Friday, February 28, 2014

At least the Sixers have a blueprint for the future

The Sixers have struggled mightily this season, as expected. But, in the midst of all of the losing, at least the franchise has a blueprint for the future. Literally.

76ers blueprint for the future

The above image is a 'blueprint' designed by the team, highlighting the pieces the team already has in place, and emphasizing the potential for draft picks in the upcoming NBA Draft.

This blueprint was designed to be distributed to season ticket holders to increase excitement for the future, despite the struggles this season.

Your 2013-14 76ers.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chris Bosh is not a fan of the Phillie Phanatic

Check out the original article from here. (Warning: Light subject matter).
The Phillie Phanatic is pretty popular in the Philadelphia. He is so popular in fact, that the team began marketing, and selling (successfully none the less) those weird green hats with the long ear flaps in his resemblance.

Kids love watching the Phanatic cruise around on his cart, and drunk dudes love dancing with him atop the dugout.

The Phanatic has been around since 1978, and is widely viewed as one of the best mascots in sports.

But, despite the acclaim, not everyone loves the fuzzy green guy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

After a strong start to the season, Michael Carter-Williams' play has plateaued

Check out the original article, published on, here.
After a hot start to the season, Michael Carter-Williams’ play has plateaued.

He is still likely a lock for Rookie of the Year honors, and he continues to display skill, promise, and potential on nearly a nightly basis. But, not everything he’s shown for the Sixers so far this season has been all good, and his production, which was prolific to start the season, has leveled off.

After the way Carter-Williams burst onto the scene on opening night with a near-triple-double against the defending champions some slip was expected; he wasn’t going to average 22, 12, 9, and 7. The talent around him must be taken into account as well; the Sixers are one of the youngest, most inexperienced, and let’s be honest, talent-starved teams across the league’s landscape, and that was before they traded away Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner for pennies on the dollar. Their lack of true threats on the offensive end makes it that much easier for opposing defenses, especially to cue in on Carter-Williams.

Carter-Williams hasn’t had the benefit of coming in as a rookie and just trying to fit with the franchise, but rather he was tossed into the fire from the start, as the starting point guard for a depleted, and for lack of a better word, tanking, team. Carter-Williams has had to learn the league, and the pro game on the go, without the benefit of being able to play behind an established point for a single season, or even playing on a team with talent that could help to take some of the burden off of his skinny shoulders.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Evan Turner 'ecstatic' about being traded from Philadelphia to Indiana

Check out the original article from here
Despite having to push back his vacation plans, Evan Turner was ‘ecstatic’ about being traded to the Indiana Pacers, according to his agent David Falk.

“They play old-fashioned, no-nonsense basketball, that’s the way Evan sees himself,” Falk stated to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.

Turner’s excitement is not so surprising, as the fourth-year forward needed a change of scenery just about as badly as anyone across the league’s landscape.

Turner could never quite live up to the ‘next Sixer superstar’ expectations that came with being selected second overall in the 2010 NBA Draft, and despite some improved output this season, he was never fully embraced by the fan base. It was like they were perpetually waiting for Turner to turn into who they thought he was going to be, and his inabilities only fueled their frustrations.

No wonder Turner is amped for the opportunity. He won’t be playing for a team looking to make him the foundation of the franchise for the future, or banking on him developing into a superstar. Instead, his role will be reduced to that of a reserve, and he will be looked to for some offensive output off of the bench.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Now with the Pacers, Evan Turner must accept a new role and alter his summer schedule

Check out the original article from here.
The Sixers aren’t going to make the playoffs this season, but the Pacers are, and that puts a pinch on Evan Turner’s vacation plans.

After Turner hadn’t heard any news about his relocation when he thought deadline day’s deals to be done, he assumed he was going to finish the season as a Sixer, and thus have a pretty open schedule come the end of April.
In fact, the fourth-year forward was reportedly planning his post-season escape when he found out that he had indeed been shipped to Indiana.

Sam Hinkie works to reshape the Sixers, while making up for past management's mistakes

While Thursday's NBA Trade Deadline was relatively boring for the rest of the league, it was an extremely busy/exciting day for the Sixers franchise and fan base.

Check out the original article from, here.
When Sam Hinkie took over as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers last May he had a clear and obvious operative: make up for past management’s mistakes and build the team back into a contender. 

Hinkie has had that position for a little under a year now, and it is safe to say he has wasted little time in implementing a plan, and restructuring and reshaping the Sixers. 

