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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sights from 76ers 2014 Media Day

The 76ers held their 2014 Media Day at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday afternoon in preparationfor the start of the ever-approaching season. The team's roster was there in full effect, and was GM Sam Hinkie who hosted questions from media members for the better part of an hour. 

Despite the certain struggle that awaits them, the players are ready, and excited for the season to start. 

Check out some behind-the-scenes photographs, taken by yours truly, after the jump. More in-depth analysis to follow. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

LeBron James reveals that he likely would have stayed with the Heat had they three-peated

As if losing the NBA Finals in five games to the obviously superior Spurs wasn't bad enough for the Miami Heat, it turns out that losing that series also cost the organization its' most prized possession.

Image from nba.com
In a recent interview with CNN, James admitted that had the Heat pulled off the ever-elusive three-peat, he likely would have stayed in South Beach.

"It's a greater chance for sure," he replied when asked if a third-straight Title would have kept him in Miami.

"I mean, it would be hard to leave back-to-back-to-back championships and try to go for four."

James wouldn't go as far as to guarantee that a third title would have kept him in situated south however.

"You can't really live and think of what may have happened. For me, I've always been a person to kind of live in the moment."

James' was a responsible response, as it probably would have been much difficult to leave a team still defending the title.

LeBron's recent revelation just goes to show how a single series can really alter the league's landscape.

Who starts for the Sixers in 2014-15?

Check out the original article on Philly.com here.
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Although he insists that it is too early to tell exactly who will start for the Sixers on opening night, coach Brett Brown has given some good insight as to how he sees his lineup looking come the season’s start.

Brown informed media members on Thursday that reigning Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, would not be a full participant at the team’s training camp, and his exact return date is not yet known. In his absence, Brown plans to put the ball in Tony Wroten’s hands. Wroten will serve as the Sixers’ starting point guard in the preseason, and the duties will likely carry over to the regular season if Carter-Williams is still not good to go.

“I’m going to try to cultivate him,” Brown said about Wroten, sharing that he sees him as the backup point guard. Primarily playing point should improve Wroten’s on-ball abilities.

Okay, so the point guard position seems somewhat set, but what will the rest of the lineup look like on opening night?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nerlens Noel to have no playing time restrictions in his rookie season

Check out the original article from Philly.com, here.
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After a season on the sidelines, Nerlens Noel will finally make his NBA debut on opening night for the Sixers this season. The return is a long-time coming for Noel, who hasn’t been able to play in an actual game since February 12, 2013, when he tore his ACL as a member of the Kentucky Wildcats.
The injury, and the work of the resulting recovery, caused the once-projected top pick to slide down the draft board in 2013, slipping to sixth where the Sixers were able to make moves to acquire him.

Noel has spent the past 15 months rehabbing, adding some strength, and working on various aspects of his game in preparation for his return. Although he admittedly could have played toward the end of last season, the Sixers kept him shelved, seeing no real reason to bring him back. Noel played solidly in summer league, which represented his first taste of NBA action, but also sparingly, as he sat several games, not wanting to push his recently repaired knee.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

LeBron James attends Dwayne Wade's wedding

Even though they are no longer teammates, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade didn't become off-court enemies overnight, either. At Wade's wedding recently, the duo simply squashed any speculation, or hope, that LeBron's departure from Miami would rub Wade the wrong way and ignite a new-found rivalry between the two.

James was in attendance at the wedding, and his presence (in a hat) was captured in a photograph posted to Wade's Instagram account.
The accompanying caption reads as follows: 

     This picture was taken on our wedding day an hour b4 I took that walkout to become as one with my beautiful bride @gabunion. A real brotherhood goes deeper then money,rumors,sports,fame and so on. So thanks to my brothers @kevinhart4real@kingjames @cp3 and @ud40 @chrisbosh (who is not pictured here in this photo) for coming to share this moment with me. #yalllknowkevhaduslaughing #theconvoswehadwasntforeveryone #brothers #weliveindifferentcitiesbutitsalwayslovewhenwegettogether

While they won't be winning more rings together on the court, it seems safe to say that the pair will remain tight off of it. Too bad, one less scintillating story-line for the league this season. 

Journalistic enabling of Sam Hinkie's Sixers

I have been called a lot of things as a writer (Philly.com comments are notoriously tough, and apparently have something against hyphenated names), but today represented the first time I was labeled as an enabler (I think). 

