINITY Live! when purchase is made. Fantasy Fest admission is for fans 21 years of age and older.
Fantasy Fest is being hosted by 97.5 The Fanatic at XFINITY Live! Philadelphia on Saturday, August 29 beginning at 12 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to win giveaways and interact with Philly sports icons and hosts from The Fanatic. This year’s featured guest is Darren Daulton.
You can check out a sneak peek of featured sale items by following the Wells Fargo Center on social media.
Jahlil Okafor continued his do everything there is to do in Philadelphia in one week parade by throwing out the first pitch at the Phillies game last night. In a poncho sized Phillies jersey. Before the game, Jah, went into the locker room and took pictures with some of the players.
Among them was a nice representation of the future of sports in Philadelphia, we hope:
A photo posted by Rob The Philly-Rican (@robby_ramz) on Jun 30, 2015 at 10:35pm PDT
But, one picture in particular stood out to me:
Okafor is HUGE. We all know Ryan Howard's size. Jah makes him look like an average sized man. Even crazier is the other guy in the picture isn't standing behind them, he's standing next to them. Wow.
I'm starting to get even more excited than I was about watching this guy play for the Sixers. Now, with the announcement that Okafor will be playing on both summer league teams, we won't have to wait until the season starts to see his game on the court. Well, locally, at least.
People that big are not supposed to do this:
They could be miserable inside. But you wouldn't know it. Jahlil Okafor is at the Phillies game today, and so is pops. I love pops. Follow the man on Twitter (@DaddyofaPro).
And there's no doubt that if they were to put Okafor on the mound tonight, he would make that baseball dance. Dance like Joel Embiid this past weekend.
Photo via reddit user Bartch88
Bartch, as we'll call him, posted this photo on reddit about an hour ago. Sure looks like Embiid. This happened before Embiid posted an Instagram photo last night, which hints that OH MY GOOOOOD HE'S HEALTHY!
A photo posted by Joel Hans Embiid (@joelembiid) on Jun 29, 2015 at 4:43pm PDT
Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel III told the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show on Monday, that Jahlil Okafor is the best player in the draft and it’s not even close. Well, it looks like Vegas agrees.
Here are the 2015-16 NBA Rookie of the Year odds, courtesy of Bovada LV.
Jahlil Okafor 7/2
D’Angelo Russell 4/1
Karl-Anthony Towns 7/1
Emmanuel Mudiay 7/1
Justise Winslow 9/1
Joel Embiid 10/1
Mario Hezonja 16/1
Willie Cauley-Stein 22/1
Jerian Grant 22/1
Myles Turner 25/1
Sam Dekker 25/1
Frank Kaminsky 25/1
Kristaps Porzingis 25/1
Stanley Johnson 33/1
Cameron Payne 33/1
Trey Lyles 33/1
Devin Booker 33/1
Bobby Portis 33/1
This shouldn't really come as a surprise, unless you are a hardcore D'Angelo Russell supporter [like Nick], or just blindly hating the fact the Sixers don't have a guard in general.
Howard Eskin didn't, but many regarded Okafor as the being the best player in the draft this year. Whether he can prove that on the court remains to be seen, but Vegas thinks he will and so do I.
There's no reason to think that Okafor won't finish this season leading the Sixers in points per game, while likely leading the rest of the rookies in the same category. I mention PPG, because that seems to be the ultimate determining factor to the ROY race, as we've seen last year with Andrew Wiggins beating out Nerlens Noel.
Now, should Embiid play and play well, it will be very entertaining to see these two battling it out for the ROY honor.
Just keep in mind, in the big scheme of things, Rookie of the Year honors means exactly nothing when you're on this team. Just ask MCW. As long as both big men play and make it through the entire season healthy and progressing, I'll be thrilled.
Also, as a big Duke fan (sorry, I'm not sorry) and an even bigger Sixers fan, this made me happy. So, so happy.
A photo posted by Duke Basketball (@dukeblueplanet) on Jun 27, 2015 at 1:02pm PDT
I hope Brett Brown never leaves Philadelphia. Jerry Crasnick wants to talk about how the new Phillies president, Andy MacPhail, brings a calming and controlling atmosphere to his new team, but the man who owns this city when it comes to a calming and controlling presence is your Sixers coach.
Talking to Michael Barkann and Ike Reese yesterday on WIP, Brown said that while he does want a point guard, he doesn't want it to happen at the expense of passing on a better player when available. Enter Jahlil Okafor. [CBS Philly]
“At the end of the day, if you want to play in June and you want to play deep in June, you’re gonna have to have a point guard,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown admitted to Michael Barkann and Ike Reese Monday on the 94WIP Mike & Ike Show. “I think it’s a point guard’s league. They’re the commander in chief, they’re ball dominant, they’re an extension of the coach. At some point you’re gonna need that. As it relates to us, well we want it, we want it now. Anything that expedites rushed decisions, cloudy decisions, we don’t—I said it to the press before—we don’t want to get pregnant with average players.”
That's our new #culture. No pregnancy with average players. And Brown already has a connection with Okafor.
“You learn that he comes from a family of doctorates, of masters degrees, of educators,” said Brown, who spoke with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and associate head coach Jeff Capel III at length about Okafor. “He’s been raised by a dad, who lost his mom. I’m reminded of my 12 years of Tim Duncan who also lost his father. I think there are similarities on the court and off the court with things I hope to share with Jahlil, and we’re getting a potential cornerstone culturally. For me, it’s always about people.”
Brown also talked more about the need for point guards, Embiid's health, and more. You can listen to the audio after the jump.
There are plenty of people locally who don't buy in to what Sam Hinkie is doing. Perhaps the most outspoken local media guys that have continuously thrashed Hinkie every which way are in radio and television, most notably Howard Eskin and Angelo Cataldi. While I admit, I love a good Eskin family fight, Howard's son, Spike, can only do so much to try and help his father see the light.
Well, a dimming light. D'Angelo Russell was the perfect fit for the Sixers, so we all think [especially me... I'm still reeling], but the Lakers snatched him up with the second overall pick in last week's draft, leaving the Sixers to draft the next best available player, Jahlil Okafor. For some reason, people think the Sixers should have drafted a need in that spot, despite Okafor being a lot better prospect than what was left after Russell was gone.
What nobody is talking about is that Hinkie did exactly what Brett Brown wanted him to do, and that's to go after the best player available. Brown, who has turned out to be a great coach for such a young and inexperienced team, said to the media after the Sixers season was over, "But if that is the way it shakes out [best available player] then I will coach it, and we will find a way to make it work. How can you walk away from the best player?"
