Good grief. What a doozy of a press conference Bryan Colanglo held today. It was a long, at times rambling, account of all things Sixers. Colangelo seemed anxious and fidgety at first, but settled in and even rebuffed a PR staffer and forged ahead, collars out, when they called for the last question. At one point he heard an Amber Alert go off and wished the victim well.
Colangelo announced that Ben Simmons would miss the remainder of the season and that Joel Embiid would miss at least four more games. He said the Sixers had discussed signing Ersan Ilyasova to essentially a one-year extension, but couldn’t make it work with his agent. Colangelo spoke for a solid 10 minutes before he even broached the Noel trade.
I’m exhausted from blogging the Sixers’ BS over the past few days, so here’s a brief breakdown, likely riddled with typos, of some of the doublespeak put forth by Colangelo that I feverishly transcribed like a Muppet masturbating at 2X speed: Continue Reading
Well, that was certainly some press conference. We’ll have a more complete recap shortly, but first let’s discuss Bryan Colangelo talking about putting on his big boy pants in front of Joel Embiid and the medical team.
Colangelo was asked if he understood why some fans felt deceived over the way Joel Embiid’s injury news has been handled. He explained that after having Embiid play the road leg of a back-to-back earlier this season, as opposed to the home portion, he heard from fans loud and clear. Here’s the clip in part, with the full transcript of his answer:
“The first time that we came upon this back-to-back scenario where he would play a game or not play a game, and it aired on the side of he’s gonna play in Minnesota if you remember. And there was talk about it being a national TV game. Let’s put it this way: I made sure that never happened again.”
“If we were gonna er on the side of which game he was gonna play, we were gonna er on the side of him playing here. Always was the case. That particular one was the first if I’m not mistaken, and it’s a response basically to our fans. They spoke, we listened. And I think that’s important. But I instructed the medical team that we should only factor that in if it is within the scope of his plan of progression, in terms of rehabilitating his injury or managing his injury.”
Colangelo didn’t mention it, but it’s worth noting that Embiid has played precisely one game since injuring his knee against the Trailblazers on Inauguration Day– at home, against the Rockets, on national TV, a week later. It certainly feels like fan expectation may have played into that decision.
Still, letting your voice be heard works. I’ll meet you all outside the practice facility in an hour. Bring signs.
FUCK YOU, MARCUS, for mind-fucking me with your troll job into directing my anger toward you on a day where all outrage can and should be rightfully directed at Joshua Harris, Scott O’Neil, Bryan Colangelo et. al for their hostile takeover of basketball fandom and basic earthly truths.
I’m not even sure I can muster up the energy to hate someone with a pile of poop for a head today… but, Marcus sure is making me try with his baffling defense of Bryan Colangelo:
Contained there within is a tepid defense of Colangelo’s secrecy, brushed aside with a wave of the hand by Marcus, who spent the better part of three years filleting Sam Hinkie for similar misdeeds. There is also, of course, a defense of the Noel trade and the failure to trade Jahlil Okafor, this just days after Hayes grammatically accosted Okafor and all but demanded that he be carved into little tiny Oakbites and served to the highest bidder, or any bidder. And then there’s the leap in logic when Hayes invoked his curious love affair with Ersan Ilyasova and Thad Young:
Bryan Colangelo traded for veteran shooting forward Ersan Ilyasova, the franchise’s most complete player since Thaddeus Young. He was an excellent complement to Embiid and a superb mentor for Saric, a rookie forward from Croatia who played the last two seasons in Turkey, Ilyasova’s homeland. In his first 51 NBA games, Saric averaged 9.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and shot 37.7 percent from the field. In the last five games, Saric averaged 20.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and shot 52.6 percent. Saric was nearly brought to tears when the Sixers traded Ilyasova on Wednesday.
They traded Ilyasova to Atlanta for Tiago Splitter and two second-round picks. Ilyasova would have been a free agent after this season. The Sixers had no incentive to re-sign him since he and Saric occupy the same role. Ilyasova’s departure frees more minutes for Saric.
They signed Gerald Henderson, who is quietly having a solid season and whose leadership, said Embiid, has been invaluable.
Could Team Colangelo have been more accessible over the past year or so? Sure.
Could they have been more transparent? Absolutely.
They might be wrong about Noel’s worth. They might overvalue Okafor. Both of those points are, at least, arguable.