In my inbox waiting for me this morning was a message entitled: 'Journalistic enabling', which went on to detail how myself and my fellow Philadelphia media members need to stop painting what the author of the e-mail described as 'Sam Hinkie's wet dream' positively. 

"The journalistic enabling of Hinkie's wet dream must stop. Tanking games is losing on purpose," the message began. 

After reading just those first two sentences it became exceedingly clear that the particular reader is not so supportive of the Sixers' presently-employed delayed-gratification approach. While many in the Philadelphia fan-base have been accepting of, and even patient with, the team's roster rebuild, some still feel that they are being short-changed by the team. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Allen Iverson draft night breakdown


Usher burns a pair of Jordans on stage

This video is disturbing for a couple reasons. First of all, there are people all over the world who cannot afford a pair of shoes to cover and protect their feet, let alone a comfortable, stylish, and historic pair of Jordans.

Second, it stings any true sneakerhead to see such a nice, crisp pair of J's (Oreo V's in this case) be torched.

Think Usher may have taken the whole 'let it burn' thing a little too far this time.




The many styles of Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan is excellence on a basketball court. His sustained success at the game's highest level is awe-inspiring, and upon retirement, he will immediately go down as one of the game's greats.

Just like his on-court game, off-court, Tim is not known for his flashiness. In other words, he isn't the league's most fashion-forward player. While many of his peers use post-game press conferences as a runway for fresh, and sometimes outlandish styles, Duncan has always kept it simple, preferring big, baggy, button-downs, and equally baggy jeans.

Someone from rollingout.com spent time compiling the below image of several of Duncan's post-game outfits, so the least I can do is share it.


This just goes to show that when you have multiple NBA titles to your name, you can wear pretty much whatever the hell you want. Just look at Michael Jordan:

Image from http://wtfismikewearing.tumblr.com/

2014-15 all about development for the 76ers

Check out the original article from Philly.com, here.
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It is difficult for a fan base to head into the start of a fresh season knowing that their team is not capable of contention. After all, contention is a team’s top priority, and generally, after a down year, organizations make moves aimed at immediate improvement. However, after a 19-63 campaign that included a 26-game losing streak last season, the Sixers head into 2014-15 not with a vastly improved, or more talented team, but rather with one expected to be equally bad, or worse.

The departure of all of the team’s established veterans, coupled with the lack of immediate impact players added through the draft and free agency, has some publications predicting that this year’s incarnation of the Sixers will be the league’s worst all-time team.

It is too early to tag the team as historically futile, as the roster is full of young talent whose development could lead to some moderate on-court success this season, but still, a struggle is ensured. Yes, the Sixers are all but guaranteed to be out of the playoff picture again, but for the franchise and fan base alike, the success of the Sixers’ season in 2014-15 won’t be based on the win-loss column, but rather by the development displayed on the court.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tony Wroten wants the 76ers to wear some throwback jerseys

Check out the original article from Philly.com, here.
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With two NBA titles to their name since they moved to Philadelphia and multiple other Finals appearances, the Sixers have history. In the face of what is set to be another struggle of a season for the Sixers, third-year guard Tony Wroten wants to re-live some of that history in the form of throwback uniforms. 
Image from Hoop76.com 

In an Instragram post earlier this week, Wroten posted a collage of photos of Philadelphia icon Allen Iverson wearing various Sixers uniforms. Under the post, Wroten wrote:

Man, we need to start wearing some Sixers throwbacks next year. We have [some] cold ones. #Sixers_Throwbacks #Allen_Iverson #Many_More

The Sixers’ uniform as currently constructed was adopted in 2008, shortly after the original departure of Iverson. The team’s previous uniform, which is the one Wroten references in the post, debuted in 1998 and featured a modern-looking logo that incorporated a star and a basketball. This jersey-style became synonymous with Iverson, and is thus a fan favorite.

Throwback jerseys are a good way to pay homage to history. The Sixers actual on-court product may leave a bit to be desired from the fan base this season, but their uniforms don’t have to. In addition to a uniform from the ‘Allen Iverson era’, the uniform with the cascading stars from the Charles Barkley/Shawn Bradley era is another one the team should bring back. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ready for NBA 2K15

I grew up as an avid basketball fan and video game player. Natuarally, my favorite games were always basketball-related, although I dabbled in quite a few other types of games. I would play basically any sports game, first-person shooter, or cartoonist adventure game (what's up, Crash).

