A lot going on around here. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! In the comments.
At the present moment, there are any number of things with which you can take issue regarding the Sixers:
- Bryan Colangelo, for as of yet failing to move Jahlil Okafor
- Bryan Colangelo, for lying
- Scott O’Neil, for allowing Colangelo to lie
- Joshua Harris, for being the owner while every one of his GMs has stone-cold lied about injuries
- The ticket sales reps, for being misleading jackasses
- The medical staff, for not being able to rehab basically any lower extremity injury
Things with which you can not take issue at the moment:
- SAM HINKIE!
Everything is coming up Hinkie at the moment. He managed to win the DeMarcus Cousins trade all while sitting in the faculty lounge at Stanford with his newfangled haircut and stubble. Of course he couldn’t forsee the Kings trading the best center in the NBA for two cents on the dollar (though he did also obtain the Kings’ protected 2018 first round pick which became an unprotected 2019 first round pick, knowing that Cousins’ deal with the Kings was up in 2018), but he very well may have FORESAW that Vlade Divac and Vivek Ranadive would be completely inept at constructing an NBA roster and that owning their pick swap rights would give the Sixers two irons in the fire in what now shapes up to be a deep draft. That trade is maybe the best example of the philosophy of optionality– the Sixers gave up basically nothing and in return got a useful player (Nik Stauskas) and the opportunity to improve their draft standing a few years down the road. Put more bluntly, the Sixers got more from the Kings in a cap clearing deal than the Kings got from the Pelicans for DeMarcus Cousins. Just like no one could predict which lottery pick – Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor – would become the star, no one could predict that the Kings would choose the last two months of this season to bottom out. But when you give yourself enough opportunities for success, you’re bound to hit the jackpot somewhere. Sure enough, thanks to Hinkie’s scamming – or is it scheming? – the Sixers now have a center to build around and a potential superstar in Simmons, and they’ll have essentially double the ping pong balls in the lottery for what portends to be a deep draft. And the Kings’ first round pick in 2019. But sure, old heads can keep yelling at clouds about how Hinkie didn’t know what he was doing.
Her first piece seemed to balance Gudel’s reporting sensibilities with Crossing Broad’s outside-the-box coverage of Philadelphia sports. The veteran reporter interviewed Phillies outfielder Howie Kendrick, but chose to get to know him through the prism of his interesting and sometimes insightful Instagram profile.
“This might seem like a curious addition given the tone of the site — and it is — but I think we can continue to be our usual snarky selves while at the same time incorporating some more traditional reporting,” said Scott, who launched the growing, and often profane, sports blog seven years ago and now employs one full-time staffer, Jim Adair, and several paid contributors.
Often profane sports blog. You might think that this is where I would take the low hanging fruit and sarcastically write something like “fuck that” or “what a bullshit description.” But nope. I won’t feed the perception.
You can read the full thing here. The Takeover 2.0 continues.
God this sounds like it was written by a politician.
Colangelo doesn’t even attempt to address the report about Simmons’ January 23 MRI showing that his foot wasn’t fully healed, this despite the Sixers outright lying about it on their website the next day, saying Simmons’ scan was “clean.”
I don’t get it. Truly, I’m baffled. If the Sixers want to tank and grab another high lottery pick– fine. They obviously can’t come out and say YEP WE’RE DOING IT AGAIN, but there is nothing stopping them from being forthcoming about injuries or their needlessly prolonged recovery periods. I’m not a big they owe it to the fans guy. Sports are a business, too. But Jesus Christ, after 3+ years of tanking, the least they could do is not string us along for what seems to be the sole purprose of selling more tickets. That is taking such a short-term view on things– it’s almost laughable that career business guys would think it’s a good idea. They did it with Andrew Bynum. They did it with Joel Emiid. And now they’re doing it with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. There’s no other explanation. It’s flat-out shitty. It’s strategic. It pervades the entire organization, right on down to the high-pressure and super annoying sales guys. Here’s but yet another anecdote of their shittiness:
That was in response to my Tweet following up on our post from yesterday in which we explained that season ticket holders with seats in the risers behind the basket were told their tickets were going up 300% next season as their sections were being turned into a VIP area. That was for current season ticket holders. But last night, a reader emailed me and told me that, last week, he bought season tickets in the risers for next season at the advertised rate of $75 per ticket, paid his first of 12 installments, and then received a phone call in which the Sixers basically told him sorry:
I already purchased my Risers (section 108) season tickets last week for next years full season. Received a call today that the price was going up to 130% per ticket per game over what I agreed on and paid for. My options are either give them the difference or move to difference seats….
That’s screwed up. It’s one thing to displace current season ticket holders by making a change in seating layout, but it’s another to advertise and sell packages and then change your mind once you realize you can extract more money from the section. It seems to me that the Sixers had decided upon season ticket rates, began selling packages, and then at some point over the last month realized that demand was soaring and hastily added a VIP section, putting out the average fan who had already begun paying for the seats (!!!).
I reached out to a Sixers spokesperson yesterday seeking an explanation or clarification. I was told they’d call later in the day. As of this morning, I haven’t heard back. Rather, all anyone has gotten from the Sixers was that statement from Colangelo, which sucks.
