Category Archives: Sixers

IVERSON WATCH

Our Boys All Grown Up

Remember when I said, Iverson works on spite? Look at my man’s line from last night: 39 minute, 22 points on 9 of 15 shooting, 10 assists and 2 turnovers. Without practicing with the team he got 10 assists! It ain’t 84 points but it’s damn good. Andrew Freeborn was talking about flying out to Denver on the 20th for his first game with Melo. I’m down. Anybody else interested?

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The Future, The Past

A.I. the “killer” is gone. Denver wasn’t even in my top 5 places, but that’s where he’s going. The Nuggets now have the two most thuggish players in the league which is pretty awesome. The Sixers continued their losing ways last night, which is also awesome. I’ve heard  a lot of things about Iverson and the Sixers lately, but nobody mentioned how smooth the transition between excitement and abysmal is going to be. I loved watching A.I. even as the team struggled. Now he’s gone and they are god awful. It looks increasingly promising that they’ll land the number one pick. Has anything like this ever happened before? A number one pick, Iverson, buoys a cities spirits for a decade leaves the city and the next year they get another number one pick.

It makes me excited to think about it. Then I remember who is in charge of drafting. I remember who is in charge of rebuilding the team. Then I hear about who he is bringing back to guide the squad. That is when I get scared, really, really scared. Larry Brown knows how to bring in players he can coach. He is a terrible talent evaluator on a cosmic scale. He knows how to squeeze the most from the least. Mo Cheeks has no idea how to squeeze the most from the most. If Larry Brown and Billy King assemble a team it really doesn’t matter which picks Philly has or how much cap space they’ve got. Those dudes’ll fuck it up. Send the bums out of here.

As for Denver, I don’t understand the trade. They will not win a championship. A.I. is going to get into a bad rhythm taking all the shots while Melo sits out for a month. When Melo gets back they’ll have trouble meshing. The trade will be a failure. George Karl will be fired.

Now and Then

Iverson will be doomed to a lifetime of irritating articles about his inability to play with other great ballers. Carmelo will have his growth stunted and will be traded to another team before he wins a championship. These are all facts. Mark it. While your at it mark this down too:

If the Eagles win against the Cowboys next Monday, they’re going to the Super Bowl. Those are all facts. You watch. I’m a genius.

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Iverson Trade (more and re-thought)

The last post was rushed. Where do the real bloggers get the time to write as quantitatively as they do? Their word count and the frequency is staggering. Is it a matter of being a loser or do they have desk jobs? I do not have a desk job and you can ask your sister if I’m a loser. She’ll tell you yes. And if you don’t believe her, continue reading.

Though I do not have a desk job, I have constant access to a computer at my job. There I rushed through my last post on A.I. There I also keep my eyes on espn.com and the essential hoops hype. Essential to a nerd, that is. I want to know where Allen is going as soon as he is going there. Christmas is two weeks away but I am awaiting the result of the Iverson trade with greater anticipation. I compulsively check both of the aforementioned websites every five minutes. Luckily, it’s been slow at work the past week.

I don’t know why I care as much as I do about this trade. I just know that I do. It seems like sports writers care too. I imagine it is an exciting, jocular time for them, all vying to out-scoop each other. Stephen A. Smith threw Miami into the mix. Why not? Who confirms or denies this stuff? Everyone and no one. In addition to all the hearsey and hyperbole a lot of great stuff has been written. Harvey Araton of the New York Times continued his Jordan obsession, writing about the end of the synthetic Jordan era. Araton essentially writes that just as Iverson ushered in, or at least epitomized, a new era of basketball, his demanding a trade does the same thing. He continues that the league is shifting away from the belief that one player can win it all. The idea of team, from the Suns and Mavs to the Heat with Wade and Shaq has returned. Iverson and his 37 shot attempts in a single game are not only leaving Philadelphia, but the entire league in Araton’s opinion. Marc Stein wrote about Iverson’s ability to influence a trade even without a no-trade clause in his contract.  It is no wonder David Stern didn’t contact players about the various ball changes.  The league is filled with petulent divas.  Players like Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton and Tracy McGrady can simply skulk away when traded to a team they don’t like.  They are a bunch of bi-polar crazies.  Iverson wants out of Philadelphia, but only on his terms.  The Sixers are in fact going to get Jeff Honacek Junior.  Bill Simmons over at espn.com wrote a very supportive article about Iverson. He made some of the points I made in my last post, but he essential writes that the next three years with Iverson will remain an exciting competitive player. However, he doesn’t mention if he thinks Iverson can win a championship. He reiterates an increasingly recurring theme: Iverson would draw people into the stadium.

