LIGHTENING ROD

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
09/01/10 9:08 am EST

On August 11th Philadunkia’s home team hired Rod Thorn as President of Basketball Operations, effectively demoting Ed Stefanski.

Was this a good move?

In an attempt to answer this larger question we have broken it down into its component parts:

Did Stefanski deserve the demotion? 

Was Thorn the right hire? 

And if not Thorn, who?

In last weeks installment we evaluated the Ed Stefanski era.  Today we examine the Rod Thorn hiring.


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EVAN TURNER ON THE LINE

Posted by: Lance Epstein
08/30/10 8:45 am EST

Late last week the 76ers set up a conference call for a host of great basketball bloggers with the franchise’s new poster boy — Evan Turner.  The second overall pick in the 2010 Draft answered questions on everything from what he knew about the Sixers debacle of a season last year to his struggles at the Orlando Pro Summer League to playing with Andre Iguodala to what he is working on this summer to  Jrue Holiday’s game and his recent exchange with Michael Jordan. 

Of course someone asked him about cheesesteaks.  This is Philadelphia after all.

Lance Epstein handled the duties on this one for us here at Philadunkia.com and you can read his full transcript of the confernce call after the jump.   


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ANALYZING ED

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/20/10 9:08 am EST

On August 11th Philadunkia’s home team hired Rod Thorn as President of Basketball Operations, effectively demoting Ed Stefanski.

At the time many people, including all of us here at Philadunkia, were asking is this a good move?

In an attempt to answer this larger question we have broken it down into its component parts:

Did Stefanski deserve the demotion?

Was Thorn the right hire?

And if not Thorn, who?

After the jump we take a stab at the first question and examine the Stefanski era.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/18/10 9:08 am EST

Courtesy of Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post these are Evan Turner’s rookie portraits from Getty.  Based on the photo at left the Sixers have made a slight change to their road uniforms which now has blue and white trim all the way around the neck line.  When the Sixers introduced the new, retro uni in 2009 (see pic after the jump), the jersey had white on the front of the neck line only, with blue-only trim around the rest of the collar.  Not a major change, but worth noting we thought.

SI.com lists former Sixer and future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson as one of the best available free agents.  Also on the list are former Sixers Louis Amundson, Larry Hughes and Jerry Stackhouse as well as Philadelphia native Ronald “Flip” Murray.  That’s not a bad five to have out on the floor.  Well maybe not in the NBA, but it certainly would win a few at in the Sonny Hill League.


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NETS SOUTH ?!?

Posted by: Philadunkia
08/12/10 10:53 am EST

Yesterday, the 76ers continued their odd, borderline incestuous relationship with the New Jersey Net franchise by hiring Rod Thorn as the new “President” of the franchise. 

Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the story last night via his Twitter account and now several news sources have confirmed the hiring.  The Sixers will be holding a press conference later today.

Apparently Thorn will move into the organization as general manager Ed Stefanski’s direct boss.  Stefanski worked for Thorn for six seasons in the New Jersey Nets organization. 


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DOWN THE SHORE — ET’S ALRIGHT

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/03/10 9:29 am EST

What do you do when you’ve just wrapped up your worst season in a decade, fired your head coach, and traded your starting center for two guys with tons of “upside”?          

You throw a Beach Party of course!          

On Saturday, July 31st at Jack’s Place in Avalon the Sixers hosted the 2010 version of their annual Beach Bash.         

Here was the scene: A bar/restaurant in one corner, a parking lot with a signing tent and stage and a few inflatable-bounce-pits in the other.  It was really hot and Evan Turner was in the house.          

The attention of the crowd was heavily focused on Turner and everybody cheered loudly when the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 Draft was introduced.  All-in-all a pretty exciting moment.  After allowing him a beat to soak in some adulation (which I think contains Vitamin D), his handlers led him to the autograph table and he went to work at the small-ball of fan pleasing, signing and smiling.  And stayed at it.  Patient guy.          

While I was angling to talk to Turner, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren took the podium and addressed the crowd.  He shared with them some specifics on the Flyers and some platitudes about building a winner. I turned around to see if Ed Stefanski was listening.  He wasn’t.          

When Holmgren was through, I asked him a few Sixers questions while a PR rep looked at us quizzically.  He expects 31 wins for the Sixers this year, 17 ppg for Evan Turner, and thinks AI9 will finish the year in a Sixers uniform.  Write it down.           

But back to the order of the day.  After Turner shot a Kia commercial, signed more autographs, and shook hands with all the people his handlers gently demanded he shake hands with, I got a chance to talk for a few minutes with the belle of the ball.          