Now we have a better idea why Ben Simmons hasn’t played yet for the 76ers.
The first overall pick in last summer’s draft is scheduled to visit the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York as early as Monday to determine if his right foot is fully healed, according to multiple sources.
Sources said that a foot scan on Jan. 23 showed that his foot was not fully healed.
Simmons suffered a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot on Sept. 30, the final day of training camp. The January doctor’s visit revealed an inside portion of the bone wasn’t fully mended, according to sources.
Stop me if this sounds like Bynum’s knee which sounded like Joel Embiid’s foot, which had “less healing than anticipated” before he actually re-broke and needed surgery again and missed the entire 2015-2016 season.
A day after Simmons’ scan on January 23, the Sixers said…
As expected. It was expected to be a 2-3 month injury. The Sixers tweeted this in month four. One would expect that his foot would’ve been healed by then.
If Pompey’s report is accurate, the Sixers have a whole lot of explaining to do.
UPDATE: An even more unambiguous statement was on the Sixers’ website:
Over the weekend, Jim texted me and told me that Dennis Grove, the man who coined #RaiseTheCat, and with whom we’re working to donate a portion of the proceeds from our shirt to Morris Animal Refuge in South Philly, sent him this Fanatics-branded version of the shirt available on NBA.com:
That distressed proletariat fist and white cat… they look familiar:
Yeah that’s ours.
To be honest, they changed just enough of the design – they didn’t copy it pixel for pixel, flipped the fist around, moved a thumb, re-positioned the cat’s leg, and added a stupid fucking “meow meow” – that I probably wouldn’t have had a legal case, and I mostly laughed off their lack of originality and figured I’d blog my moral indignation sometime this week.
Dennis, however, wasn’t thrilled, because he wants proceeds from all #RaiseTheCat shirts, all available on his RaiseTheCat.com, to go to charity, and he told Billy Penn’s Dan Levy the other day that he was considering getting a lawyer over the whole thing – mostly because Upper Deck has brazenly filed for a trademark for the phrase – since he can prove he coined the term. That’s probably an uphill battle, but the story seemed to have been enough to get NBA.com – which is also operated by Fanatics – to remove the shirt. Levy wrote today:
As we reported Tuesday, the league’s official store started selling a Sixers-related t-shirt with the now famous Raise The Cat saying, and a fist holding a cat — a design similar to the one being sold by Philly blog Crossing Broad through RaiseTheCat.com.
As of Thursday afternoon, the NBA site has discontinued the shirt, no longer making it available for purchase.
It’s worth noting here that Sixers co-owner Michael Rubin, seen here with Robert Kraft last night…
…bought Fanatics in 2011 through his company GSI Commerce, which he sold to eBay a year later and which made him a billionaire worth more than Joshua Harris. When Rubin sold GSI, an ecommerce company that ran the online stores for all of the major sports leagues and where I used to work, he held onto Fanatics and his relationships with the leagues and spun them into a new local company, Kynetic. So, in short, Rubin, who co-owns the Sixers, is the Executive Chairman of Fanatics. To say that he’s a player in the sports apparel world would be like saying Napoleon was just a small guy from France who fought in some wars and wasn’t thrilled about his height. Rubin is sports apparel. At least online. And while I would assume that he’s too busy shooting the shit with other billionaires to dabble in individual products, I wouldn’t be shocked if he fired off an angry email to someone – I’ve been on the other end of those emails before, by the way – and told them to stop selling this particular shirt.
Anyway, this seems like the perfect opportunity to tell you that you can buy our #RaiseTheCat shirt and have a portion of the sale donated to charity:
CSN press release:
Sixers game broadcasts with Marc Zumoff, Alaa Abdelnaby and Molly Sullivan are averaging a 1.9 HH rating, up 111% over last season. Sixers Pregame Live ratings have increased 150% over last season, while Sixers Postgame Live is up 33%. The last time the Sixers have reached these numbers was in the 2011-12 season.
Sixers live streaming, which includes live game broadcasts and Sixers Pre and Postgame Live, is up triple digits over last year. Over 10 million minutes have been consumed so far this season (up 201%), while unique visitors are up 214% over the same number of games last year. Sixers Live Streaming is available on CSNPhilly.com or through the NBC Sports app.
Just for some context, there are roughly three million homes in the Philly market, so a 1.9 rating (percentage of households watching) equates to roughly 60k homes. More: The Flyers are currently getting a 2.7 rating and the Phillies, when they were really good, were getting ratings in the 9’s and as high as the mid-teens. So the Sixers still have a long way to go here.
The TV rating, of course, doesn’t include the stream, which as you can see has had over 10 million minutes consumed this season. What does that mean? Very little without knowing the number of unique viewers and, more importantly, the average number of concurrent streams, which is really what matters when you want to compare online ratings to TV ratings. I asked CSN for this data but didn’t hear back.
Either way, Sixers ratings are unsurprisingly up against the dismal numbers they were comping.
I also asked CSN in every way possible – three times! – for a breakdown of ratings with Joel Embiid and without him. I was shot down each time. Oh wells.