INTERVIEW: LOUIS WILLIAMS

Posted by: Kevin Jones
10/20/11 9:11 am EST

Good news usually comes in droves and it appears that is just the case for the Philadelphia 76ers of late.

First, the newly approved Sixers owner Josh Harris has promised to slash over 9,000 ticket prices in half in order to start tilting die-hard Philadelphia fans back to the Wells Fargo Center for basketball.

Secondly, the NBA owners and players met Wednesday for 16 consecutive hours with a federal mediator.  That can only mean good things (Right?).

Finally, Sixers fans should still be basking in the glory of what Lou Williams did last Saturday evening, upstaging Kevin Durant and John Wall in leading the underdog Team Philly to victory.  In particular it was Williams’ defense and not even the 53 point scoring outburst that had writers buzzing.

I’m not an upper echelon journalist – yet – to have met with Josh Harris or David Stern.  But I did deliver on the Lou Williams end.

If somehow, someway the NBA returns in mid-November, I hope we get to see more than 23 minutes per game out of Williams. 

We all know he’s been a streaky player in the past, but take one look and you can see that Louis has been busting his butt this off-season in hopes of a big year in 2011-12 season — if the season ever tips off.


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IN JOSH WE TRUST ???

Posted by: C. Smith
10/19/11 9:47 am EST

Since the “76ers for sale” rumors started flying around the internet this past spring, there’s been only one person  we’ve been waiting to hear from — billionaire Joshua Harris. 

For months we have heard nothing from Harris in the media and our repeated requests for interview time went unanswered. 

Well, yesterday was the big day, as Harris and new 76ers CEO Adam Aron finally stepped into the Philadelphia spotlight.  As the press conference was about to begin I literally had goosebumps.  The 76ers were about to launch a new era in which they will be owned by a billionaire and some of his pals who will be laser focused on the 76ers.  Philadunkia nation was about to get it’s own Mark Cuban or Mikhail Prokhorov.  I was smiling ear to ear as the Sixers would no longer be Ed Snider’s second favorite son.

Then the press conference began and my smile was soon wiped away.

Yes Harris and Aron said all the right things — as most very successful businessmen have been trained to do in a public speaking setting.  And there was some positive news — Ed Stefanski is out.  But let’s be honest — there was no pop, no sizzle, and  overall a lack of any energy behind the whole event.  By the end of the 44+ minute press conference, some of the excitement I had for a new beginning for the 76ers was drained from my soul. 

Obviously this new ownership group is comprised of very smart businessmen who by all accounts will do great things for this organization.  Believe me, here at Philadunkia we are praying very hard that Harris & CO. can make the 7-6 relevant to the Philly sports fan again.  However, in my opinion, the new era sure did get off to a slow start yesterday.

After the jump, are a few of my notes and key quotes from down at The Palestra on Tuesday…


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RECAP: LOUIS RUNS DC

Posted by: Kevin Jones
10/17/11 8:00 am EST

October 15th was supposed to be the Kevin Durant show. It was supposed to be a day where the Oklahoma City Thunder idol showed he was the anti-Lebron, the anti-Carmelo, the winner.

He was supposed to topple team Philly in front of his hometown.  Basketball addicts in the Washington, D.C. area had cleared their calendar a month in advance to watch a ‘Durantula’ clinic after such a bitter ending to his playoff quest against the Dallas Mavericks.

And then Lou Williams happened.

Sweet Lou finished with 53 points – 34 in the second half – to upstage Durant, John Wall, the bevy of attractive female groupies and the few NFL players sitting courtside.  No one at Calvin Coolidge High School could take their eyes off of Lou.  He was giving grown men the chills.  Honestly, I don’t ever recall seeing a player catch fire like Louis did Saturday night.


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WHAT A SHAME FOR THE 76ERS

Posted by: Philadunkia
10/12/11 10:26 am EST

While the city of Philadelphia is darkened by the recent collapses of championship hopeful franchises, what’s even more depressing for hoop heads in this town is the idea that the Sixers have missed out on a huge opportunity to capture this city’s attention.   

The Vince Young proclaimed “Dream Team” stands 1-4 in pigskin matches with coaches and players walking on a tight rope.  And the “Greatest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled,” lost in the postseason because of a poor supporting offensive cast — again.  Prior to the start of the MLB and NFL seasons, both the Phillies and the Eagles were allegedly bound for postseason success, but have since left their fans in a state of depression.  

So what team does the city need during this troubling condition?  Yup, you thought correctly, it needs the 76ers. 


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: C. Smith
09/28/11 10:50 am EST

The NBA and the player reps will meet again today.

Sixers.com has a solid interview with one of Larry Brown’s favorite players — George Lynch.

