The class for the 2014 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was released yesterday. The group is headlined by NBA greats Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond, former outspoken Alabama Head Coach and National Champion Nolan Richardson and recently retired NBA commissioner David Stern.
The list of 2014 honorees also has its own sense of local flavor.
Going into the hall this year will be former Temple basketball great, Guy Rodgers and the 1972-74 Immaculata Women’s Basketball team.
Rodgers was elected into the hall via the Veterans Committee. Rodgers led Temple University to two Final Four appearances in 1956 and 1958. Rodgers was a unanimous First Team All American in 1958 and made the All-Tournament team that year.
So I’m looking through some basketball news today and saw this gem from ProBasketballTalk:
AsTom Haberstroh of ESPN pointed out on twitter, in the 149 minutes Turner and Hibbert had played together since the trade deadline move to bring Turner to Indiana, he has gotten one assist passing to Hibbert. One.
It makes me smile. Even though the Sixers only managed what amounted to a second round pick in the deal, it’s fairly cathartic to see him screwing up a legitimate title contender in the Pacers who have been 8-10 since March 1st.
Turner has earned a steady decrease in minutes the last few games and continues to put up some god awful stat lines. For example, Turner played all of seven minutes against the Spurs shooting 0-2 from the floor with no assists. Three nights prior to that against the Wizards Turner dominated in 14 minutes, going 0-4 with no assists.
It seems like the Villain is more of a sleeper cell.
In today’s sports climate, you really only get a few opportunities to etch your name in the history books. The Sixers has their chance, and they passed it up by winning a game.
Last night, the Sixers not only won, they manhandled the Detroit Pistons, 123-98 in front of a surprising large Wells Fargo Center crowd. We all knew the implications of last night’s game.
Lose, and the Sixers would take over the lone spot as the NBA’s record holder for consecutive losses at 27. In a season where the word on everyone’s mind has been ‘tanking,’ another loss would have been fine. The team will undeniably lose again this season.
The major thing at stake was the team backing up the tanking talk by losing in a manner that no other team has ever loss before. They players avoided that dubious distinction.
Here’s what we’re talking about:
- Mark Cuban sees an implosion for the NFL! Ray and Vince fight it out!
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Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.
The Sixers are on their way to earning(?) the league’s worst losing streak of 26 consecutive games in what has been a truly fabulous tank job. It’s an effort so pure and fantastic that it’s like if Andrew Bynum decided to take a shot from wherever he first touched the ball on the court. Wait, he what?…Then it is the perfect season! For us at least.
The rest of the league has some pretty wet pants over this one, though, and has sparked a discussion of what it would take to avoid a future such mockery of competitive sport.
One model, which is an interesting concept is the draft wheel. The wheel is intended to literally rotate the the draft order one slot at a time. Therefore teams would draft 28, 29, 30, 1, 2, 3 and so on. The problem with this idea is that well, it sucks.
As I said in the podcast, if you’re a bad team from a small market and you’re stuck picking in the middle rounds for the next 20 years you’re screwed. In fact, I think it’s the type of disaster that could cause teams to fold over time as they get stuck in the middle.
So if the wheel concept and the current system need to be improved, what exactly should be done? I have a couple of ideas.
Tonight the Sixers honor one of the greatest players to ever lace up sneaks in the NBA. Allen Iverson’s #3 will take its rightful place amongst the other legends of Sixers past, high above the Wells Fargo Center court. That court will never again see another Sixers on it wearing the #3, the symbol of a man who literally gave blood, sweat and tears for his team.
Tonight A.I. is immortalized.
Iverson’s impact, like other all-time great players can be seen in the statistics, but they alone do not do him justice. Sure, it is worth pointing out that Iverson is sixth all-time in career points per game (26.7) and that he was named to 11 all-star teams in 12 NBA seasons. It’s worth pointing out that he was the 2001 NBA MVP while leading the Sixers to an Eastern Conference Championship and a NBA Finals Game 1 win over a Lakers team that had not lost at all during the playoffs.
We can look at the Rookie of the Year Award, the scoring titles, the All-NBA teams and the Olympic appearance, but all of these things are secondary to the lasting impact that Iverson had.
