Monthly Archive  October 2010

 
 

EB ON THE MIC

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
10/19/10 9:49 am EST

Our memories are unreliable historians.

This is why Philadelphia area resident (And we asume frequent Philadunkia.com visitor) M. Night Shyamalan is a tragic figure.  The putridity of his last three movies has overwhelmed remembrance of the legitimately good, maybe great, stuff he did earlier in his career.  He’s an idiot, we now say reflexively, dismissively, as though he were never anything but.

It’s like the way a painful breakup renders you not just unwilling, but in some ways unable to fondly remember the better times: the canoe trip, trying to put together a desk, or that time you rented Signs.  Post-facto, when you stumble into one of these memories you meant to stash in some out of the way hippocampal groove, rather than enjoy it you mine it for signs of dysfunction, the fall that’s to come.  This mining distorts the memory and in doing so not only robs a piece of personal history of it’s proper due, but actually rewrites that history.  This is how Lady in the Water, by the sheer gravity of its terribleness, has ruined Unbreakable.

And it’s how Elton Brand’s last two seasons, by the sheer gravity of their terribleness, have started to ruin Elton Brand.

This is a bummer not just because he’s a nice guy who’s fallen on hard times (Ok, he’s made well over $100 million to play sports, not that hard), but because his first eight years of professional basketball were extraordinary.  And regardless of how the story ends, they deserve to be remembered accordingly.

These were my thoughts Saturday at Converse’s launch party for Brand’s new EB3 signature basketball shoe (available exclusively at JCPenney!) where I was waiting my turn to get at his ear.  When I got it I asked him about his fall from the top, what he’s doing to get back, and what’s happening with Evan Turner. After we went our separate ways, he gave 100 pairs of his sneakers away to some inner-city kids who were waiting on the court downstairs. Like I said, he’s a nice guy.

Q and A after the J.


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SIXERS DROP TO 1-4 IN PRESEASON

Posted by: C. Smith
10/14/10 11:47 am EST

Unfortunately the much anticipated exhibition match up between the 76ers and Toronto Raptors was not on television here in Philadelphia last night.  Instead Comcast SportsNet rebroadcast as classic college hoops game between LaSalle and Temple (For the 10th time we might add.), while TCN showed FIM Motorcross from Latvia. 

What did we miss?  Well, only a double-overtime preseason game in which Jrue Holiday posted a triple-double (18, 12 & 11) and rookie Evan Turner hit for a double-double (13 & 12).  But hey…who cares?  Right?  Certainly not Comcast…which by the way owns the 76ers.

But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t find coverage of the game for our readers.

We’ll start off with a report from our fellow THN scribe Sam Holako at  raptorsrepublic.com who provides a solid recap (with a Raptors slant) of last night’s double – OT loss by the Sixers

Of course NBA.com has the highlights of the Raptors W over the Sixers last night.

One guy who had this game covered was our man Ryan McNeill at hoopsaddict.com.   McNeil scored the below video interview with head coach Doug Collins.

 

More video from Ryan and on this game in general after the jump.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/13/10 10:36 am EST

We’re not going to dive to deep into last nights comeback win over the Shaq-KG-Pierce-Rondo-Allen — less Celtics, But here are a few quick points we threw together.

  • The Sixers can not rebound at all.  For example, Elton Brand had no rebounds in 27 minutes vs. the C’s second unit.
  • We like the lineup with Brand at the center position.  The may not win a ton of games, but they will be fun to watch.
  • The Sixers have fallen off the sports landscape in this town.  We know last night was a meaningless preseason game, but 3,500 fans is a pathetic number.
  • Thad looked confident and smooth putting the ball on the floor in the first half.  His shooting however was horrific (3-12).  Hopefully that comes around.
  • We know it’s early and we know that rookies have a huge learning curve, but Evan Turner looks clueless on both ends of the floor.
  • While he shot the ball well last night (5-11) and had a better game (12 pts., 7 dimes & 7 rebs.), Jrue Holiday looks lost when Turner runs the point and the ball is NOT in his hands.
  • Jason Kapono is money from deep and he is the solution for the Sixers 3-point shooting issues.
  • The Sixers still need work on defense as they allowed the C’s second unit to shoot 50% from the field and from behind the arc.

More on last night’s game after the jump


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MIA: ALLEN IVERSON

Posted by: Michael Kaskey-Blomain
10/12/10 9:49 am EST

Maybe it was all of those little quips with Larry Brown.  Or maybe it was the now infamous “Practice? We talking about practice?” rant.  Maybe it was even his obvious unwillingness to take a back seat on the rebuilding bus that was the Memphis Grizzlies.  Perhaps it was the reports that surfaced last year which said that Iverson is battling alcohol and gambling problems. 

Some combination of these past career missteps has to account for the lack of consideration that NBA clubs have granted Allen Iverson this offseason. 

The fact that NBA teams are not lining up to elicit the services of the thirty-five year old former superstar does not come as a surprise; he has lost a step, cannot single-handedly dominate games in the manner in which he used to, and has done nothing to diminish the rumors of his displeasure with anything but a starting spot.  So no, one wouldn’t expect the market for the eleven time all-star to be too elevated.  The fact that not a single franchise felt that they could fit Allen anywhere on their roster, however, does come as a surprise.  In fact, in a league where Kwame Brown can dupe teams into a decade’s worth of employment, Iverson’s inability to find work, despite several statements on his part suggesting he’s ready to play, is slightly more than surprising.