At charlesbarkley.com there are some fantastic highlights of Chuck during his Sixer days

A quick “76ers” search of craigslist.com brings up this great piece of signed Sixers memorabilia from 1983-84

Via Bill Simmons’ baby — Grantland.com — we learn that according to the Oregonian‘s John Canzano last week, the owners have already decided to include an amnesty clause in the yet-signed labor agreement.  The big difference in this version (as opposed to the previous “Allen Houston clause”) : Teams can pick one player to waive, then pay off the rest of his contract … only this time, that player’s deal won’t count against the salary cap (not just the luxury tax).  We think you’ll be surprised at which player Simmons and Jonathan Abrams believe the Sixers would waive.


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RECAP: BATTLE of I-95

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
09/26/11 9:00 am EST

Sunday night at the Palestra I saw Chris Paul throw a perfectly placed alley-oop over the outstretched arms of Tyreke Evans and into the expectant hands of an in-stride and airborne Carmelo Anthony, who caught it and finished cleanly before getting a high-five from Lebron James.

This extraordinary sequence was, by my count, the seventh most interesting thing I witnessed at the “Battle of I-95″ – a charity basketball game that drew a handful of the greatest athletes on the planet, plus Lou Williams (31 points), to the University of Pennsylvania last night.  I was there too, obviously.

While there, the even more interesting things I saw were, in no particular order: Lebron James, milliseconds before the halftime buzzer sounded, reaching behind him to palm another alley-oop from Paul and, in one fluid motion, emphatically finish it one-handed; Team Philly, who had a combined zero All-Star berths and Olympic medals between them, defeat Team Baltimore, who had 15 and five, 131-122.


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: C. Smith
09/16/11 9:40 am EST

In ESPN.com’s “NBARank” series Spencer Hawes lands at #219.  While Andres Nocioni finds himself at #197.

Zach Lowe over at “The Point Forward” on SI.com has an interview with our man Thad Young.

A quick “76ers” craigslist search brings up a guy who has some great collectibles — Allen Iverson bobbleheads

John Smallwood of the DN asks, “What if you held a lockout and few cared?”

Sixers.com has interview with former Sixer “C-Spoon“.


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INTERVIEW: NIKOLA VUCEVIC

Posted by: Kevin Jones
09/12/11 9:06 am EST

Nikola Vucevic already has one distinct advantage over nearly every member of the NBA’s 2011 rookie class.  The native of Montenegro has a leg up on his draft class peers because Nikola has already played professional basketball this summer.

Vucevic represented his home country in the 2011 European Championships (Eurobasket 2011) and in a time where the NBA is full of uncertainty – especially regarding which rookies might have any impact with this much time away from their NBA teams – Vucevic’s Euro-action late this summer could make him a pleasant surprise for the Sixers if and when the 2011-12 season tips off.  A strong rookie campaign from ‘Big Nik’ would be the answer to the team’s Achilles’ heel at center and potentially could propel the 7-6 to the next level.

Recently Nikola took some time to answer a few questions from us here at Philadunkia via email.  Among the things we discussed with the former USC big man were: his last meeting with Doug Collins, what elements of his game he worked on this summer, why he signed on to play in Montenegro and his thoughts on adjusting to the NBA style of play.

Interview after the jump…


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VEGAS VACATION

Posted by: Philadunkia
09/06/11 10:48 am EST

As you probably know by now, starting next Monday there will be an “organized” two-week, basketball league out in Vegas that will feature only NBA players.  According to reports, more than 50 players will be crash Sin City to take part in a league at Abunassar Impact Academy, starting on Sept. 12

Games will be played in the afternoons and evenings, Monday through Friday for two weeks with the potential for a playoffs style tournament to follow.  Whether or not the public will be able to watch the games held at Abunassar Impact Academy’s facility is still up in the air. 

The two stretch of games has been given the title “Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series” and allegedly players such as Blake Griffin, Rudy Gay, John Wall, Jared Dudley, Chauncey Billups, Kyle Lowry and Zach Randolph have already committed to playing in the league. 

With all of these details in mind, the scribes here at Philadunkia.com where charged with  submitting a list of three Sixers players and/or draft picks they would like to see participate in the Vegas action.  AKA…These guys need to be there so they can get better. 

Our writers were also asked to provide a list of three 76ers players they believe are most likely to participate.  

Lists after the jump. 


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NOTES, LINKS & TWEETS

Posted by: C. Smith
08/30/11 7:51 am EST

As you probably know, Elton Brand organized some workouts for the 76ers in Los Angeles.  csnphilly.com’s Dei Lynam dropped in on those workouts and talked to various Sixers about the possibility of playing overseas.

A look at Evan Turner’s Li-Ning kicks for the 2011-12 season (if it ever happens).

Sixers.com has an interview with Nationals / 76ers legend Dolph Schayes.

A quick “76ers” Craigslist search brought up this great piece of memorabilia.

Only two 76ers will be representing their countries during international qualifying play for the 2012 Olympics.  Can you name them?


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