He began hacking away at the missteps of past management at the 2013 NBA Draft, where he traded away the talented, but well-paid and not always efficient Jrue Holiday, for a growing commodity in today’s NBA; assets in the form of draft picks. 

Hinkie received rave reviews for the moves he made at draft night, which served as his first true test as a Sixer. By securing the likely Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams, and Nerlens Noel, who seems to be recovering well from his injury, Hinkie began to build a foundation for the franchise. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'Pretzel Park' has a name fit for streetball lore

All of the best streetball courts across the country have cool, catchy names. There's 'The Cage', 'Venice Beach', and of course most famously, 'Rucker Park'.

While strolling home through Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood the other evening, I found myself soldiering through snow in the middle of one of Manayunk's most well-known and popular parks, Pretzel Park, when boom, it hit me.

Pretzel Park is such a unique, distinct name for a park, but unfortunately it is not associated with a court.

There is a dog park, a playground, a gathering area, and some other stuff, but no basketball court.

For those unfamiliar with the Manayunk streetball scene, which barely exists as it is, there are several outdoor courts with which to play, but none of them are especially nice, or central, or known to be the go-to spot, especially since Manayunk's own Venice courts, located behind Main Street were removed.

If Pretzel Park added a court it could serve as the neighborhood's central spot for streetball and begin to build up a history around a unique name deserving of one.

Monday, February 17, 2014

NBA All-Star summary, Sixers style.

So NBA All-Star weekend 2014 in New Orleans came and went. It was an exciting, action-packed weekend full of memorable moments, and proud players.

For Sixers fans though, the weekend went largely like the rest of the season has; Michael Carter-Williams came up short in the final seconds in the only event he was involved in, and otherwise, the Sixers were far out of the spot light.

They had no all-stars, no three-point or dunk competitors. Hell, I don't even think any of the other players went to hang out.

So basically, as a Sixers fan, I sat in my living room with a bag over my head and my Sixers mardi gras beads, actually obtained in New Orleans a couple years earlier, dangling loosely over my chest.

No really.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain
At least the East won, and the game was about as competitive as an all-star game can get. There was a lot of good action, including a seemingly unlimited amount of Blake Griffin dunks, and in the end the game was up for grabs, all you can really ask for. 

Speaking of the dunk contest however, wow. There were some awesome individual dunks, but overall, it was awful. Too short, and the whole team competition idea really took away from the contest. I understand an emphasis on teamwork, but the dunk contest is, and always has been, an individual event, and that's how it should remain. The initial freestyle round was beyond awful. I missed the scorecards too. Holding up an iPad that said either 'East' or 'West' didn't serve the same excitement and anticipation value of the numerical cards.

Nelly watching the 2014 dunk contest like ughh
The concept of a dunk contest sells itself. The fact that the league continues to ruin the once-great competition blows my mind. Get six of the league's best dunkers, give them a few rounds to battle it out with each other, and boom, it will be awesome.

Anyway, on to the second half of the season.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Andrew Bynum just wouldn't stop shooting

I feel like I write about Andrew Bynum every dang day. This story is pretty funny though, as I could totally picture it going down. Check out the original article from here.
Andrew Bynum’s tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t last too long. 

After the center-turned-ninja’s disastrous stay with the Sixers, I questioned what team would be willing to give him another shot, and the Cavaliers popped up as the answer to my question. 

The Cavs took a risk bringing in Bynum, and although he actually made it into a uniform and out onto the court, which is more than he did during his stint with the Sixers, he couldn’t even keep it together long enough to make it to early January to guarantee his entire $12.5 million salary for the season. 

According to a recent report from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Bynum stopped trying out on the court for Cleveland, and developed into a disruptive presence in practice. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step your sock game up

Along with underwear, socks are one of the few clothing items that you wear almost every day.

Not only do you wear socks on the daily, but they are also the rare clothing items that is completely pressed up against your skin. Unlike a jacket or a shirt, that can be buffered with another item or undergarment, socks are straight against your skin. No undershirt can save you from itchy socks. If your socks are old or threadbare – you feel it. If there is a wear-hole in your sock – you can feel it. If your socks are too thin and you’re partaking in some sports – you will probably get a blister. 

Seriously, who wants to suffer through a day in some uncomfortable socks? 

Yet and still, even with this logic, I see tons of people disregarding their sock selection. These people obviously don’t know how good it feels to slide on a fresh pair of Stance socks, or how a day can be improved by starting with a comfortable pair of socks. 