The restriction of my time as I got older coupled with the ever-increasing price of consoles and games limited the number of games I would play/buy. Through thick and thin however, the NBA 2K series, which debuted back in the early 2000s' and was first big on Dreamcast (that system was underrated) has remained my favorite. Its' control, graphics, game-play, and realism set it apart, and along with the Call of Duty series, it remains the only game I play consistently.

With that being said, a new NBA season is right around the corner, and with so much offseason action as far as players changing teams and new rookies being signed, the video game playing-basketball fan in me is ready for the newest rendition of the 2K series, NBA 2K15.

The game drops on October 7th, and in the meantime, I'm continuing to play 2K14 online, trying to stay sharp for the new release. Think the Warriors will be my go-to team this year.

2K collection 

Steph Curry/John Legend 2K player of the game mix

Beating an opponent online in NBA 2K is a great feeling, trumped only when you put on an impressive performance with Steph Curry that is recapped over a fittingly low, smooth John Legend track. 

Check out the mix below (Don't mind the poor video quality, it is still more difficult than it should be to get data from Playstation-to-computer): 


video

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Joel Embiid to Michael Carter-Williams: "I'm not taking showers with you anymore"

Image from rantsports.com
Joel Embiid is entertaining. In the months since his selection by the Sixers, Embiid has turned into a popular internet personality, due to the hilarity, and frequency of his Tweets.

From courting Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, to LeBron James, to pioneering his #weallfromAfrica trend, or his friendly reminders that *girls* aren't loyal, Embiid has not been social media shy.

Recently, Embiid got engaged in a Twitter conversation with his teammate, and reining Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams. The seven-foot center had some, um, interesting news for his point guard.
In response to a Tweet from MC-W that said "In time they will see.. I don't talk, I bring the action," Embiid informed Carter-Williams that he would no longer be taking showers with him.

I guess Embiid doesn't want any of that action, just hope it doesn't negatively affect team togetherness. #togetherwebuild

Sacremento Kings to retire Peja Stojakovic's number

With all the great players that graced NBA courts throughout the late '90's and early 2000's, Peja Stojakovic is one name that often gets overlooked, but damn did Peja produce in his prime. He is Sacremento's second leading scorer all-time, behind only the recently hall-of-fame enshrined Mitch Richmond, and he finished fourth in MVP voting in 2004.

Stojakovic was a central piece to the consistently contending (and exciting) Kings teams of the early 2000's, and along with Chris Webber and Mike Bibby, Peja helped transform Sacremento into one of the NBA's top teams for a time.

Image from nba.com
Fittingly, the Kings have decided to retire Stojakovic's historic number 16 this season, making his the 11th jersey retired by the franchise. The others?:

1 – Tiny Archibald
2 – Mitch Richmond
4 – Chris Webber                               
6 – The fans
11 – Bob Davies
12 – Maurice Stokes
14 – Oscar Robertson
21 – Vlade Divac
27 – Jack Twyman
44 – Sam Lacey

From the Kings: 

"The Sacramento Kings announced today that the #16 jersey of three-time NBA All-Star and NBA Champion Peja Stojakovic will be retired on December 16, when the Kings host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Sleep Train Arena. During his eight seasons in Sacramento, the fan-favorite small forward played more games for the Kings than any player during the Sacramento era and had an immeasurable impact on the community both on and off the court.

“Peja Stojakovic was instrumental in putting Sacramento on the map on a global scale,” said Kings Owner Vivek Ranadiv√©. “As one of only a select group of Serbian players in the NBA, Peja helped carve out a place for basketball players from all over the world. Recognizing his leadership will be a special moment for fans and the entire Kings organization, as well as a great reminder of the kind of success we are building in Sacramento.”

The jersey retirement is a nice gesture for Stojakovic, who had one of the quickest, and deadliest releases in the league, and was a deadly weapon in early versions of NBA 2K. Congrats, Peja. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

NBA jersey gold champion tag preview

The 76ers, and every other team that has won an NBA title, will be getting a jersey addition at the start of the season.

Title-takers will get a gold tab on the back of their jerseys signifying past championship accomplishments. The tabs feature a small image of the Larry O'Brien trophy followed by the number of times a team has won the title.