As for the Sixers there were two interesting things said tonight. First Phil Jasner pointed out that this trade has little to do with Iverson and everything to do with the Sixers. The Sixers are not moving Iverson to become contenders this year. They are moving him, so they can move on and pursue a new direction. In my last post I wrote about the Sixers contending in the Atlantic. Jasner pointed out on Daily News Live, it doesn’t matter. They are attempting to blow the whole team up and start anew. If they win they win, if not it doesn’t matter. I agree with this assessment, but it brings up 3 problems.

1. I admit I have not watched many Sixers games this year. I’m trying to get into grad school, for a dummy like me is quite a arduous task. Therefore hence I have little time. I managed to watch the past two games in the post-Iverson era. It’s frightening. Who is going to watch this? There are no young players, there are no set plays, there is no defense, there is no nothing. It is disturbing. As you may have guessed, I read Bill Simmons frequently. He constantly bashes Doc Rivers. Tonight Rivers looked like a genius. The Celtics beat the Sixers by 20. 20! The Celtics who, according to Simmons, can’t establish a rotation, and therefore shouldn’t be in synch managed to total almost twice as many assists as the Sixers. Cheeks is an icon here so people attack Iverson for questioning Cheeks as a coach, but Cheeks stinks. I can’t think of a more stand up guy, but saving young girls isn’t the same as saving a dying basketball team.

2. At the end of last season Iverson and Webber arrived late to the last home game of the season. The fan appreciation game. They weren’t playing. When Billy King found out about his potentially truant stars, he lost his mind, screaming in a profanity laced tirade in front of plenty of people. After that game he swore that things would change for the Sixers. He lied. In the off season almost nothing changed. In the middle of the season everything is going to change. Okay, so maybe he didn’t lie. I don’t know why I assumed he would change things during the summer. I also don’t know why this guy is still here. First Ed Wade, then Bobby Clarke, please let Billy King be next.

3. Greg Oden. Did you see him crush teams with just his left hand? Holy cow. Someone on espn (the t.v. station) suggested the Sixers had figured a way to lose games intentionally without looking too shady. By waiting to trade Iverson, they could tank the season away and wait for the promising upcoming draft. I don’t want to root for the Sixers to lose. I want them to win. Ping Pong balls might pop Sixers direction, they might not. So, lets just win, okay guys?

It’s really hard to get excited about this team, if anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears or eyes. Actually until Iverson is traded my eyes will be occupied at work still waiting for the news on the little guy.

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It Can’t Get Worse. (right?)

This is it. Its really serious now. No more kidding around. He’s really leaving. And where ever he winds up is going to be in for a real treat. I’m guessing Iverson will average 40 points and 6 assists this season. Why? Iverson works on spite. Remember when he went to the finals? The year before he went to the finals, the Sixers tried ditching him. He wanted to teach them a lesson. That lesson was: I’m good, really, really good. That is what made him so Philly. He was a mirror of the crazies that inhabit the city. He is a folk hero here. Hate him or love him, it doesn’t matter, one way or the other you feed into his mystique. His leaving adds to the lore of his story. Will it be another trade blunder on Billy King’s part or will he bring the right parts in? The whole league seems curious to see what happens with this trade. Billy King is as much a punchline asa GM right now. If he can make this work he can save his job. If he screws this up, he is out. Which means Mo Cheeks will be out. The Sixers are going to be radically different in three years. That is something to be excited about. You can also get excited if King brings in the right pieces. The Atlantic is a dreadful division. If King brings in 3 or 4 solid players the Sixers can win the division. Alter Webber’s role to be a point forward, put sure handed, defensive players around him and run a college style offense where the ball doesn’t hit the floor and the Sixers can win the division. It is a dream. Lots of teams are offering strange packages to King right now, but it seems like a lot of teams are scared of Iverson. Not because of personality issues, because of the age issues. If your waiting for Iverson to fall off physically, you’ll be waiting a long time. Iverson has inadvertently built himself to last. Kobe spends all summer working out, running around, lifting weights, generally wearing himself out. He”l be washed up by the time he hits 33. Iverson, on the other hand, spends his summers smoking weed, writing rap songs, drawing caricatures of friends and having sex with various ladies. Excepting the last one, those are not strenuous activities. He’s designed a plan to stay in great playing condition for a long time. He puts no extra miles on the odometer. And who ever gets him is going to realize this when he scores 84 points the first night he plays on their team.