If you’re still buying bulk, generic white socks, you’re doing it wrong, and have been for years. You wear socks every day, and feel them in a closer proximity than most other clothing articles, so why skimp on them? 
Aesthetics aside, having a solid sock collection can work wonders for your daily comfort and mind set. With that being said, here are my five favorite socks:

The Sixers' season reaches a new low as Marreese Speights recieves MVP chants

The Sixers lost back-to-back games by 40 points, and their domination was punctuated by "MVP" chants from the Oracle Arena crowd for Marreese Speights.

It is safe to say that Speights has never been on the receiving end of an MVP chant during his professional career, and he apparently found it funny.

"That was so funny. I started laughing," he told the Associated Press.

Funny is one way to look at it.
Photoshopped by Michael Kaskey-Blomain

The Sixers have been giving up season, and even career high performances all season, but it's a little more salty coming from an ex-Sixer.

You may remember Speights from being mostly mediocre during his stint with the Sixers, which probably lasted longer than it should have. He was on the squad from 2008-2011 before being traded away for nothing a couple second-rounders.

At the time of the draft, which I vividly remember watching from the guest bedroom of my Uncle's Atlantic City spot, I was disappointed that the Sixers selected Speights over DeAndre Jordan, who was selected immediately afterwards.

If only I had known that Speights would be the recipient of MVP chants down the road.

No but really, what could better exemplify the Sixers' struggles than Most Valuable Player chants for a dude that is somewhat surprisingly still in the league. Ouch. See for yourself:

Evan Turner's production is plummeting

Check out the original article, which was featured on True Hoop's First Cup Tuesday, from here

After a hot start to the season, Evan Turner has cooled off considerably. 

At the start of the season, Turner served as a scoring machine for the upstart Sixers, who came out of the gate running at the league’s fastest pace, and thus providing Evan ample opportunity to operate. 

Throughout the season’s first month, Turner was putting up twenty plus points, snagging seven rebounds, and dropping four additional dimes per game. The fourth-year forward from Ohio State was slowly gaining the support of some of the fan base, and even heard his name tossed around early as a potential all-star selection. 

These days though, all Turner is hearing his name associated with is trade rumors.
Since the start of the season, Turner’s production has plummeted, and all the good will he built up with his strong start is dissipating quickly, leaving the franchise, the fan base, and the forward, frustrated. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

For the Sixers, the 2013 NBA Draft was a solid start for the future of the franchise

It's becoming difficult to watch the struggling Sixers, but hey, it's not all bad. Check out the original article from here
It’s funny, or ironic, considering the amount of hype surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft, that if, and when, this Sixers squad returns to relevancy under Brett Brown, the 2013 Draft will be credited as the catalyst for the future success of the Sixers. 

The 2014 Draft may further the future, but June 27, 2013 is the evening that put the wheels in motion for the franchise’s first full recent rebuild. 

At that time the Sixers didn’t have a coach. They were slotted to pay Jrue Holiday around $11 million a year until 2016, and Kwame Brown was on the active roster. A lot has changed in eight months.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I miss Ma$e, who is performing at halftime of the Nets vs. Pistons game

After all these years, the artist formally known as Murda Mase, and then Ma$e, and then Pastor Mason Betha, and then Ma$e again remains one of my favorite artists of all time. His first two albums, Harlem World and Double Up, remain in heavy rotation, and I have still never fully gotten over his initial retirement from the hip-hop world in 1999.

At the time, I was a budding fifth-grader with an affinity for rap music and basketball (as you can see, not much has changed), and Ma$e was everything to me. He was young, he was cool, and boy his flow; a slow, smooth delivery that could balance between hardcore and harmony. On the heels of the death of the Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e to me, and millions of others represented the new wave of hip-hop, the future. His style was original and unique, with a relate-able feel, although he was talking about things that at 11 years old I could only vaguely imagine.

"Everybody know I got more bounce than the ounce/Bad Boy get more money than you can count/ Why I'm buying things you can't even pronounce" - Ma$e, 'Only You', 1996.

After 15 years of imitations (Loon, Fabolous, Lloyd Banks, Nelly, and even Drake and Kanye) his style doesn't sound so unique, but he was the original.

At the time, I couldn't wrap my mind around his retirement. This was a young artist at the top of his game, who seemingly had everything - money, girls, fame, respect - walking away from all of that to give himself to the church. Wtf?

I knew every word of the under-advertised Double Up, which often gets cast aside, but is actually an extremely solid album, albeit not as game-changing as its predecessor, Harlem World, back then, but it wasn't until years later that I actually heard it.