So, Sunday night on his Sports Sunday show on FOX Philly, Eskin fought the good fight once again, but didn't do himself any favors. Here are some gems:
"Okafor does not have any range. Can't shoot free throws. Plays below the basket, and he plays a game that's not an up-tempo game which is what they play."
"All these MIT geeks, all these analytics, and that's what they are, they're a bunch of geeks with computers. And they're brilliant guys with numbers. Not with eye test. But when you look at that, that's not the way they want to build a team, so they can't change for one player, can they?"
[Editor's note: Wait, what? How does Eskin know how they want to build a team? Answer is he doesn't, which is why he hates Hinkie. Because he never gets the answers he wants from him.]
"I talked to a former Duke player, and he told me, and the Dukies usually defend all their guys, 'I don't like Okafor in the NBA.' He doesn't like him. And this is a guy, I'll just say he played that position. So, you have people from Duke telling me that, or one person. I'll say one person."
Eskin only needs one player [who might not even be in the NBA right now] to tell him he doesn't like Okafor in the NBA. Case closed. Eskin win.
Eskin also said with 100% certainty that Hinkie's plan has failed. Already. After he's only been general manager of the Sixers for two years. There's really no two-year plan when it comes to rebuilding. It's a lot longer. But don't tell the Hinkie haters that. It doesn't fit their narrative.
Full video, courtesy of FOX Philly, after the jump.
Every Monday we bring you the very best of the weekend you missed. From Thursday through Sunday, whether it's local or national, we have you covered.
The Sixers were ordered to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million for not disclosing Jrue Holiday's entire injury history when they traded him in 2013. This comes off the heels of the NBAPA investigating the Sixers, though that looks to be a fruitless endeavor.
Oh yeah, and Ryne Sandberg isn't the Phillies manager anymore.
Ow, Robinson Cano Ow. [The Big Lead]
New format for MLB's Home Run Derby, and it includes a timer. [Hardball Talk]
LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers and the entire world imploded. He's re-signing with them. [Twitter]
This is karma. [Deadspin]
Not sure what complex umpires have nowadays, but they're completely ruining games on a nightly basis now. [ESPN]
Photo credit: Screengrabber/Deadspin
A lot of misdirection going on out there lately.
Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes and J.P. Tokoto were introduced to the Philly media yesterday, and things happened!
There's no surprise that Okafor's entire demeanor since the Sixers selected him in the draft has been, well, not excited. At all. And now this story is blowing up everywhere. After posing for a photo op with their new jerseys, the three walked off the stage. But not before Okafor ignited a massive shitstorm with how he handled his jersey.
He dropped it...
So, this news probably doesn't make Sam Hinkie or the Sixers look good at all. A quick look at Twitter and... nope, nothing good here.
According to a report filed last night by Keith Pompey of the Inquirer, the Sixers didn't disclose Jrue Holiday's injury history when they traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2013 NBA Draft.
The 76ers were ordered to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million by the NBA last season for not fully disclosing Jrue Holiday's injury history before he was traded two years ago, according to two sources.
The Sixers traded Holiday, an all-star point guard, to the Pelicans on the night of the 2013 NBA draft for the rights to Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick that year.
The sources said Holiday played with stress fractures in his lower right leg during his final season with the Sixers. However, the sources said, those injures weren't fully disclosed to the Pelicans.
The punishment for the Sixers doesn't seem terrible for a team that apparently mislead another team about their player's health. I'm surprised it wasn't more than $3 million, honestly. Especially considering Holiday's contract is ginormous.
If this report is true, it absolutely answers the question of why the team decided not to keep Holiday when Hinkie came to power. They knew of his stress fracture injury, and even though he apparently passed a physical with the Pelicans, the team had no idea he was suffering from such an injury - one that has plagued him the last two seasons. In three years with the Sixers, Holiday missed a grand total of five games due to injury. So there's no concrete proof at this point that Holiday's battle with injuries began when he was a Sixer. But this report is one piece of evidence working against the Sixers right now.
While Hinkie declined to comment on Pompey's original report, a Sixers source reportedly told Pompey, "That's not true." The Pelicans general manager, Dell Demps, also won't comment.
In fact, The Bird Writes, a SB Nation blog that covers the Pelicans, wildly speculates this could be disastrous for Hinkie and the Sixers.
General Manager Sam Hinkie's ability to get fair value will be diminished with this news. The medical reports delivered from the Sixers to other franchises will be considered less trustworthy. Some may avoid dealing for players out of the Philadelphia system due to these fears. It will drive down the value of the assets Hinkie has accumulated when it comes time to cash in. Their roster does not need fit right now. When it comes time to make the moves necessary, the value of his assets is lessened. That is a real cost.
There's no telling what the future holds, but I don't think that other teams being even more wary of the Sixers now is grossly overestimating what's happened here. Will it affect the Sixers when it comes to the future? I hope not.
And in related news, the Sixers are now seeking financial restitution from the Lakers, saying LA never let them know how serious Bynum's knee problems were.
According to the other two sources, the Sixers are now trying to receive a payment from the Los Angeles Lakers for allegedly misinforming them about Andrew Bynum. Bynum came to the Sixers from Los Angeles in a four-team deal in August 2012. But the 7-foot center never played for the team due to chronically injured knees.
"They are saying the Lakers didn't disclose all of the information about Bynum's knees," one of the sources said. "They think they should be able to get some type of monetary resolution."
This was before Hinkie became general manager of the Sixers, but it's interesting to note. And honestly, we were all so spurned by the Bynum deal that I wish the Lakers have to pay the Sixers a gazillion dollars. Because f%#^ Bynum.
A few days ago, we told you that the NBA Player's Association was looking into investigating the Sixers for possible violations of the collective bargaining agreement. Jake Fischer of SI.com and Liberty Ballers mentioned he heard the practice the Sixers have made of offering four-year, non-guaranteed contracts - mainly to rookies - and that's exactly what it was. According to Fischer's SI article, NBA agents are accusing the Sixers of taking advantage of the younger players by the contracts they've been offering them.
On Monday, in agent meetings in New York City, the NBPA informed agents it will look into the Sixers’ salary cap activity and handling of the CBA, league sources confirmed to SI.com. The players union will search for any possible Sixers activity that would have violated the terms of the current CBA. However, player agents know that effort won’t be fruitful, as SI.com learned while speaking with five agents on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.
“It’s definitely not illegal, but I think it should be illegal,” one agent said. All the NBPA can do is urge agents against accepting four-year, mostly non-guaranteed contracts. “At the agent seminars it’s something that’s discussed, a contract to avoid,” another agent told SI.com. “That’s not something that’s conducive to growing in the league as a player because you have to look over your shoulder every day and there’s no security in it.”