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YOU CAN’T SPELL IGUODALA WITHOUT L.A.

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
07/23/10 2:50 pm EST

On Wednesday TNT analyst David Aldridge reported that the Los Angeles Clippers, who are on the market for a veteran small forward, have set their sights on the Sixers own Andre Iguodala.  According to Aldridge’s report there is no indication on whether or not the Clippers will seriously pursue Iguodala, but there is at least an interest in the five year veteran out of Arizona.

Even though there is just the slimmest chance of a deal getting done at this time between the two parties, it is an interesting topic to think about.  Iguodala is guaranteed over 40 million dollars in the next three seasons and if this trade were to be completed, the Clippers would have to give away a pricey contract of their own.  The contract that works from a salary cap standpoint when compared to Iguodala’s, while also giving the Sixers an immediate missing piece to their puzzle, is the contract belonging to Chris Kaman.  Kaman is due 23 million dollars over the next two seasons and would serve as the starting center for the Sixers, which they desperately need at this time.  Please don’t throw Spencer Hawes at me either.  Hawes is a solid, developing prospect but plays nowhere near to the skill level of Chris Kaman.


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ABSOLUTELY BATT (I) – E

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
07/22/10 11:02 am EST

On September 25th , 2000 Paul Pierce was stabbed eleven times in the face, back, and neck while attempting to break up a fight inside a Boston dance club.  That evening he underwent emergency lung surgery.  Things obviously looked bleak for Pierce.  Here he was, a young athlete, in the prime of career, cut down by a senseless act of violence that imperiled not just the only dream he’d ever had, but his life.  Everything hung in the balance. 

Pierce persevered though; made a recovery so complete, so miraculous, that he went on to start all 82 games for the Celtics the following season. This happened because he worked hard and never stopped believing in himself.  It also happened because Tony Battie, his friend and teammate, got him to the hospital so quickly that night.

Battie also was the No. 5 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.

These are two very impressive facts about Tony Battie.  Especially the first one.  I wasn’t able to find a third though, because one doesn’t exist.

Fortunately (because I have a column to fill) there are plenty of unimpressive facts about Tony Battie that we can catalogue.  Here they are…


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ED STEFANSKI SPEAKS

Posted by: Philadunkia
07/16/10 10:45 am EST

Yesterday, 76ers General Manager Ed Stefanski called into the Tony Bruno & Harry Mayes Show on 97.5 “The Fanatic”.   It’s the first time Ed has addressed the state of the franchise as a whole in a very long time and he had some interesting things to say, so we though we would provide you with a little recap.

To be honest Bruno & Mayes dropped the ball big time in this interview.  It’s obvious that neither of “The Fanatic” hosts have a deep knowledge of the current state of the 76ers as they didn’t know that the Stefanski has the $5 million mid level exception available to him so he has the ability to add a free agent to the roster for 2010-11.  Additionally, Bruno & Mayes asked to many “national” questions including several on the Lebron James to Miami drama and did not keep the interview focused on the 2010-11 Sixers, a topic on which we could have interviewed Ed on for hours.    

After the jump is a breakdown of Ed’s answers to Bruno & Mayes questions.   


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A VOTE TO KEEP AI9

Posted by: Lance Epstein
07/15/10 8:17 am EST

He’s certainly not a mega-star like Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwyane Wade or even Kevin Durant and you could make a strong argument that he has failed to take that next step to all-star status, but heading into the future I believe Andre Iguodala is a key component for the Philadelphia 76ers and thus Ed Stefanski should not trade the Sixers wingman.

After giving him a contract extension at a total of $80 million over six years, the Sixers organization expected Iguodala to elevate his level of play and develop into elite player in the League.  To be honest it has not happened.

Of course Iguodala has not had much help either.  For starters, AI9 has played under four head coaches in the last six years – not exactly the stability a young player needs to grow and develop.  But hopefully Doug Collins brings an end to that stretch.

Additionally, the franchise has never been able to find him a right hand man.  The front office’s latest attempt was Elton Brand, who was thought to be the complimentary star to Iguodala’s inevitable superstar.  Upon his signing, the Sixers envisioned Brand as an interior scorer that would change opposing defensive schemes and thus free up Iguodala.  Unfortunately at this time, Brand is not the same player who commanded nightly double-teams before rupturing his Achilles tendon and has turned out to be one of the worst free agent signings in modern NBA history.

Still the coaching carousel and the Brand debacle only make up half of Iguodala’s lack of growth.  He has failed to significantly improve many parts of his game since his contract extension.  In fact, many feel as though he has regressed over the last two seasons.  


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