"All my cars and homes and all my ice/ If I could do it all again, I'd do it all for Christ/ Whoever thought the limelight or the super-stardom/ Whoever thought there'd be a problem comin' through Harlem/ Can't even chill, cats wanna make me a villian/ Cats that I grew up with I gotta contemplate killin'/ Nobody love me, I'm my own mister, and on my own, mister/ Mama did what she could but now I'm grown, mister."

"How you live right? Every day get in bigger sin/ How you say no at the door screamin' "Let me in"?/ From the outside it's lookin' gooder than it ever been/ But tell the truth, when I was broke it was better then."- Ma$e, "From Scratch', 1999.

That's deep, honestly. For a man that was mostly known for his catchy hooks and shiny suits, he could really, really express personal emotion and pain when he wanted to.

Take for instance, his approach to his new-found fame and the litany of fake friends it surrounded him with; a common archetype in rap music, and one that Drake touched on on his recent smash single "No New Friends."

"As a youth it's just a lot of shit I wanna live out/
Got alot of friends but only had a few when I was without/
Same niggas I was starvin', couldn't get a crumb from/
Sometimes I think, where all these mother fuckers come from/
I needed money for school, couldn't get no ones from/
Got jumped in the park and couldn't get the guns from/

But yo', where were these freaks when I had no jeeps/
Livin on 34th street and we ain't have no heat/
'Cross from P.S. 92, 7th and 8th/
Asked you for dough and you said "no" dead in my face/
But now that I'm on, it's like I owe everybody somethin'/
All my niggas dead so everybody frontin'/
Same kid's went to Catholic school is dealers/
And same nigga's had no heart is now killers/
Sometimes I reminisce on what I said in the mist/
But even when I dream, it wasn't better than this/
But actually, the nigga's who would scrap for me/
Or go as far as getting guns and clap for me/
Ain't even here to get a platinum plaque for me/
I talk to them but they don't talk back to me/
I ain't know you that long so ain't much I can ask of you/
And when I reminisce I can't take it back wit' you/
I can't ask "Yo' what happen to my nigga Black or Q?"/
So I don't really need to rap wit you, ya know?" -
Ma$e, 'Same Niggas', 1999.

These quotes all illustrate a young man struggling to deal with new-found fame, and the changes it has caused in his life. Sure, from the outside angle it was easy to look in and say 'this guy has it all,' but there was obviously deeper issues at work, and Mase's ability to express them goes well beyond the means of simply a 'pop rapper.'

I related to Mase, and I still do. Maybe that's why I've hold onto his legacy so tightly despite the fact that he has only released one official album since 1999. I find myself getting excited each time a new rumor of his comeback surfaces, or he is featured on some sort of remix, because really I feel like I've been robbed. Two of my favorite artists of that and all-time stopped making music prematurely. Notorious B.I.G. met an untimely end, and two complete classic albums is all anyone will have to remember Biggie by, but Ma$e could have been more. He put out two albums that I really, really liked by the time I was 12, and I was looking forward to him supplying the soundtrack for my teens-to-twenties transition. Had he not left hip-hop, my music catalog would likely consist of 5 or 6 more Ma$e albums, and in all likelihood some of those tracks would have talked to me in the same way his first two albums did. I don't like that when I'm in the mood for some Ma$e, which is obviously pretty often, that I really only have two album options to choose from.

But, throughout Double Up, sprinkled between the Puffy-helmed pop jams, Ma$e paints the picture of a young man struggling with success and his current situation, and although I have always selfishly wanted more music from Ma$e, I can't be mad at a guy for staying true to himself.

While his repeated comebacks and disappearances don't necessarily lend credibility to his cause, his music has continued to be felt and appreciated in hip-hop without Ma$e doing much.

So yeah, it is kind of strange to see Ma$e, once arguably the biggest name in the game, performing at halftime of a regular season Nets/Pistons game in Detroit. But that's the game, if Ma$e is serious about making a comeback this time - which he swears he is, as he has aptly named his upcoming album 'Now We Even,' as in 'this album is so good that now we're even for all the time I left you without new music - then he has to do what he has to do.

Many people in attendance at the Palace of Auburn Hills may not know Ma$e, or his impact on hip-hop, although they have been indirectly hearing his influences on the radio for the past decade.

I have never seen Ma$e live, but since halftime of Detroit and Brooklyn's battle appears to be where he can be seen these days, I wish I was going to the game.

Andrew Bynum is a ninja

Check the original article from here

Now we finally know what Andrew Bynum spent all his time doing when he was sidelined during his entire stint with the Sixers. 