“That’s sort of the the crime of it,” said one agent who’s recently negotiated with the Sixers. “Certain guys, they don’t have a market to get a solid deal in the NBA elsewhere and they say, ‘We have to do this.’ I’d be prepared to sign this deal if we have to, it’s just a tough spot. It’s not really that fair to the kid.”
While I absolutely understand the need of a player's agent to garner the best deal for his client on both sides, it sounds like the agents are holding the Sixers hostage and not the other way around, simply because the Sixers are doing exactly what they need to do in order to not only rebuild the franchise, but do it in a fiscally responsible way.
And anyway, the anonymous agents being concerned about the unfair nature of those proposed Sixers deals to their client is complete horseshit. K.J. McDaniels is an excellent example of a kid who was offered two guaranteed and two non-guaranteed years after the draft and only agreed to one guaranteed year that would have allowed him to become a free agent this summer. The Sixers quite literally may have not gotten anything for him if they didn't trade him. But that's the price for the Sixers and NBA agents. McDaniels didn't cost the Sixers anything.
Fischer then goes on to cite Robert Covington as being one of those players that's now in one of those aforementioned positions of signing a four-year, non-guaranteed deal after completely outplaying his contract last season. Said one agent, "That deal sucks. He’s now worth way more than a million dollars for four years. It’s an amazing trade piece, it’s an amazing value for [Philadelphia].”
Except if Covington was to miss the season or suffer an injury that would end his season, the Sixers would be able to waive him without any salary implications. That's why Hinkie's doing what he's doing. Rebuilding a franchise from rubble, and being fiscally responsible while doing so. Not illegal.
“That’s sort of the the crime of it,” said one agent who’s recently negotiated with the Sixers. “Certain guys, they don’t have a market to get a solid deal in the NBA elsewhere and they say, ‘We have to do this.’ I’d be prepared to sign this deal if we have to, it’s just a tough spot. It’s not really that fair to the kid.”
No, it's not really fair to you, Mr. Agent Man. The Sixers are pissing people off because they're rebuilding the way it needs to be done. Agents can blame Ed Stefanski for the situation he left Hinkie to have to make him do business this way in order to build a perennial contender, which has always been his #1 goal. And the agents agree - the Sixers aren't doing anything illegal, so they won't be punished.
Of course, this isn't new to Hinkie, who's been the center of other league executives' ire over the last couple years with the way he's rebuilding the Sixers. I'm sure he doesn't care at all what other people think.
But the fact remains: the Sixers and Sam Hinkie aren't going to stop doing business their way, as long as it's legal. They're going to continue drafting players whose agents tell them not to draft.
Earlier today, Sixers general manager, Sam Hinkie, addressed the media hours after completing this year's NBA draft. He had a lot of insight, moreso than we're used to seeing or hearing, on what he did last night.
One of those things was reported talks with the Lakers about moving up into the second overall pick. He told Eskin no. He told Missanelli yes.
Audio courtesy 97.5 The Fanatic
So, Hinkie either fibbed to Eskin, or Eskin is a big, fat, stinkin' liar. Did I mishear something? Did anyone mishear something?
At the end of the Sixers season, Brett Brown addressed the media and he was asked about his thoughts on the NBA draft. You might think he wanted a need rather than the best available player, right? Wrong.
"I think you have to take the best player when that time comes," Brown said earlier this week after the Sixers wrapped up their season. "If it is murky, and it is not clearly defined who is the best player is, then perhaps get need-based. But if that is the way it shakes out then I will coach it, and we will find a way to make it work. How can you walk away from the best player?"
Knowing the Sixers had the chance to end up with three bigs, Brown didn't waiver from his mantra: get the best player available... unless there isn't one.
There clearly was one. Jahlil Okafor was clearly the best player available when the Sixers were called on to make their third overall pick last night. So, Sam Hinkie obliged his head coach's wants - wants that he said back in April.
As for the second round... nevermind. But the point remains that if anyone thinks Hinkie is holding Brown hostage or purposely sabotaging Brown's coaching career is wrong.
Video after the jump.
Sam Hinkie spoke to the press today and talked about, obviously, the NBA Draft. Main takeaway: Joel Embiid is probably not playing any time soon. He feels "great," but he isn't playing in the summer league. Also, Dario Saric is expected to join the Sixers after next season.
And Captain Obvious chimed in:
Keep fighting that fight, Howard.
Videos, courtesy CSN Philly, after the jump.
I'm still not totally sure where everybody in the city stands on the Sixers draft last night, but I'd say the majority aren't sure what to think anyway. I'm still not sure what to think. I'd always go best player available, especially with the third overall pick in the draft, and with D'Angelo Russell off the board. But the subsequent draft picks from Sam Hinkie left a lot to be desired, especially in the number of big men the team now has... unless this isn't over.
We've compiled some scouting reports of our new Sixers, courtesy of DraftExpress.com. We'll include a link to the full profile, but we're only going to include some snippets of which are the most important for us to look at. Maybe. We think.
1. Jahlil Okafor, C
As good as Okafor is creating his own offense inside the paint, he's even better as a finisher when receiving the ball with a head of steam off cuts, pick and rolls, or running the floor in transition. He converted an outstanding 79% of his shots around the rim in the half-court this season in non-post-up situations, the top mark in the college game by a wide margin. His gigantic hands allow him to palm the ball like a grapefruit en route to the rim, and his incredibly long arms gives him a variety of vantage points to throw it into the basket with feathery soft touch and either hand. While not overly explosive, Okafor is extremely quick off his feet and shows no hesitation going up around the basket confidently.
While Duke didn't need to use this part of his game too often, partially due to the reduced spacing of the college game, Okafor can also face the basket and create his own offense off the dribble. He's a very good ball-handler for his size, and has the ability to make quick and precise moves in small spaces thanks to his terrific footwork and body control.
Okafor is also a major presence on the offensive glass, grabbing 4.6 boards per-40 minutes, third best in the DX Top-100. His big frame, long arms, soft hands and terrific instincts help him out quite a bit here, and he's not afraid to throw his body around and move opponents around en route to loose balls.
It goes on to pretty much say Okafor is a defensive liability. Read more here.
Sixers drafted Guillermo Hernangómez and then traded his rights to the Knicks for two future second rounders.
2. Richaun Holmes, PF
More likely to translate to the next level is his ability as a scorer off the ball. Holmes is a strong offensive rebounder, collecting four offensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Holmes does a terrific job of converting these opportunities, as he's very quick off of his feet and has added some much needed strength to his frame over the years to help him finish through contact, although this is an area where he still has some room to grow. Holmes also moves well off the ball and functions as a good pick and dive threat due to his athleticism, although he sometimes struggles to gather the ball cleanly.
