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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MELO DRAMA

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
01/13/11 11:01 am EST

It’s a sound business strategy, whenever there’s a big swapping of assets on the horizon, to find a way to interject yourself into of the proceedings, act a as sort of middle man, and feast on the scraps.

(I don’t know anything about business.  I think I saw this in a magazine.)

The Nets, Nuggets and Pistons have such a deal on the horizon.  As has been widely reported, this deal has been agreed to in principle by all three teams and the only thing holding it up is Melo’s refusal to agree to an extension with the Nets.  While the Knicks remain his top choice (a combination of proximity to his wife, Lala Vasquez’s, career and the possibility of forming his own big three with Stoudamire and Paul are reportedly the draw of Gotham) the Nets can clearly offer the Nuggets a better deal, and once management emphasizes to Melo that its NJ or nowhere (unless the Knicks make an incredible final offer, but what do they have though that matches Favors?) he will, I imagine, take the money and the first plane to Jersey rather than sign his extension under the new, and less generous, CBA.  Long story short, we’re assuming the Nets deal, in some form, is a go.

But before the paperwork on this deal hits the League offices, it’s worth considering ways the Sixers can elbow their way in. 

 
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ST. ANTHONY…SAVE US

Posted by: Lance Epstein
09/30/10 11:05 am EST

Since that gut wrenching day in 2006 when the Philadelphia 76ers decided to pull the trigger on a deal that sent perennial All-Star guard and Philadelphia icon Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets, this franchise has been searching for his replacement.

Originally, the Sixers planned that high rising, athletic swingman Andre Iguodala would become the face of the franchise and carry the torch.  Unfortunately, that plan has faltered for multiple reasons, and ultimately 76ers fans grew frustrated with first round playoff exits and uninspiring basketball and in turn stopped showing up at the Wells Fargo Center.  Then after the debacle that was the 2009-10 season, the 76ers fell into a sports blackhole  in this town and became irrelevant. 

Now, the forgotten franchise in the City of Brotherly Love has a an opportunity to resurrect its dying image and bring enthusiasm back to its fan base by trading for Carmelo Anthony.  Acquring Carmelo Anthony is a franchise saving opportunity and Philadunkia’s home team must do everything in their power to seal the deal and if that means that second overall pick Evan Turner must be sent to Denver along with Andre Iguodala, then so be it.


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‘MELO OUT

Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
09/29/10 9:45 am EST

Ok, so there are some rumor winds swirling  from Philly.com that the Sixers have made an offer for malcontent Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, and that the Nuggets kinda, sorta, maybe like the deal.  The question of the hour is, do they like it, or do they like it, like it.

Let’s say they like it, like it.  I’m going to peer into my crystal ball and tell you how this one plays out (BTW, my crystal ball is a replica of Ed Stefanski’s head).  The trade would be incredibly popular initially with both fans and the less-savvy members of the media (but I repeat myself, zing!), and everybody would sing the praises of Rod Thorn and draw parallels between his acquisition of Jason Kidd ten years ago and the Nets consequent rise to the top of the East and his now acquisition of a twenty-six year old Olympian, near scoring champion and, in the circumspect and well-considered words of Chauncy Billups, “one of the top two or three players in the world.”  Hot damn, this Thorn is a wheelin’, dealin’, riverboat gambler!  He turned Igoudala into Carmelo.  How’s that for alchemy? — the columns would read. 

Expectations would be high.  Through the roof.  They would literally explode through the roof.  After enough roofs were destroyed, people would learn not to keep these expectations indoors.  They’d be left outside to soar, to be free.  And why not?  Carmelo Anthony is the single best player in basketball not named Kobe, Lebron or Durant!  We know that because he scores the most. You can’t win without scoring points, anybody knows that.  And the guy he’s replacing?  Iguodala?  More like “ugly(jumper)odala!”  That guy sucks.  Look at his scoring for crying out loud.  Carmelo scores waaaaaaay more than him.  Carmelo, points, Carmelo, twenty-eight a game, Carmelo, scorer, Carmellllllllloooooo!  That’s how the conventional wisdom would go.   And who could argue with it.  Carmelo does score a lot of points.   And everybody knows the best player is the guy who scores the most.  Period.


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