While all of the focus this season is on guys like Evan Turner, Brett Brown, and Michael Carter-Williams, there’s a player lurking about that could have an impact on the Sixers’ future: Rajon Rondo.
Rondo, who is a four time All-Star, is slowly beginning the process of returning to the court for the Boston Celtics after tearing his ACL in January. He’s begun practicing in a limited capacity and has been allegedly cleared to return by team doctors. Now, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, Rondo will choose when he’s comfortable with getting back to speed a la Derrick Rose. As a Sixers fan I can’t help but be fascinated.
Rondo is a star player. He’s averaged a double-double the last three years and plays exceptional defense (think of that Conference Finals game where he went the distance against the Heat). If he’s in the line-up then Boston is a much better team, which means more wins and less competition for the Sixers. Throw in the fact that they don’t play each other until Jan. 29th, a month after Rondo’s expected return, and this sounds like great news. Bring it on, right? Wrong.
If Rondo’s returns early and successfully enough to turn the tide in Boston he could very well be shipped out of town. It’s been reported in the past that Rondo and his bad attitude could be had for the right price. If he can make the Celtics into a fringe playoff (aka worthless) team he could be shipped out of town. That rejuvenates the tanking initiative and, like the Sixers, sets them up for a bright future with a young core to replace the three amigos.
The other concern here would be that the Knicks are interested in Rondo. If they swing a trade, then they’d have a long-term dynamic duo of Rondo and Carmelo Anthony in the Atlantic. That’s a tough pairing to compete against.
The best case scenario in all of this would be for Rondo to take his time and return in early February or later. The trade deadline is on February 20th so it would give sellers a limited amount of time to trust his health and give the Celtics the price they’re seeking (probably multiple firsts or some sort of package deal). That way the Celtics can’t deal Rondo for picks and still damage their chance for a top five pick. Sixers win.
So while most of the fussing will be over what goes on with Evan Turner, there’s a much better player in the similar situation up north. Keep an eye on Rajon Rondo.
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Today is the day Sixers fans have been waiting for for over a year now. On August 10, 2012, the team announced the acquisition of their new franchise center in a 4-team deal that would change the landscape of the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers, coming off a season that saw them one win short of a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, would finally have their centerpiece big man to put them over the top. Decrepit knees kept Bynum from taking the court last season but tonight, the Wells Fargo Center crowd will finally get to see the big man on the court in Philadelphia.
The only problem is, it will be for the other team.
Coming into the season, it was clear that an aura of change had permeated the Sixers’ locker room. That aura appears set to stay for awhile as Evan Turner could be the next familiar Sixer to leave Philadelphia.
Thursday at midnight was the NBA’s deadline to extend player contracts. Turner, who is now playing in the fourth year of his rookie contract was not extended by the Sixers which means that he will enter Free Agency for the first time in his career.
The Sixers have until June 30th to make Turner a qualifying offer that will make him a restricted free agent, giving the team the right to match any offer. That qualifying offer will total $8.7 million if made. That total, or anything more, may prove too costly for a team that is poised to develop young talent and not to compete for at least a few seasons.
Turner expressed that there were no discussions with the Sixers about extending the contract.
The 2013-14 Sixers will begin their tumultuous journey against the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat. While the boys from South Beach will be looking to win their third NBA title in a row, the Sixers will be embarking on a season that will undeniably witness a lot more losses than wins.
The losses however will not have quite the sting to them that they have in the past. This year’s Sixers team is in full on rebuild mode, something that the team has been hesitant to embrace since the first departure of Allen Iverson.
The franchise’s official slogan for this season is “Together We Build”, a phrase that fully embodies what this season is all about.
The roster features a myriad of rookies and young players that will have to develop and grow if they are to reach their ultimate goal. That means there will indeed be growing pains and game one of the season will certainly have its share of pains.
On Opening Night, we will see two franchises with very different missions. One will be looking to further assert their dominance on the NBA while the other will be laying the foundation for what they hope will be a renaissance of one of the NBA’s greatest franchises.
Here’s what to look for during game one.