Despite the strong strides Holmes has made over the years on the offensive end, his biggest impact is on the defensive end, where he earned the MAC Defensive Player of the Year award this past season. Standing 6‘10“ with a 7‘1.5“ wingspan and a 9' standing reach, combined with a 34“ no-step vertical, as measured at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament earlier this month, Holmes has the physical tools needed to make a significant impact defensively.
His length, explosiveness, and quickness off his feet, combined with good instincts and timing as a shot blocker, allowed Holmes to block 3.8 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted, tied for the 4th best figure in our database and just below the 4.2 per 40 minutes pace adjusted that Karl-Anthony Towns posted. The level of competition in the MAC, combined with a weak non-conference schedule, has to be factored in here, but Holmes has the physical tools, effort level, and instincts to make an impact on this side of the court.
Holmes other major area of contribution is on the defensive glass, hauling in 7.4 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted, pretty easily the best number in his Bowling Green career. That's once again an above average number for big men in the top-100 in our database. Holmes uses his length well on the defensive glass, doing a good job of boxing out and grabbing the ball at its highest point. He could stand to add more lower body strength, as he can be moved off his spot at times, something that also shows up in his otherwise strong post defense.
3. Arturas Gudaitis, C
They may not keep him.
The Sixers are taking Okafor, and are gonna try and buy some time. Not certain he's gonna stay in Philly.— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) June 25, 2015
But they might.
The Sixers plan to keep Okafor --- for good, sources tell Yahoo. He won't be auctioned in a trade.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 25, 2015
If they do, you can say goodbye to Nerlens Noel or Joel Embiid. And I can't see Hinkie getting rid of Embiid before seeing him play. Then again... Hinkie.
The Lakers drafted D'Angelo Russell second overall. I am still trying to compose myself.
UPDATE: Okafor's agent told the Sixers to pass if he was available. They didn't.
Hearing Okafor's agent told the Sixers to pass on him if he's there. Still think the 76ers would grab him at 3 or field offers for the pick.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) June 25, 2015
UPDATE II: Here are some Okafor highlights from Duke. Guess it won't matter if he's traded...
UPDATE V: Okafor's dad is great.
A video posted by Kyle Scott (@crossingbroad) on Jun 25, 2015 at 5:25pm PDT
UPDATE VI: Knicks fans hate Kristaps Porzingis, who the Knicks took fourth overall.
The reaction inside the Barclays Center to the Knicks taking Porzingis is hysterical. pic.twitter.com/eEid5vuCR5— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) June 26, 2015
UPDATE V: Okafor already Vining for us.
UPDATE IV: "I'm not too familiar with Philadelphia. But I'm excited to get to know the city a little better." ... "Joel Embiid texted me last night and said see you in Philly." -Okafor during his post-draft press conference.
UPDATE VII: Jake Pavorsky, who is killing it at the draft, says the Sixers may be in on Justise Winslow.
The latest: The Sixers drafted Jahlil Okafor third overall, after the Lakers took D'Angelo Russel second.
UPDATE III: NBA agents are apparently telling the Sixers to not draft their clients. LOL.
Well, that was exciting. If you weren't ready for the NBA draft tomorrow night, you should be now. The majority of mock drafts showing the Sixers selecting Russell with the #3 overall pick and I really hope this comes true.
Russell has great play making skills, but has proven he can create opportunities for his teammates with his stellar passing. Not to mention, as the video stated, he is longer and taller than the average NBA point gaurd which is right up Sam Hinkie's alley.
Tomorrow should be fun.
The Sixers are apparently being investigated by the NBA Players Association to see if they have violated the league's collective bargaining agreement, according to RealGM's Shams Charania.
At first, no other details were disclosed, leaving many to wonder what exactly the Sixers could be investigated for. The latest news surrounding the team has been talk about wanting to buy out Dario Saric's contract in Turkey and Joel Embiid's less-than-slow healing process regarding his foot.
Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers says the practice in which they have been offering contracts lately might be the main reason they're being investigated.
This news comes the same day that rumors of the Celtics offering the Sixers Marcus Smart and two first-round draft picks this year in exchange for Nerlens Noel and the third overall pick in this year's draft. Are you kidding me with that?
Maybe the NBAPA should investigate the Celtics for offering such a terrible deal. Hinkie > Ainge
Lots of Sixers talk this week, seeing as the NBA Draft begins Thursday night. Part of that Sixers talk is geared toward D'Angelo Russell, who the Sixers have been linked to since the draft lottery until this past week apparently.
According to Los Angeles Times reporter, Broderick Turner, Russell doesn't want to play for the Sixers.
After that it gets interesting, because Philadelphia is picking third, and no one in the NBA knows what the 76ers are doing and have been doing in recent years under secretive General Manager Sam Hinkie.
After trading point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the 2014 rookie of the year, to Milwaukee this past season, it would appear that the 76ers need a point guard.But the buzz around the NBA is that D'Angelo Russell, a 6-5 point guard from Ohio State whom many see as a lesser Stephen Curry-type, doesn't want to play for the unpredictable 76ers. Russell did work out for the 76ers last week.
So that's where European talent Kristaps Porzingis comes into the picture. Porzingis, a 7-foot power forward who has been compared to Nowitzki, is expected to go third to Philadelphia.
Not so fast, minion. According to persons other than Mr. Turner, Russell would love to play for the Sixers. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com first refuted Turner's report, then Russell went on SportsCenter this morning and said he would love to play for any NBA team and that whoever put that out there [him not wanting to play for the Sixers] is just misdirecting. Misdirecting what, I don't really know. And I'm fairly sure Russell has to say that, but it's nice hearing it from him, I guess? Hey, he doesn't hate us? Yay!
Last week, we told you about a report from DraftCentral.com that said Dario Saric wouldn't be joining the Sixers next season. This morning, ESPN NBA Insider, Chad Ford, confirmed as much as he cited Saric's agent, Jeff Schwartz, as saying the Croatian forward will be staying in Europe for the foreseeable future.
According to Ford, the Sixers attempted a buyout of Saric's contract with his Turkish team, but it was just too much.
Saric is under a three-year contract with Turkish powerhouse Anadolu Efes. The Sixers reportedly have attempted to negotiate a buyout over the past month, but Saric's buyout is too expensive to make the move practical, according to sources.
This isn't exactly breaking news, as it was reported - even before DraftCentral.com's report - that luring Saric over to the Sixers before his three-year deal with Anadolu Efes was up would be near impossible. It's also a shrewd business move, as Saric could negotiate a new contract for more money if he plays out his contract in Turkey and then comes over to the Sixers.
Good try, I guess?
Finally [OK, I'll be honest, I don't really care. But a lot of you do, so there.] someone from the Sixers organization said something about Joel Embiid's foot injury. That someone was Sixers CEO, Scott O'Neil, who basically trumpeted the Sixers release from last week, saying Embiid's foot simply wasn't healing at the rate they had hoped for, and that he did not specifically suffer a setback.