Embedded image permalink
Image via the 76ers. 


The above image is what the 76ers' jersey tab will look like, with the 3x representing championships won in 1955, 1967, and 1983. The franchise was located in Syracuse in 1955, and was known as the Nationals. So the Sixers, as currently named, have only taken home two titles.

These patches make an interesting addition to NBA uniformage, as they serve as kind of a cool historical tie-in. They're definitely better than the inevitable ads that will soon be taking up NBA uniform space.  Enjoy add-free jerseys. with gold championship tags, while they last.

Kevin Durant pays tribute to Allen Iverson

Check out the original article from Philly.com here.
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Even in retirement, Allen Iverson’s influence lives on.

Iverson, an 11-time all-star, was one of basketball’s most influential players, both on and off the court, as his style and attitude made him an endearing enigma.

Many of the game’s greatest, past and present, have acknowledged Iverson’s import and impact both on them individually, and on the game as a whole. Oklahoma City superstar Kevin Durant is the latest to join the list in paying homage to the man known simply as ‘The Answer.’

Kevin Durant (left) and Allen Iverson (Image from Kevin Durant´s Instagram account).
Image from Kevin Durant's Instagram account
Chuck too real,” Durant wrote in an Instagram post below a photo of himself and Iverson. (Chuck refers to Iverson’s nickname of ‘Bubba Chuck’).

He changed the way we ball. He changed the culture of ball. He is pound for pound the best. He paved the way. I can go on and on. But he’s a legend and I’m just walking the path he created.”
High praise from a man many consider to be the second best basketball player on the planet, but such is the level of respect for A.I., whose style has been incorporated into the games of many of today’s top talents, including Durant.

A plethora of other players have expressed similar sentiments about Iverson’s influence over the years, and he continues to be remembered for what he brought to the court. The mark he made on the game and its surrounding culture stands strong even in retirement. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

90's NBA players with signature shoes

With the arrival of his own Adidas shoe in October, John Wall becomes the newest current NBA star to have his own signature shoe, joining LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and..

Sure, there's a few more players out there with signature shoes (Derrick Rose, Dwayne Wade), but players with their own lines are few and far between. The shoes of players that do have their own line are largely uninspiring. Nike's Durant, LeBrons, and Kobes while nice, all appear somewhat similar, and the lines in general don't stick out on shelves and in memory banks like the way kicks from yesteryear do.

Back in, what to me was the golden era of NBA basketball - the '90's, a whole plethora of players had their own signature shoe. Let's look at a list:

Michael Jordan (Air Jordan)
Scottie Pippen (Nike Air Pippen)
Karl Malone (LA Gear & Apex, both terrible)
Charles Barkley (Nike Air Barkley)
Grant Hill (Fila 'The Hill')  
Kobe Bryant (Adidas Crazy 8)
Stephon Marbury (And 1 Marbury)
Allen Iverson (Reebok The Question/Answer)
Patrick Ewing (Ewing Athletics)
Hakeem Olajuwon (Spalding 'The Dream')
Shaquille O'Neal (Reebok)
John Wallace (Karl Kani -- Really.)
Tim Hardaway (Nike Air Bakin)
Shawn Kemp (Reebok)
Anfernee Hardaway (Nike Air Penny)
Jason Kidd (Nike Air Zoom Flight 5)
Gary Payton (Nike 'The Glove')
Chris Webber (Nike Air Max CW)
Jerry Stackhouse (Fila)
Larry Johnson (Converse)
Latrell Spreewell (Converse)
Dikembe Mutombo (Adidas Mutombo)
Clyde Drexler (Avia)

This list may be incomplete, as I pulled these players, and their signature shoes, from the top of my head. It seems safe to say that many more players had their own signature lines in the 1990's, and many of the shoes seemed much more unique, distinct, and for lack of a better word, cooler, than those produced today. The originality of such shoes, and their connection to the great, superstar-studded play of the 1990's, could go a long way towards explaining the popularity of retro sneakers today.

More brands were in on the action back then as well. Today's NBA shoe selections is dominated by Nike and Adidas, with some Reebok and Converse, and a couple pairs of Li-Nings sprinkled in. The above list contains 10 separate brands that, at least for a time, produced some pretty prominent basketball kicks.

