Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
07/15/13 1:03 pm EST

A simple phone call during the 2013 NBA Draft changed the face of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise for good when point guard Jrue Holiday was shipped to the New Orleans Pelicans for forward Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick.

Holiday was a budding star for the 76ers and the most well-known amongst fans.  He was an All-Star last season and led the team in both points and assists.  Jrue averaged career-high’s with 17.7 points and 8.0 assists per game.  His efforts were strong enough to get him an invitation to Team USA basketball mini-camp at the end of the month in Las Vegas.

With Holiday out of town, the baton is now passed to forward Thaddeus Young.

Young, the longest tenured Sixer on the teams roster, also had a strong performance last season of 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals last season in his first full season as a starter.  He’ll have to shoulder the load for the Sixers offensively while rookie Michael Carter-Williams adjusts to his role as the teams new point guard and Noel recovers from a torn ACL.

Philadunkia scribe Jeff McMenamin had the chance to talk with Young about his reaction to the draft night trade, being the new face of the franchise, his thoughts on Andrew Bynum leaving town and what he expects from the team in the future.

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Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
06/12/13 2:23 pm EST

One of the best ways to improve yourself in any sport is to play on your country’s national team. A recent example is former Sixer Andre Iguodala. Iguodala joined Team USA for the FIBA World Championship’s in 2010. He went on to have his only all-star season in 2011-12, after practicing with players like Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon for a whole summer.

Team USA brought him back for the Summer Olympics last summer where once again he played exceptionally well and helped his team bring home the gold medal.

That’s why Sixers fans should be excited at the announcement that Jrue Holiday was selected today as one of 27 players to attend the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp, held July 22-25 at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center in Las Vegas, Nev.

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Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
08/06/10 10:31 am EST

Two weekends ago some friends and I took a nine-hour drive to the southern tip of North Carolina for a week of sunshine, warm ocean, and some much-needed R and R.  I rode down with my buddy Keely, who brought to the table an old Saab that gets great MPG’s, an IPod with the new Roots album on it, and a head unusually well packed with ideas about sports.  When casual conversation took us as far as it could (Northern Virginia) we moved into an NBA fantasy draft.  Our drafting principle was this; the teams we’d picked would actually play—well imaginarily–but we had to pick them as though they would play.  So you didn’t want to just gun for big names and big numbers.  The goal was to construct the best team possible– not just an All-Star team.  After a hard fought rock-paper-scissors contest to secure the first pick we dove in and the names started flying off the board.

And then after a while, the names stopped flying.

Keely had frozen up.  He was sitting on his pick and was a versatile three shy of filling out his starting lineup (CP3, Wade, Duncan, Howard), but he was stumped.  He had scorers.  He had a distributor.  He had a take charge, crunch time guy.  What he needed was a glue guy.  Someone who could burn at several spots and defend, hopefully multiple positions.  Handle the ball if need be.  Hit an open jumper.  Press.

But who?  There aren’t a lot of guys in the Association that fit the profile.  After five minutes of quiet contemplation he took the cowards way out and drafted Melo.  Fair enough, I thought, a three’s a three.  But something nagged at me, tip of my brain, until we can a couple more miles and the root of the nag showed itself.  There had been a perfect fit for him waiting on the board.   A guy who brought everything to the table his team lacked.  A guy with the versatility to lend a hand wherever one was needed.  A guy who plays on both ends of the court.  A guy with a difficult name to spell.

That guy is Andre Iguodala.  I was struck by the implications of this.  Wow, I thought, Andre Iguodala should have gotten picked to play on one of two imaginary super-teams my friend and I made up on a car ride while we were delirious from NoDoz and Red Bull.  He’s that good?

He is.

So while I doubt this is exactly the way these teams get picked, what I’m saying I get Andre making the final 15 (and eventually the final 12) for Team USA.  What I don’t get is that other people don’t get it.

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