"O'Neil: It's just a little less healing than anticipated. We're trying to figure out, you know, with a 21-year-old, how do you focus wholly on long-term health and wellness and make sure he's OK. So what we're doing now is seeing experts, the best experts from around the world to make sure we make the right decisions for him and his family and do the best. And everyone wants to jump to the worst conclusions, which is, people can jump to whatever conclusions they want."
Brooks: He didn't regress?
O'Neil: No, he's not healing at the same rate as we would like to see."
O'Neil wouldn't confirm Embiid is shut down for any summer league action, but one would think they wouldn't be stupid enough to have him play when he's not 100%. He said they should know in a couple weeks whether Embiid will be shut down for the summer league or not, and I'd be surprised if we see him in any capacity during that time.
O'Neil also was asked about Allen Iverson lobbying for a position in the Sixers front office, and responded with, "Well, we have him in an ambassador role, which may not be enough for him." O'Neil then said to say Iverson isn't a basketball genius would be a stretch, considering his size and how he played the game during his prime, but he didn't want to expand on his thoughts due to the upcoming NBA Draft next week. That sounds like a, "LOL, no," to me.
Larry Brown has now created a phenomenon that will probably not end until Allen Iverson has some title within the Sixers front office. That's because after last night's new uniform unveiling, Iverson told reporters he's a basketball genius.
“I may not know everything about physical talent or anything like that, but I have a sharp mind when it comes to that "look." Being able to look into somebody’s eyes to tell if they are going to be in the foxhole with you tonight or if they are not.
To me, I'm a basketball genius, and I really believe that. So at any capacity I could help this franchise, that is what I am going to do, whatever they ask me to do.”
Iverson admitted he didn't watch college basketball, but would if he worked for a general manager. Seems like a swell guy. An honest, hard-working employee who will make the people better around him by practicing his craft at evaluating talent.
Photo credit: Anadolu Efes 2014/2015 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball Media Day
And he's really going to regret not wearing these uniforms sooner.
When we mentioned last week that the Sixers wanted to lure Dario Saric over to the U.S. earlier than anticipated, nobody actually thought that would happen. Nobody in their right mind, anyway. And, according to a new report from DraftCentral.com, via TheScore, Saric "absolutely won't" join the Sixers this season, and probably will finish out his contract in Europe before coming to the States. Why? Simply because if he played out his contract in Europe, when he arrives here, he wouldn't be bound by the NBA rookie-scale contract.
According to what we're told, it absolutely won't happen before 2016, and could get pushed back to 2017 when he's no longer bound by the NBA rookie-scale contract. Regardless, Hinkie believes in swinging for the fences in search of maximum potential, and Porzingis, with his tremendous athleticism and sweet shooting stroke, certainly has a great deal of that.
For what it's worth, DraftCentral.com has the Sixers taking Kristaps Porzingis in next week's NBA Draft instead of D'Angelo Russell. So there's some ice cold water on your Sixers uniform boner.
Photo credit: @Sixers
The Sixers have just unveiled their new uniforms for the 2015-'16 season, and they are pretty nice looking. the home [white] and away [blue] jerseys have PHILA plastered on front of the jersey with the number underneath, with stars down each side of the jersey and the shorts. Also, each pair of shorts have a 76ers logo on the bottom left of the shorts. And they'll be sporting PHILA TOUGH on what looks like their jerseys [Yup.] Pretty awesome.
The red jersey is likely the alternate jersey with SIXERS plastered on the front, and also includes the stars on each side of the top and bottom. The new uniforms looked very similar to these designs. Here's a quick visual of each jersey.
More after the jump, via @Sixers.
Via Mike Sielski, of Philly.com:
Through the team's part-owner David Blitzer and Iverson's longtime manager Gary Moore, Brown has spent months lobbying the 76ers to hire Iverson as an assistant general manager. It would be a terrible move, treating an NBA franchise as if it were a halfway house where Iverson could put the broken pieces of his life together again. But Brown has pushed it anyway, in the hope of accomplishing an improbable goal: saving Iverson from himself.
"I just wish there was some way that he could be involved," Brown said in a telephone interview Friday. "Just teach him about the organization and let him figure it out, figure out how he can help. He can certainly judge talent. He certainly has people's respect. Kids will listen to anything he said. He's certainly bright as hell.
I think we can all unanimously agree this would be a terrible idea. The last thing this team needs is Dario Saric to finally get over here and have to get cornrows due to a new team mandate.
But in all seriousness, what planet is Larry Brown on right now? Assistant GENERAL MANAGER? Iverson, at most, should start as the assistant to the assistant that sets Sam Hinkie's cryogenic sleep chamber when he needs to upload more information into his robot brain.
I love AI. Absolutely love him. But, Sielski is right. It would be a terrible idea and one that would basically be an excuse to just give Iverson a chance to put his life back together. That's good and all, but you can't do it while jeopardizing the team's overall success [assuming they will at some point have some].
I joked a couple months ago when Iverson himself said he'd love to be a part of the front office. Here's what I said, and yes, I'm about to quote myself:
Iverson was probably the exact opposite type of player that Hinkie would have wanted. He's an analytic nightmare. Sure, he'd score 50 points in a game. But, he'd do it with 2,000 shots and .5 assists. I'm not so sure Hinkie would value his input, like at all.
I wouldn't mind seeing him down on the floor as bench coach, though. He's a great leader and has an aura about him. Young players would gravitate towards him and feed off his energy during the games.
I even went as far as kick-starting his campaign for bench coach, which for some reason, never picked up any traction:
I'll stand by that, too. If the SIxers want to make Iverson a bench coach or some sort of ambassador, I am all for it. Because, for one tiny part of Brown's asinine comments, he was right.
He certainly has people's respect. Kids will listen to anything he said.
No one can argue that. Hell, even Lebron James was quoted as saying he wanted to be Allen Iverson when he grew up.
So, I don't doubt AI can have a positive influence on some of the younger players brought into this franchise. I'm just fairly certain he can't make much of a positive influence anywhere else.
Photo credit: CBS Philly
Yesterday on the 94WIP Afternoon show with Tony Bruno and Jody Mac, Howard Eskin was on with the fellas to talk about the Sixers and Joel Embiid and the fact that Howard basically hates Sam Hinkie. Why, I still don't really know. Here are some things Howard said to show his disdain for the Sixers:
Spike's a big Sixers fan and has been one of the biggest Hinkie advocates in the city, so he wound up coming into the studio and started throwing fire and basically told his father he was afraid of Hinkie because he was running things differently than everyone is used to. It turned into a great back-and-forth segment.