Maybe, as a kid who grew up on 90's hip-hop and basketball sneakers, I am turning into a curmudgeon who thinks that my generation's shit was the best, just because it was my generation's shit. If that's the case, so be it, because I miss the variety, and creativity of 1990's NBA signature shoes. I guess this would explain why my kick closet is full of retro Jordans, Pennys, and Pippens.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

76ers predicted to be worst NBA team of all time

Check out the original article from Philly.com, here.
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USA Today began rolling out their ‘NBA Watchability Rankings’ for 2014-15 this week, and it’s safe to say that they don’t have very high expectations for the Sixers this season.

The publication ranked Philadelphia’s franchise as the 30th, or least watchable team in the league for the upcoming season, citing their roster rebuild as the primary reason:

“The 76ers have dismantled their roster at a perhaps unprecedented rate, and while the future might be bright, the present has them 30th.”

Not only were the Sixers listed as least watchable, the publication also predicts that the Sixers will set the NBA’s all-time futility mark, breaking their own 9-73 mark set in the 1972-73 season. They’re predicted to finish 8-74, a single game worse than their early ‘70’s counterparts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

76ers lack veteran leadership

Check out the original article from Philly.com here.
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Over the past fifteen months the SIxers have transformed from a middling team strapped with some chunky contracts for sub-star players to an extremely young team with copious cap space and financial flexibility. Outside of a couple older outliers, the team’s lineup could pass as a college roster, and the team’s highest paid player, Jason Richardson, who also happens to be its oldest, will make only about a quarter of what the league’s highest paid players will make this season.

The Sixers’ youth movement is in full effect. The team can’t contend as currently constructed, but with a roster full of budding young talent, the pieces are falling into place. The team has a productive young point guard in the reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, a frontcourt of the future in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, and a few promising perimeter players including K.J. McDaniels, Hollis Thompson, and Jordan McRae. The young roster, emphasis on young, is rounding out well. One area where Sam Hinkie’s Sixers are clearly lacking however is in the veteran leadership department.

While the Sixers struggled their way through last season, the young players had some more experienced players to look to for locker room leadership. While the players on that roster may not have been the league’s cream of the crop, they at least had some experience living the lifestyle and dealing with the daily demands of being an NBA athlete. Players like Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, although fully frustrating on the court, and especially Thaddeus Young, were there to help show the young guys how to handle a loss, or to tell them to maybe not stay out until 4 a.m. drinking the night between back-to-backs.

All those aforementioned players looked to for locker room leadership are now gone from the franchise, scattered across the league’s landscape, traded for some semi-attractive assets. Thaddeus Young was the longest-tenured and one of the most respected Sixers. Without him, there is a veteran void.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

James Harden falls off of a Segway

James Harden's defense was called into question again, as he was unable to defend himself from falling off of a slow-speeding Segway while cruising around Spain during the FIBA World Cup.



Harden's initial reaction, and the amount of time it took for him to get cruising again, were two of the funnier aspects of the video.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric hang in Spain

It will be a while until Sam Hinkie's first four lottery picks as GM of the Sixers suit up for the Sixers together and help the team to begin to climb back into contention. Joel Embiid is likely to stay sidelined for all of the 2014-15 season, and it may be another year after that until Dario Saric takes his trip overseas and joins the Sixers. The elongated time frame isn't stopping the future teammates from getting to know each other off of the court however.

Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Embiid, and Saric got to spend some time together in Spain, where the three current Sixers were there to watch the FIBA World Cup, and Saric of course was competing for Croatia.

Chemistry can be built off-court, and it is good to see the young Sixers tabbed as the future of the franchise getting familiar with each other. Although they were probably drinking Tecate and discussing Spanish girls, it's fun to think that they were devising some master plan to save the Sixers and dominate the NBA.

Reckless Cult

NBA Jam: Still the Greatest

Video games have improved immensely over the years. From generation to generation, the consoles have become much more capable, and the games have become infinitely more realistic.

Despite all these technology advancements in gaming however, Acclaim's NBA Jam remains the greatest basketball game, arguably of all time. The classic, high-flying 2-on-2 action was innovative and addictive, and remains so to this day, despite countless copies and knockoffs. NBA Jam was re-released in 2010 for the Playstation 3/ Xbox 360 generation with updated rosters and teams, and it didn't disappoint. Still addicting, still feels awesome to catch fire.