Overall, given the hand dealt them by Hinkie and Harris, the Colangelos have done relatively little harm and at least some good.
As hard as that might be to admit.
What an odd decision to cite the Ersan Ilyasova signing as a defense of Colangelo. The Sixers just traded him. Hayes’ entire point, if I’m interpreting this dreck correctly, rests on the fact that Colangelo used Ilyasova as a popsicle stick to prop up Saric and then traded him away… to free up minutes for Saric. That’s like praising a madman for not killing all of the hostages. Thanks? Hayes is, in effect, applauding Colangelo for taking on a bottom-feeding contract and flipping it for a few second round picks, which is the sort of thing over which he excoriated Sam Hinke. My brain hurts.
Bryan Colangelo announced right off the bat at his press conference today that Ben Simmons is done for the season. His MRI yesterday showed that there was “not full healing” in the bone. He’ll have another scan in a month, but even if all goes well, it won’t give him enough time rehab and play this season.
Colangelo also said Embiid will miss the next four games at a minimum. He said that doctors want to be “prudent” and protect the long-term health Embiid, and Simmons, and not rush either of them back.
Credit to John Barchard, who nailed this report late last night.
A report from our good friend John Barchard:
“[Insert player name]’s scan shows a fracture and they’re unsure if it’s new or old,” might as well we on the team’s letterhead at this point. And if we’re to believe this is true, it becomes apparent that this image from Ben Simmons’ Snapchat isn’t Ben being bummed about his bud Nerlens being traded:
I can’t imagine Bryan Colangelo’s mental state going into his 10:30 press conference – where he’ll have to defend the handling of Embiid, explain trading Nerlens, and now maybe break bad Simmons news – but I’m gonna feel bad for him only if Joshua Harris doesn’t drag his ass down from New York on a helicopter and answer some questions, because this all goes well beyond the GM.
I am going to spit vicious fire today. I’ve had enough of the Sixers organization. They’re full of shit, in almost every regard, every day, each day more full of shit than the last. They ejaculated away all of that goodwill will from January, balled it up in a tissue, and tossed it in the trash, leaving the rest of us to wonder what might have become of it. Perhaps it would’ve been a baseball player, or a rocket scientist? We’ll never know. Tomorrow, they’ll do it again. They’ll overflow their trash can with hardened tissues and then tell us it’s a plant.
That press release, accompanied by this Tweet…
… is downright offensive. It’s patronizing bullshit. It’s FAKE NEWS. How stupid do they think we are? As surmised, Bryan Colangelo got the Mavs to throw in a first round pick that doesn’t really exist* just so he could save face and give the Sixers’ spinmasters something they could work with, because God knows they don’t have a stupid business magazine award to tell us about today. Fuck. That.
*There’s virtually no chance the Mavs’ pick lands outside the top 18 and conveys to the Sixers, who will wind up with two second round picks from the deal.
I sort of hate myself for pulling the ol’ District 12 card and feigning outrage against the Capitol like a hapless peon, if only because it portrays the Sixers has having some sort of power over me, or possessing the secret truth to which the rest of us aren’t privy. They’re undeserving. Specifically, Bryan Colangelo is a simpleton. But what he and the team have done over the past month is downright reprehensible.
In a vacuum, the Sixers might get the benefit of the doubt for this misleading claim about a first round pick. But Senator, you’re no Hoover. There is a pattern of intentional, needless, fan-hostile deception. Let’s just take the last few months:
- The Sixers outright lied about Joel Embiid’s injury, calling it only a bone bruise and stating that he would be day-to-day. They apparently rushed him back (I don’t think there’s another explanation here) to play in a national TV game against the Rockets, and then were forced to sit him for the next month. Not until Derek Bodner reported that an MRI showed a meniscus tear were the Sixers forced acknowledge Embiid was more injured than they initially let on. Even Embiid himself was annoyed with the team’s communicating of the injury, telling reporters yesterday: “I was told that I was going to kind of miss two or three weeks. So I wasn’t happy with the way it was handled. I thought keeping my name out there was going to literally have people think about me all the time instead of saying when I was going to come back.”
- Ditto for Ben Simmons’ injury. The day after his January 23 MRI, the Sixers, on their website, wrote, “the results of the scan… were clean.” Three weeks later we learned that the MRI revealed a bone in his foot was not fully healed and was anything but clean.