Bricolator

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Sixers Now, Chuckers Later

Okay, so there’s close to a zero percent chance anyone came a knocking looking for the chuckers list, but lets just say they did, okay? I’m sorry, tonight I’m writing essays for college applications, I got caught up with a survey on Tuesday night and a flat on my bike and I decided to waste yesterday. Have you ever had a day just slip away from you? I went to bed last night and it felt like I had never woken up. It was a disturbing feeling. I watched the Sixers out the corner of my eye last night. They are a mess. It is another disturbing feeling to watch them attempt to play basketball. They are genuinely closer to AFBL than NBA. Its frightening to think about them finishing with a worse record than the Knicks, but right now, it is something that must be done. Webber stands out at the elbow, like I or John Freeborn would. Iverson drives around with the ball like Andrew Jones would. And Dalembert doesn’t use his size like Balzarini. Who wants to be Korver? We all stink at defense. It looked like the Bulls were making on average 3 passes a possession while the Sixers made maybe 1 per possesion. Statistically speaking the Sixers only had 7 fewer assists overall than the Bulls, so maybe my eyes deceived me. The big statistical categories were rebounds and shooting percentage. The Bulls hauled in 43 rebounds to the Sixers 29 and shot 61.5% to the Sixers 46.6%. These problems are all the same problems they had last year. Mo Cheeks is not working out. I don’t think they need a new coach right now. I think they need new players or players that will listen, but that isn’t going to happen. This team is really depressing. I don’t understand why basketball is so egotistical. If a team in the Atlantic division can be patient, can box out for rebounds and can run 5 or 6 offensive sets, they can win the division. New Jersey is 7-10 and in first. Its embarrassing. Unfortunately the players on the Sixers can’t get it together. And we have to watch crap. It will be more of what happened last night: Iverson running down the floor with no intention of passing. Not that he should, he has trash around him, but still it’s important to keep players involved. Last night he ran right past Webber a couple of times and I could see Webber get frustrated and quit on the play. Weak interior play by Dalembert and Iguodala, who is, incidentally, unable to finish at the rim like he should or make jumpers. This team needs to refocus. Or maybe just focus at all. They have an opportunity to win, I just don’t know if they will seize it.

Next week I promise to have the Chuckers Doctrine up. Not that you care.

Oh and one more thing, a quick follow up to J Free’s comment to last weeks re-cap. Do we need more players coming to the AFBL right now? I’m all for an influx of artists, but I’m already waiting a half an hour to play while a team with ringers tries to score 8 points. Imagine 20 people playing and 15 of them being AFers. I’d get a game in once a week. Instead of recruiting players how about working on stats?

–The Brickolator

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Sixers, Who Cares? (Week 1)

Occasionally I’m going to use this AFBLog platform to vent or report on the Sixers. A lot of us care about this team. Though I’m starting to wonder why. If the team were a person, not an idea, I would have broken off relations with them mid way through last season. I would have spent the rest of the season and summer looking for someone new to love. The Suns and Bulls were giving me coquettish furtive glances; all I have to do is walk across the room and introduce myself. But no, this is sport, where irrationality dictates. And therefore I am staying with my Sixers. My heart says to stay in the city regardless of how attractive other cities may look. It says I can’t run from my problems. It says find new people. Unfortunately I can’t find new people because I am not the GM. And even more unfortunately, he that is the GM, Billy King, chose not to find new people. And so the Sixers begin their season tonight, in much the same way they did last season. Does anybody care?

Philadelphia is a football town. Allen Iverson is a football player who just happens to play basketball, which is why so many people have loved him for so long. But it seems as though there has been a sway in the other direction against him lately. There is a resignation to the fact that he is not going to be bringing in a ring. On Freedarko.com one of their authors wrote, “I’d rather go 0-82 with Allen then 82-0 without him.” Obviously this is hyperbole, but it demonstrates the extreme feelings the little guy stirs up. Or should I say stirred up. This season seems like it will be a referendum on how Allen Iverson’s career will be remembered. Will the ennui fueled, jaundiced view of Iverson’s lack of defense and extreme chucking tendencies be his legacy? Or will the little warrior persona continue to live on? According to rumors Iverson was taken off the trading block because the franchise is for sale. I suppose the idea is that Iverson draws a crowd, gets some victories and is therefore a thing to have when selling. Sorta like a sunken living room for selling a house. But Iverson is not drawing a crowd and as Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote, “Pains me to point this out, since I’m a bigger Iverson sympathizer with each passing year, but if KG can miss the playoffs twice in a row, AI’s team certainly can.” So, Allen isn’t getting victories or crowds, then what is he doing here? He isn’t playing defense though he is vowing he will play tougher perimeter defense. I assume that should be an entertaining 7 minutes of basketball tonight.

He’ll give up on the thought and start jacking shots and playing passing lanes. And people will stop showing up to the games, stop watching them on t.v. The casual fan that is. The extreme emotion Iverson once brought about in both his admirers and his detractors is gone like air from a whoopee cushion. Are we spoiled by his play or has he spoiled the game itself? The east is no longer a bunch of chumps, four teams from the east have a legitimate chance to win the championship, and the Sixers ain’t one of them. Going into the season knowing they are playing for the sake of playing, not for the ultimate prize, might be what causes this calm before the calm. This season starts tonight and it seems like there are no feelings stirred in the city.

Brick James

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