Nothing compares to playing a classic arcade game like Jam on its initial and intended format however, where Jam can really shine as the great game it is. As great as 2K is (October 7th will be a good day), and man is it great, there is something to be said about to simplicity of the three-button/ joystick combination of the actual arcade game, and the crude graphics.

One of my favorite local watering holes recently made an amazingly excellent addition, as an arcade version of NBA Jam Tournament Edition appeared in the bar's deep corner, directly across from the kitchen. So not only do you get to play a true 1993-era Jam game, you get the smell of wings wafting through the air.

I remember playing Jam on Sega Genesis in my mom's basement way back in elementary school. 20 years later, NBA Jam lives on.

"Oh my, he's on fire!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#thefuture

This picture has to make Sixers fans smile a little bit. What could be a couple years down the road..

Image from MC-W's Twitter account 

Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid workout together

Check out the original article from Philly.com here.
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After a long Labor Day weekend, the reality of facing fall begins to set in. People try to squeeze out the last warm-weather activities, and with the start of NBA training camps now under a month away, some players jet off to enjoy their last days of freedom for nearly nine months.

The Sixers’ young core is ready to hit the hardwood however, injury issues aside, as three of the team’s brightest young players got together to do some offseason sweating early Wednesday morning.

Early on Wednesday, reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams posted a picture on his Twitter account of himself, Nerlens Noel, and a sweat-soaked Joel Embiid in a gymnasium following a workout. Along with the image Carter-Williams wrote: “Good workout with my bros #Philly”.

Team USA slightly confused, amused by New Zealand's Haka Dance

Image from news.softpedia.com
A Haka dance is a traditional war dance from the Maori people of New Zealand. It is a group dance that includes shouting and foot stomping. Those that have never done battle with New Zealanders may not know this, as seems to have been the case with several of the United States' best basketball players.

Prior to the start of their FIBA game against the United States, the New Zealand national team broke out into Haka, while staring in the general direction of the seemingly confused, and slightly awe-struck United States team.  

Some of these guys', who have never been involved in such an experience, facial expressions are priceless. I would love to know what James Harden was thinking.

Check out the interesting and amusing experience below:



I think it is funny that the United States team claps after the performance is over.

"We're about to compete against them, but they did just perform that entertaining dance routine, so, okay, we'll clap."

International basketball, folks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Henry Sims should start for Sixers

Check out the original article from Philly.com here.
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The August trade of Thaddeus Young left the Sixers with yet another hole in their lineup.

Young, who was certainly going to start on the set-to-struggle Sixers, was not only the longest-tenured player on the team, but also by far the most experienced. In his absence, the team has the reigning Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, who has played 66 total NBA games, set to start, and then a whole lot of question marks.

Nerlens Noel, who will make his much-anticipated NBA debut after a season on the shelf, is figured to join Carter-Williams in the starting lineup, either at the power forward or center spot.

Considering the way the Sixers are currently constructed however, starting Noel at power forward may be the best approach. Starting the lanky former-Wildcat at the four spot would allow the Sixers to start Henry Sims at center, and thus develop the two potential frontcourt pieces for the future through experience simultaneously.

ESPN predicts that the Eagles' Chip Kelly will win 2014 NFL Coach of the Year

Brief basketball break, with NFL football starting this week and all.

Pretty hefty expectations for Chip Kelly in his second season, huh?

Check out the original article from Philly.com here.
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Chip Kelly has only been an NFL coach for a one year, but expectations are already quite high for his second season.
Image from gcobb.com 

After leading the Eagles to a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance in his first year at the team’s helm, many experts are expecting both Kelly and the Eagles’ offense to take a step forward this season following a full year and an off-season to grow together.  

Included among those that expect big things from Kelly this season is ESPN’s ‘Power Panel,’ which is comprised of over 80 national contributors. The Panel laid out their predictions for the 2014 season over the weekend, and included among them was Kelly as the consensus pick to win Coach of the Year.

Kelly winning the award would hinge on the level on improvement shown by his Eagles. Ron Riveria won the award last year after leading the Panthers to a 12-4 record on the heels of a 7-9 campaign in 2012.

If ESPN’s panel’s prediction did come true, Kelly would be the first Eagles coach to win the award since current Kansas City coach Andy Reid took home the hardware in 2002.

For what it’s worth, the panel also picked the Eagles to repeat as NFC East champs.