- Even with these setbacks, the Sixers did nothing to quell rampant speculation that February 24 – today – the first game after the all-star break, was shaping up to be Simmons’ debut. And despite knowing that he had no shot of playing tonight (let alone the fact that Embiid won’t play either), they raised ticket prices, something we learned only because a ticket rep told us, since single game prices are hidden inside the mysterious black box that is the Sixers’ StubHub partnership. They didn’t bother to give a timetable for Embiid’s return – which is at least four games away – until yesterday, during the height of trade deadline hysteria. Maybe no one will notice if we do it now? This is the closest thing to a predatory sales tactic that I’ve ever seen from a sports team.
- And then there’s our GM. Colangelo overplaying his hand with Jahlil Okafor, holding him out of a game and sending him home in an apparent effort to create faux demand and draw out potential trade partners, may go down as one of the most laughable maneuvers ever by a Philly front office executive. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad. Colangelo couldn’t find anyone to take Okafor, so he fuck-panicked and traded Nerlens Noel for a haul that was less than what most people expected him to get in return for Okafor, and then spent the rest of deadline day trying unsuccessfully to move the expiring contract of Andrew Bogut(?). WELL DONE, SIR! WELLLLLLLLL DONE.
This has been an epic reversal of tide. The Sixers have done virtually everything wrong. With a series of tone deaf and incompetent maneuvers, they’ve destroyed all of the organic goodwill they had working in their favor just a month ago. And if that weren’t bad enough, they’ve intentionally misled us every step of the way. They are, in other words, full of shit.
OK. The trade deadline has come and gone. Jahlil Okafor, despite being sent home over a week ago due to an impending trade(!!!), is still on the Sixers and projected to start tomorrow night, at home, in a game the team raised ticket prices for, which now won’t feature Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid or Nerlens Noel. Or Ersan Ilysova, for that matter. It will, however, feature Okafor. Amazing.
Where was I before I got temporarily blinded by the reality of that lede? Ah, right, the Noel trade.
- The Mavs’ 2017 first round pick (top 18 protected), or their 2017 and 2018 second round picks. Since the Mavs are awful, the Sixers will wind up with the two second round picks. And I suspect the first round protected pick was included just so Bryan Colangelo could save his big, long, Falcon-like face.
- Andrew Bogut. This is essentially a trade conduit, and by all accounts the Sixers will buy him out.
- Justin Anderson. He has reasonable upside, especially on the defensive end. His success may ultimately determine the success of the trade.
- Nerlens Noel.
- Bryan Colangelo’s dignity.
What to know
The reaction to the Nerlens Noel trade so far – whether for or AGAINST – has been those two second round picks. But the Sixers got an actual basketball player in the deal, too. His name is Justin Anderson. Let’s talk about him.
Anderson was the 21st pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Virginia, where he averaged 12.2 points and 4 rebounds on 45% shooting from long-range in his senior year. According to the Dallas News, the Mavericks tried to do the deal without Anderson involved – can you imagine? – but the Sixers were “adamant” he be included. Here’s a small tweet exchange he had last night:
His nickname is Simba, which should help with the Raise the Cat stuff. [Editor’s note: Eggggggcelent.]
Anderson played only 55 games his rookie year, but in the 51 he’s played so far this season he’s shooting 30.3% from three, while scoring 16.7 points per-36 minutes (he averages 14 minutes per game).
David Murphy wrote about Anderson being the key to the trade. Here was his takeaway:
In October, an NBA scout gave a glowing review of Anderson to Sports Illustrated, opining that he considered the second-year guard to be “almost as good a player as Harrison Barnes,” the former Golden State Warrior whom the Mavericks had signed to a big free-agent contract over the offseason.
“Justin Anderson is gonna be good. I wonder how long of a leash [coach Rick] Carlisle will have with him. Rick prefers to play two guards, two smaller guards who are good pick-and-roll players, and that’s not Justin. … I actually think Justin Anderson is almost as good a player as Harrison Barnes. Maybe not quite as good as a scorer, but rebounding, shot-blocking, he’ll be a decent shooter this year. He’ll be a solid piece of their rotation.”
Almost Harrison Barnes is fine. Bouncy Jae Crowder is cool. Anderson could work (and his contract is insanely team friendly), but he’ll have to hit those marks for this trade to end up looking like a success.