July 6, 2016
NOW YOU can hate them. Unequivocally, unabashedly, unrelentingly. Call Draymond Green a punk, call Steph Curry a baby and Klay Thompson a freak. If you like. Hate the Golden State Warriors as if they won that Game 7 of the NBA Finals, as if they had won in five games as we all expected when they took that three games-to-one lead over the Cavaliers. That they didn't is one reason Kevin Durant is now a Warrior. He agreed to a two-year, $54.3 million deal Monday, his personal independence day - a deal that was less about titles or money and much more about legacy.
July 6, 2016 |
It turned out the Sixers came up a mere 63 wins short of landing Kevin Durant when the NBA's free agency period began over the weekend. That was the regular-season difference between the Sixers and the Golden State Warriors, the NBA Finals runner-up which has reportedly lured Durant with a two-year, $54.3 million contract. The free agency windows are open, and there is money flying through, but contracts can't become official until the league year begins Thursday. That is also the date when the terms of the NBA's most recent TV deals take effect, and teams will be so awash in cash that many crazy things will take place.
June 21, 2016 |
Watching a video clip of Ben Simmons will reveal most of the traits that the 76ers want in a power forward. You'll see strength. You'll see athleticism. You'll see great passing. But you won't see the great shooting range the Sixers also covet. But in all fairness, the 6-foot-10, 260-pound former LSU post player only attempted three three-pointers (hitting one) this past season. "He has all the tools," said Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who serves as Simmons' mentor.
June 20, 2016 |
The NBA Finals will conclude on Sunday, Father's Day, an ironic end date for what has become a Mother's Day sport. Though one 2013 study suggested the trend may at last be abating, pro basketball, for a variety of complex sociological reasons, is played disproportionately by young men who never had dads in their lives. That's why, when there's a McMansion to be gifted or a postgame shout-out to be made, the NBA parent who typically gets the call is mom. Maybe a more fitting fare for Father's Day would be Game 7 of the World Series.
June 9, 2016 |
That man on the Golden State Warriors' bench, the one they sometimes see Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talking to - they recognize that guy, even almost two decades later. In his eighth NBA stop, Ron Adams is acknowledged as an NBA defensive guru, an assistant coach to be trusted with a vital part of the game. For a group of guys around Philadelphia in their late 20s, Adams isn't just any assistant coach - he also was their assistant coach, when they were a little band of third graders at Valley Forge Elementary School, playing in the Malvern Summer League.
June 3, 2016 |
SCHEDULE All games on ABC GOLDEN STATE vs. CLEVELAND 1: Thursday, June 2 @Golden State. . . 9:00 2: Sunday, June 5 @Golden State. . . 8:00 3: Weds., June 8 @Cleveland. . . 9:00 4: Friday, June 10 @Cleveland. . . 9:00 *5: Monday, June 13 @Golden State. . . 9:00 *6: Thursday, June 16 @Cleveland. . . 9:00 *7: Sunday, June 19 @Golden State. . . 8:00 *If Necessary. HISTORY Cleveland: Has never won the NBA title. It's only other appearances in the Finals were last year and in 2007.
June 3, 2016
ED BARKOWITZ It's fun to imagine what Dr. James Naismith would think of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. It'd probably be something along the lines of a caveman trying to figure out an iPhone. As dazzling as the "Splash Brothers" are, this is LeBron James' moment. There are no excuses. The Cavaliers had plenty of rest breezing through the NBA's JV conference while Golden State was pushed to seven games in a wonderful West Finals. James will have help this year from Kevin Love and, more importantly, Kyrie Irving.
May 14, 2016 |
Over salads at a City Avenue chain restaurant back in the fall of 2013, Sam Hinkie revealed his naivete about Philadelphia's sports culture that came to doom him here. He had been the 76ers' president and general manager for just eight months at the time, still early enough in his tenure that he was willing to speak publicly for the sake of persuading everyone that his rebuilding plan could work. So the obvious question was put to him: You're going to tank more than one season in a town that doesn't abide anything less than maximum effort from its teams and players.
April 15, 2016 |
IF THIS HAD been a prison sentence, Sixers coach Brett Brown was given three years of hard labor. The third one, completed with the 72nd loss of the season on Wednesday, nearly broke him. Trying to find a point guard to effectively lead his team for the first third of the season wasn't a real option with the players he was given. He was given no veterans with on-court value who could help him develop the multitude of NBA infants. His star rookie got into off-the-court problems in three instances that involved police.
April 6, 2016 |
HOUSTON - On the morning it was announced that he would be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 9, Allen Iverson, decked out in a King of Hearts shirt with chains hanging from his neck, was seated at a round table in a hotel ballroom explaining that 20 years after he was drafted by the Sixers, five years retired and finally out of the chaos that was his life from the bowling-alley incident, to prison, to Georgetown, to...