Howard comes on around 3:00 mark, and Spike around the 7:23 mark. Audio includes full segment after the argument.
Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports
Late Saturday evening, the Sixers released this statement on the progress, or lack thereof, of Joel Embiid's foot injury. It turns out it wasn't healing as quick as the team had hoped. And now according to a report from Keith Pompey of the Inquirer, Embiid might have to sit out another season if he decides to get a second surgery.
76ers center Joel Embiid may not be available to play at the start of the NBA season after the latest setback in the healing of his right foot, an NBA source said Sunday. There's also a legitimate chance that the 7-footer could miss the entire season.
Some sources have said the delay was the result of the foot's not healing properly and Embiid's lackluster work ethic. Those sources said the Sixers did not fully disclose the severity of the injury. The Sixers had said publicly that Embiid's healing process was on schedule before their news release Saturday.
And as they were last season, the Sixers are prepared to keep Embiid out as long as possible in order to focus on his long-term health. As a result, there's a possibility that he could miss another entire season.
So, where do we go from here? Do we give Sam Hinkie another year to try to figure this thing out, or do we officially hop off the bandwagon? Certainly the fanbase will be divided over the latest Embiid news, but I am 100% certain when I say I was all for then and am all for now the Sixers drafting Embiid third overall last year. Talent trumps everything, and Embiid was the most talented player coming out of the draft before news of his injury spread.
Of course there's a chance he never plays in the NBA, but the Sixers were in a tough spot with the third overall pick to not pick him. I guarantee Hinkie went over his medical records and decided he was worth the risk, and he was probably right. Everybody knew he was an injury risk coming into the NBA based off that report before the draft. Everybody knew the same injury curtailed careers in the NBA. But that shouldn't matter. The risk is always worth it. I'll never understand why people would settle for being mediocre just because that isn't on the same level as suck, but the people who harp on the drafting of Embiid look ridiculous. There's no, "I told you so," bullshit going on, because nobody can predict the future.
And for what it's worth, all the local reporters are getting conflicting information regarding whether or not Embiid will need a second surgery. So it's hard to really assume anything at this point.
Late Saturday night, on a night where Taylor Swift is captivating the Delaware Valley by selling out Lincoln Financial Field for the second night in a row, the Sixers have come along to completely derail any good feels we may have been feeling at the moment. That's because, according to a statement from the team, Joel Embiid's foot injury isn't healing as quickly as they had hoped.
Here's the Sixers statement, via Jason Wolf:
Like Eliot Shorr-Parks pointed out, it doesn't say he suffered a setback, which might mean something. But it's all semantics at this point. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, who has climbed to God of NBA News status, reports league sources told him it was a setback. And, well, Shorr-Parks also pointed out that the injury Embiid was suffering from was the worst for a man of his size and position.
So... what now? Could this change the Sixers' plans for the draft? Possible. I doubt it, though. Hinkie's leash might be a little bit tighter now.
Oh, man. I really wanted to believe A.I. was feeling some liquid courage during his "Practice" rant in 2002, but it seems like that wasn't the case. At least, according to Larry Brown.
Last week, Kent Babb, author of Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson, was on WIP talking about his book, which was released early last week. In that interview, he intimated that Larry Brown told him Iverson was drunk during his "Practice" press conference. They begin talking about the press conference around the 9:00 mark audio of the interview via WIP, complemented by a transcript below.
“There was a big shouting match out in the parking lot. ‘Are you gonna trade me?’ No. You promise? Yes.’ Then hug it out. Larry Brown told me that he disappeared and came back, was slurring, red eyes, all this stuff."
“If you look at the video now, especially knowing it, you could tell. And I never knew, I wouldn’t have suspected that thought I guess it makes some sense. All these people who were in the room and in the facility that day, to them, it was a foregone conclusion that he’d gone and thrown back a few pops in the last three or four hours before that press conference. Because there was kind of this opening of time and Larry Brown believes he went to the bar. A lot of other people within the organization and the media believe that he would have gotten himself out of that kind of train wreck of a press conference, had he not had a little bit of a buzz going.”
Brown spoke to The Big Lead and 100% denied saying Iverson was slurring his words or had red eyes.
“That’s a total lie!” Brown told The Big Lead. “I’ve told this story to over 100 people and said it in many interviews. Allen was supposed to meet me in my office for exit interviews at 3 pm. The clock hit 3, he didn’t show up, so I go down to my car to leave. And Allen pulls up. And he’s mad at me that I’m leaving. We didn’t have a shouting match, but we had a discussion. My tone wasn’t off the charts.”
“But all he wanted me to do was tell him he wasn’t being traded. I did that. And then I never saw him again that day. So I don’t know where the ‘red eyes’ and ‘slurring’ comes from. I never said he was drunk when we spoke in the parking lot.”
The Big Lead then reached out to Babb, who basically said Larry was right.
But Babb didn’t actually write that in the book, he just mentioned it on the radio. When contacted by The Big Lead this week, Babb, who writes for the Washington Post, admitted he botched the radio interview. “I misspoke on the radio show. I just blew that.”
However, according to Babb, Brown still thinks Iverson was drinking that day.
There's one issue where Brown and Babb don't agree on, and that's whether Brown made a hand gesture in the form of drinking from a bottle to Babb, which Brown also refutes. Babb insists it happened. WHAT NEXT?
D'Angelo Russell canceled this weekend's visit and workout for the #Sixers, according to multiple sources.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) June 12, 2015
Philadelphia twitter right now:
Everybody needs to calm down a little bit. This cancellation could mean any number of things and they don't all have to be bad. D'Angelo Russell cancelled his meeting with the Sixers. So, what? I'm not worried about it. He probably has a perfectly good reason for it, which I'm sure will be made public sooner than later. For all we know this could be just a reschedule and all will be well.
...or the Lakers told him they are drafting him, so he's not wasting his time.
Ok, maybe I'm a little worried.
UPDATE: Russell's sick. Phew. Or... sick of the Sixers. DAMN IT.
Photo credit: Matt Slocum/AP
Philadelphia in talks to lure overseas asset Dario Saric to U.S., I'm told. He is under contract and Turks love him.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) June 10, 2015
For those who don't follow overseas basketball, Dario Saric's team Anadolu Efes is currently playing in the Turkish League Finals. Saric has improved his game greatly as the season has progressed and has become one of the best players on that team. So, it's not surprising [if this report is true] that Hinkie and the Sixers would love to somehow get Saric to Philly to start playing for the team that drafted him in 2014.
Now before everyone gets their hopes up, this is going to be a very difficult move to pull off. There are a lot of road blocks in the way of getting Dario Saric to come state side for this upcoming season to play for the Sixers.