Well, other than bowling. And dancing. And changing his hairstyle. 

He was becoming a ninja. No, really. 

Sixers' Michael Carter-Williams set to star in CBS documentary about the NBA Summer League Experience

Be sure to check out the entire article on here.

Before he was the front-runner for Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams struggled through Summer League with the Sixers. 

Now, thanks to a CBS documentary entitled Summer Dreams, we will have an opportunity to follow Carter-Williams’ journey first-hand. 

CBS plans to air Summer Dreams, a two-hour long documentary about NBA rookies and fringe free agents competing for spots in Summer League, on March 15, just in time for March Madness. 

"With unprecedented access, we'll witness hopes dashed and dreams coming true right in front of our eyes," executive producer Mike Tollin said in a statementabout the film

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Revisit: Photos of Andrew Bynum bowling in Manayunk

If you know me somewhat well, then you know I reside in Manayunk, right on the outside of the City of Brotherly Love.

There's not too much in Manayunk except a mess of bars and/or restaurants with enough food and drink to put the entire city into a stupor. Which isn't a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but as far as sports news, that's mostly generated about 15 miles away at the bottom of Broad Street.

Sure, Lou Williams got held up at gunpoint in the Yunk, and Sammy Dalembert used to live on Main Street, but it's usually pretty quiet on the breaking sports news front.

That is until Andrew Bynum came to town.

Kansas' Andrew Wiggins goes to the 76ers in mock draft

Check out the original article, which ran oh here
The 2014 NBA Draft still sits several months away, and mock draft boards will change literally dozens of times before draft day, but it’s never too early to get an idea of where particular players may fall.’s most recent iteration of their annual mock draft has Kansas’ freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins falling into Philadelphia’s lap at third overall. 
Image from

Wiggins entered the season at Kansas as the country’s most-hyped prospect and what looked like a lock for the Draft’s number one slot, but some inconsistences, mixed with some over-scrutiny, and the emergence of some other top players have made competition extremely tough at the top. 

Still, at this point it seems that most Sixers fans would be satisfied with the selection of Wiggins, whose athleticism provides him with superstar potential. With Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel already in tow, the Sixers have a future foundation at the point and the post, and they are in need of an elite wing, which could be Wiggins.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Trading Evan Turner to Charlotte makes sense for both sides

Check out the full article from Philadunkia, here.
With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Sixers will eventually have to make a move with Evan Turner if they don’t want to risk having him walk for nothing this summer, or pay a pretty penny to retain his services. 

There is some interest around the league, as he has shown that he can score this season (even if his numbers are inflated because of the Sixers’ blistering pace), including from some serious interest from Charlotte. 

According to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell, the Bobcats have already inquired about acquiring Turner, and if Charlotte is willing to part with a pick, then the move makes sense for both sides. 

Some things we've learned about Brett Brown and the future of the Sixers

Check out the original article from, here.
The Sixers have played over half a season’s worth of games under new head coach Brett Brown, and while the sample size is still small, it has provided ample opportunity to get an idea of what Brown is all about as a coach. 

After 46 games in a single season (the Sixers are currently 15-31), coaching techniques and tendencies begin to show. Substitution patterns, in-game adjustment abilities, and personal preferences emerge, and you can begin to paint a fuller picture of a coach and all that encapsulates him. 

Such a picture is far from complete of course, as it may take a coach several seasons, or situations before he fully hits his stride. But if a coach can be fired after only five games (sorry, Mike Brown), then trends can be traced after a half-season’s worth of work. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jay Z, Beyonce, Russell Wilson watch the Sixers together

So Jay Z, Beyonce, and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson spent Monday evening watching some mediocre basketball between the Sixers and the Nets. Wonder what they were joking about.

(Image from 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Did the Los Angeles Lakers overpay for Kobe Bryant? Phil Jackson thinks so.

All in all, I like Kobe. But his recent contact has had me scratching my head since the ink dried. At least I'm not alone. Check out the original article from here
Phil Jackson has never been one to hold his tongue when it comes to his former players (just read one of his books), and it seems that the Zen Master hasn’t shied away from such statements despite being a couple years removed and retired from the game. 

In a recent interview with NBATV’s Rick Fox, ironically one of Phil’s former players, the coach stated that he feels that the Lakers overpaid Kobe Bryant when re-signing him to a two-year contract extension earlier this season.

Jackson did not disagree with the decision to re-sign Bryant, just with the amount with which he signed for.