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A BELATED HAPPY TRAILS WILLIE GREEN

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
10/11/10 10:21 am EST

There’s a school of thought in film criticism that a piece of cinema can be so bad, such a misfire on every possible level, that it can be understood as great.  The thinking, as I understand it, is that doing the complete opposite, in the most literal sense, of what every correct artistic impulse dictates demonstrates a genius-level ability to identify, intuitively or otherwise, the essential pivot-points in the machinery of cinema.  The director of such a film has created a sort of photonegative of greatness, which with a little imagination, can itself be appreciated as great.

Willie Green – the exquisitely, defiantly, relentlessly awful Willie Green– was, in his own way, just such a photonegative.  And now, mercifully, he’s gone.  And some part of me –a part of me lodged so deep in the recesses of my being that I can only access it when I listen to Depeche Mode – misses him.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/08/10 10:59 am EST

We know this picture at left is nearly a week old, but we’ve been wondering all week, ‘What is it about 76er basketball legends that causes them to break our hearts like this?’ 

First it was Allen Iverson rocking a Dallas Cowboys ski cap(January 2010), now Charles in a Redskins jersey.  To be honest we have come to expect that kind of stuff from Allen.  But Chuck !?!…C’mon you should know better.

Kate Fagan of Philly.com writes that Doug Collins wants Brand and AI9 to step up and be leaders on this team.

Fagan also says there is some confusion in the Sixers backcourt and it’s all in the name of getting Turner more touches this preseason.

Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com files this video report on Nocioni and his role for this upcoming season.


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THIS PRESEASON I HOPE TO SEE…

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
10/07/10 10:23 am EST

It’s October again.  And that means one thing – Sixers’ preseason basketball!   This is the time of year when the eyes of every sports fan in the city are fixed on exhibition basketball games and absolutely nothing else: every roster move will be scrutinized, every missed jump-shot dissected, every dunk accepted as evidence that the dunker is a magical Christ figure who will carry the Sixers to the promised land – the first round of the playoffs.

Once I get over the crushing disappointment of missing Tony Battie and Chris Quinn face off against their old team (they didn’t air the Nets game on television no doubt because the lost productivity would be too much for the fragile economy to bear) as well as the C’s drubbing the Sixers “B” Team, I assembled a list of items I’ll be hoping to witness from the 7-6 this preseason…


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THE Q FACTOR

Posted by: C. Smith
10/05/10 10:13 am EST

Back in late July my Philadunkia colleague Lance Epstein wrote a post titled “Back Him Up, Back Him UP” which pushed a very solid basketball idea that the 76ers needed to find a veteran point guard to back up rising phenom Jrue Holiday.  In his post Lance discussed the fact that the “backup PG by committee” plan — having Louis Williams, Andre Iguodala and Andre Turner all seeing minutes at the point guard spot this upcoming season when Holiday is out of the game — that seemed to be in place for 2010-11 was not the answer.  Lance then offered several available players that could fill that need for the Sixers.

That “backup PG by committee” plan appeared to be holding fast until the first day of Sixers training camp last week when four-year NBA veteran Chris Quinn took the floor at St. Joseph’s University in a Sixers practice uniform.  At first glance we felt it was simply Rod Thorn adding a familiar warm body (Quinn was with the NJN last season) to the training camp squad, so we did not give the move much thought.  Then On Sunday, Kate Fagan of philly.com had a post in which head coach Doug Collins was quoted as stating, “He has a chance (to make the team)…We’re looking at a third point guard.  If he continues to do what he does, now you go and you fight and say, ‘Look, we need to keep this guy,’ you have to have some insurance at that third backup position.”

When I read this quote Sunday morning, I nearly choked on my bacon, egg and cheese bagel. 

After the jump you’ll see why…


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THE RETURN: MCNABB vs. IVERSON

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
10/01/10 10:49 am EST

Philadelphia, the supposed City of Brotherly Love, sure doesn’t show much brotherly love for its superstars.

You recognize the lead?  You do because it’s what every hack columnist in the world-wide-web phones in (or texts in so it comes up in their T9) when a Philadelphia franchise takes part in the city’s great bi-annual tradition of jettisoning one of its superstars. We’re a deeply traditional people. 

The charge – that we hit it and quit it with our stars – isn’t entirely undeserved and is pretty easily explained. We just don’t have a lot going for us.  Our unemployment and poverty rates are well above the national average.  We’re ugly.  We’re fat.  Our police officers sell heroin.  So because we’re so miserable and unfulfilled in other aspects of our life, we put a lot of stock in sports. 

This stock, as is well-documented, is mislaid.  We’ve won one championship in four sports in 27 years and this losing makes us crazy.  It makes us crazy not only because we need sports to distract us from our awful lives but because we’re unusually connected to these teams.  Nobody leaves Philadelphia.  It’s not a city with a transitory population like Washington or Dallas or New York or LA: everybody who lives here has lived here forever and rooted for the teams forever, marinated in the crazy passion forever.  So when they lose, and lose they do, everybody goes crazy, and this wave of craziness makes each individual, already crazy, a little crazier, which in turn makes the group crazier, which in turn makes individuals crazier, and so on.  It’s a feedback loop. 

The object of this craziness (and its fraternal-twin, anger) is our athletes in general and our superstars in particular.  Those among them who are psychologically normal obviously don’t respond well to this intensity and when they crack, and most of them crack, we ship them out. But the funny thing is, sometimes they come back. 

Which brings us to a question that was posed to me the other day: Whose return was/will-be bigger, Iverson’s or McNabb’s? 


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