Shamus Clancy and the guys over at LibertyBallers.com had a great piece on what those obstacles may be:
1. Dario Saric is currently signed with Anadolu Efes through the 2016-17 season. He has an opt-out clause he can enact before that final season in the summer of 2016. That means that Saric is still contractually Efes' players regardless of the Sixers' intentions at the moment, and it means that a new buyout would need to drawn up between the three parties. Efes could also simply deny the Sixers' attempts at such a buyout, as he's been their best player during the team's run to the TBL Finals, and they may want to retain him for at least one more season.
2. According to cap guru Larry Coon's CBA FAQ, the Sixers would only be able to contribute $625,000 towards whatever the price of Saric's buyout would be during the 2015-16 season, if one were to be negotiated and agreed upon. Our own Derek Bodner estimates that number would be at least $2,000,000.
3. The rest of the money would have to come from Saric himself. When there were talks of Saric being unhappy with his role with Efes earlier this season, Bodner wrote the following regarding how Saric would fund such a transfer with his own NBA salary (numbers updated for the 2015-16 season):
For the 12th pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the NBA slots a first year salary of $1,803,400. 120% of that gives a max that they can allocate towards Saric as $2,164,080, of which Saric must receive $1,442,720 (80% of $1,803,400). This means that the Sixers can give Saric another ~$721k towards a buyout. Since signing bonuses are based off of the percentage of guaranteed salary, and first round picks have the first two seasons fully guaranteed, a similar bonus can be done for year two of Saric's contract. Giving the Sixers the ability to contribute $625k towards Saric's buyout, and also allowing Saric to get up to ~$1.5 million of his guaranteed salary up front, which he can use towards the buyout.
It's not too financially prudent of Saric to make this move immediately, but the benefit of him coming over this summer as opposed to 2016 would be him getting off his rookie deal faster and then securing a heftier second contract in a league with an escalating salary cap sooner.
As you can tell, there are a lot more factors going against Saric coming over early. But, I would have to believe if Hinkie and the Sixers truly want him here now, they'll find a way to get him.
The potential of having Noel, Embiid, Saric, and [insert 2015 #3 pick here] on the floor next season is not only very enticing to fans, but could also be very enticing to some bigger name free agents who want to play with a young and talented team that should be on the rise.
Like I said, I won't hold my breath, but I'd really love to see the Croatian Sensation in a Sixers uniform next year.
In a rather inquisitive move, the Sixers have decided to stop referring to the Wells Fargo Center by name and will now only refer to it as The Center.
No, not The Center for kids who don't know what to believe in.
According to this article from the Associated Press, the Sixers have chosen to not to use the Wells Fargo name because the bank isn't keen on becoming a corporate partner of the team. And Joshua Harris holds grudges like whoa.
This season, the 76ers started referring to the 20,000-seat arena simply as The Center.
Some fans thought that was just a marketing idea to develop a catchy nickname for the arena instead of referring to the corporate title.
But the Sixers started sending press releases stating events would be held "at the Sixers' home arena."
A June 9 release touting auditions for a Sixers dance team gives the full address for the arena but omits the name.
Chris Heck, chief revenue officer of the 76ers, said the team values its partners and tries to maximize its relationships.
"We also continue to enjoy our relationship with Comcast Spectacor as tenants at a world-class arena, but that particular bank is currently not a sponsor of the Philadelphia 76ers," Heck said.
Philly Mag spoke with a Wells Fargo representative, who said, "We don’t know why the 76ers are not using the venue’s full name in their communications and would defer to their front office to address that with you."
The rep told Philly Mag that Wells Fargo was a previous sponsor of the Sixers, but are not a sponsor currently.
Note: Video and audio links included after the jump.
For the second Friday in a row, Stephen A. Smith found himself a athlete. This time, former MVP, Allen Iverson, was the center of the discussion. Why? Because in this book released earlier this week, the story of the practice rant was told, and it included an alcohol-impaired Iverson, allegedly.
Today, Iverson denied that accusation, through the ESPN platform with Stephen A.
"I've known Allen Iverson for 19 years," Smith said. "Allen Iverson and I speak every week. We spoke this morning for 45 minutes. I might know a thing or two about basketball. I might know a thing or two about a lot of things. I know a hell of a lot more about Allen Iverson and I challenge any journalist in America to tell you that they know him better than I do."
"This is a flat-out lie. Allen Iverson was not drunk the day he had that press conference about practice."
Stephen A. goes on to say Iverson told him to not tell him whoever it was that leaked that information because he seemingly thinks it's someone from his "inner circle."
Enter Skip Bayless with a counterpunch. "I don't know Allen Iverson, so I'm coming from a different viewpoint here. ... Not once as I watched [the press conference] did I ever think Allen was impaired while he was speaking. I didn't hear slurred speech, so to your point, I get that. From my perspective, he didn't seem irrational. He seemed like he knew exactly what he wanted to drive on. His point was that 'we're talking about practice'."
Oh, there's more? Go ahead, Skip. "To be fair, to be objective about this, I don't know the writer, Kent Babb. To be fair, his sources were not unnamed here. They were not anonymous here. He is saying that Larry Brown and Pat Croce indicated to him that Allen had been drinking before this press conference. So maybe we need to hear from them at some point how credibly they felt like they were quoted in this book."
Stephen A. began a retort before the video gets cut off at "I find that very, very difficult to believe, and here's why." Your move, Stephen Allen Smiverson. All this... from this.
Video via ESPN and audio from Smith's SiriusXM show after the jump.
Allen Iverson was drunk at the 2002 news conference in which he repeated the phrase "we're talking about practice" 22 times, according to a book published this week.
Journalist Kent Babb interviewed former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce, former coach Larry Brown and former general manager Billy King, among others, about the rambling rant for Babb's book "Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson."
According to the book, King suggested that Iverson speak to reporters four days after theCeltics had eliminated the Sixers in the first round of the 2002 Eastern Conference playoffs. The news conference came on the heels of Iverson showing up late for a meeting with Brown, then arguing with Brown about the player's future in the parking lot of the team facility. According to the book, Brown had said days earlier that any Sixer could be traded, and Iverson asked if he was on the block. Brown said no.
Before the news conference, King said he could tell that something was off about Iverson, but "if we thought that he was drinking or whatever, we'd have never done it."
Wrote Babb: "Some were entertained, and others watched the train wreck unfold, knowing from experience that Iverson was drunk."
King tried to think of a way to stop the press conference, the book said, while Croce, watching on television, said he suspected Iverson was drunk and asked his wife to shut off the TV.
John Smallwood, a Daily News columnist who was in attendance, was also quoted as saying: "He was lit. Had he been sober, he would have been able to get myself out of that. He never would've gone down that path."
Well, that's an interesting tidbit that had been left out for quite some time, huh? The fact that Allen Iverson was "lit", as John Smallwood so eloquently put it, during his, We talkin' about practice, rant.
I don't necessarily blame Iverson either. Should he maybe have waited until after his press conference to enjoy some adult beverages? Probably. Sometimes you have to just realize that alcohol isn't The Answer [see what I did there?]
But, it has already been said that Iverson had lost a very good friend of his and he was clearly upset about it. Not to mention, the main purpose of the press conference was about the possibility of AI being traded. I'd probably be upset about that too.
I'm not really sure how the whole being drunk thing was overlooked in the Showtime documentary that just aired, but that's neither here nor there. The legend of Allen Iverson, whether it be good or bad, continues to grow in Philadelphia.
Brett Brown apparently has the second highest chance of getting canned next season, according to this site.
MyTopSportsbooks.com has the Sixers coach at 3/1 odds to be fired during the 2015-2016 NBA season, behind Knicks coach Derek Fisher (1/1). Apparently they're not seeing the potential return of Joel Embiid from injury, the Sixers third overall draft pick in June, Nerlens Noel and new uniforms as making a big difference in wins and losses next season.
Hard to take this with any grain of salt, considering I can't find any other betting site with the same odds, or odds even listed for NBA coach firings next season. Brown shouldn't be expected to win this upcoming season, anyway. I don't anticipate Hinkie expecting the team to contend this year, but showing signs of improvement will be paramount. Should the GM continue to trade away Brown's talent, I'm not sure Brown won't just quit.
A video posted by Dez Wells (@dezwells_) on May 23, 2015 at 6:29pm PDT
Look, I'm not here to make fun of anyone's golf swing. Hitting a golf ball is so much harder to do than people who have never played golf would probably guess. I also wouldn't be surprised if that was his first time swinging a golf club in his life.
What's important here is, this should only make the Sixers want to draft D'Angelo Russell more. He'll be so commited to winning simply because he'll have nothing to look forward to when the basketball season ends. People don't set up tee times when they can't hit a golf ball more than seven inches.
Also, I seem to remember another fantastic former Sixer with this little issue.
That's right. Charles Barkley.
He has one of the worst golf swings in the history of mankind and he did just fine for himself. He was in Space Jam for crying out loud.
Russell at #3. Let's do it, Hinkie.
Whether it involves drafting Russell or not, see what the Sixers do with the No. 3 pick at the NBA Draft in person. Hipmunk.com is any NBA fan’s No. 1 travel resource, with flights to Brooklyn through most major airline carriers, including Brooklyn hotels starting from $42 near the Barclays Center.
I'm wondering just how much Allen Iverson will pocket after his documentary, "Iverson," was released a couple weeks ago.
A.I.'s financial troubles are well-documented throughout his career and post-career, and it's going to get even more interesting now that a new book, "Not a Game" penned by Washington Post's Kent Babb illustrates how far Iverson had to go to try to make ends meet, including his wife Tawanna's attempts at fixing what Iverson broke [no pun intended.]
He whispered into the telephone in 2011, not knowing Tawanna was listening from around the corner. Iverson was asking Samuel Dalembert, a friend and former Sixers teammate, for money. Just a little help to get him through a tough time, Iverson told his friend, until his next signing bonus.
On April 14, 2011, Tawanna entered Regal Collection, a jewelry store in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead district, and unveiled much of her jewelry collection. Four rings, including her diamond eternity band, hit the store’s showcase, along with an 8.47-carat diamond baguette, a 5.27-carat radiant-cut loose yellow diamond, and a diamond choker necklace that Iverson had given her as a gift. Seven sets of earrings and eight watches also were among the forty-two pieces, all of which Tawanna asked the store to sell on consignment.
She left with a $40,000 deposit and the hope that thousands more would follow, depending on which items sold and when. She had already visited a pawnshop to unload more jewelry and several furs, trying to get a tourniquet on the way her husband’s extravagant spending was affecting her family. Already they faced significant debt and the monthly expenses her family had grown accustomed to. By then Tawanna had moved out of the family home in northwest Atlanta, taking the children with her. And it wasn’t as if her own tastes had suddenly grown conservative; she too had become addicted to spending and the highest-end luxuries, and she had leased a seven-bedroom, twelve-bathroom house in Suwanee, Georgia, complete with limestone columns, reclaimed barn wood floors, multiple verandas — and a monthly rent of $5,700.
Once Tawanna’s payments for two of the kids’ private school tuition had cleared, along with the family’s $15,178 mortgage payment, Iverson’s shopping spree through Buckhead left too little in the account to pay the remaining bills. Tawanna’s rent check bounced, and so did her payment to Georgia Power, which as a result decreed that it would no longer accept Tawanna’s personal checks. To pay the family’s monthly electric bill, she would now have to send a money order or cashier’s check.
Clever accounting had by then become common for Tawanna, whom, despite no schooling in finance or money management, Iverson had put in charge of the family’s expenses nearly a decade earlier. She handled all of Iverson’s finances, including after they had separated, and paid insurance on fourteen cars — five of which belonged to Iverson, two to herself, and the rest to various friends and family members whom Iverson supported. In all, upward of $12,000 per month in car insurance was billed to Tawanna’s AmEx. She covered a $25,000 gambling debt Iverson never got around to paying to Caesars Palace, $50,000 to reimburse the family’s personal assistant for various expenses, and tens of thousands each month to pay Iverson’s security detail and the family’s household staff, some of whom were full-time employees. Tawanna often maintained a defensive posture in case of surprises: $300,000 in attorney fees from a 2002 incident in which Iverson chased Tawanna around Philadelphia with a pistol in his waistband; $260,000 more to settle a judgment after one of Iverson’s security guards in 2005 battered a man at a nightclub in Washington, D.C., leaving him with a concussion, a perforated eardrum, and a damaged right eye; more attorney fees when Iverson was named in lawsuits while he played for the Detroit Pistons and then for a team in Turkey. Iverson’s fortune had, since he entered the NBA in 1996, suffered a million cuts of varying depth, just like these — a blend of financial assistance for friends and family, investments that never got off the ground, and just plain irresponsibility — and now his accounts were hemorrhaging. No one had bothered to teach Iverson how to manage money, and he simply never considered his fortune would run out. But even part of his nest egg, the game-used memorabilia he had wisely hoarded, had gone to waste: Many of the treasures had been sold at auction after Iverson forgot to pay the storage bill. . . .
Of course, there are first-hand accounts of what Iverson did with the money he had from former teammates, so it's hard to feel bad for the guy. Or, is it easy to feel bad for him because nobody actually put their foot down to help him and force him to change his lifestyle?
The New York Daily News supplied that snippet of Babb's book, and you can read more of it here.