Today was the 76ers’ media day, and while it was mostly some light stuff — no breaking news or important information or leaked internal Hinkie files came out of it — we got to see Joel Embiid (and many of our other new Sixers) interact with their teammates and the media for the first time. Embiid, for his part, is sticking to being the goofball he’s shown himself to be on Twitter. After walking around in a boot, he switched to sneakers, and showed that he can at least move around a little:
He even used the Sixers’ iPad-on-a-stick Instagram station, where he called himself “Rihanna’s spirit animal.” I’m probably more excited about this Sixers season than a lot of you guys — and it might even be more of an excitement about the general intangible “future” — so for now I’m happy to see the team be entertaining off the court, because they might not be close to that on the court.
media guide pic via Blazers’ Edge
F-ing Hinkie does it again! There are absolutely three ways to go with this post:
1) Slightly douchey: Wiz Khalifa
2) Fairly corny: Wiz wit
3) Just perfect: Nobody Beats the Wiz
According to Erik Gundersen, a Blazers blogger, the Sixers have hired Blazers statistical guru Ben Falk to be their VP of basketball strategy. That’s a great title, but not nearly as great as Falk’s nickname. As part of a long feature on the Blazers in ESPN The Magazine in 2013, it was revealed that Falk, then the Blazers’ basketball analytics manager, was lovingly called Wiz by his peers because, well, nerd. He’s considered one of the top analytics guys in basketball and is only in his mid-20s.
And to get a little glimpse inside Wiz’s mind, here’s a Powerpoint deck he prepared called How the Portland Trail Blazers are using analytics to drive strategy. His third slide features a picture of Brad Pitt in Moneyball. He also mentions the Catapult sports science monitors that Chip Kelly and the Eagles, and Flyers use. Hop over the jump to step inside the head of the Wiz!
According to the Inquirer, starting between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. today — aka right about now — Nerlens Noel and a camera crew from NBA TV will be recreating some of the Rocky II training montage run:
A camera crew will track Noel as he works out at 11 a.m., goes through a shootaround session at noon, and grabs lunch. Starting between 1 and 1:30, Noel will run at the various spots around the city that Stallone used in his movies’ iconic training sequences, including the Italian Market, Independence Hall, and Kelly Drive. Noel’s “run” will culminate around 3 p.m. at the Art Museum, where 100 to 150 middle-school and high school students will join him as he sprints up the steps. Then everyone will have Papa John’s pizza, since Papa John’s is one of the event’s sponsors.
I assume those 100 to 150 middle school and high school kids will come in handy when they have to carry Nerlens and his torn ACL up the steps after he re-tears it emulating Rocky. At least they’ll all get Papa John’s, so you know it’s definitely worth it.
It’s all part of Nerlens’ plan, according to the Inky, to launch an annual Nerlens Noel Rocky Run 5K for charity (which does not seem to be related to this, or is it? There’s no way they’re doing two officially licensed “Rocky Run 5k” runs, right?).
All joking aside, I’m sure Nerlens’ ACL is totally fine, but that would be the absolute worst way to re-injure yourself.
The next time a stuffy Penn grad fills your timeline with self-righteous, better-than-thousness, you may submit to them this screenshot, which comes to us via Jake Pavorsky, from a UPENN newspaper. The best part, of course:
76ers’ Michael Carter Williams may be NBA Rookie of Year, but he’s clearly a player at Penn as well. This weekend the basketball star attended two off-campus parties and scored with an AXO girl. Sources tells us that the duo had a slam dunk of a weekend. MCW agreed to AXObey the desires of his temptress, and they left the party together. Dribble, shoot score.
AXObey. I just hired the guy who wrote that.
Penn motherfuckers are weird. I like it.
Much like the Sixers’ upcoming season, I do not know what is happening here.
Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
We all know last year’s Sixers team — removed from the context of “rebuilding” and “taking” — was very, very bad. We know this year’s team, similarly removed as to stand-alone, will probably be worse. But how much worse? Here’s what USA Today thinks:
2013-14 record: 19-63, missed playoffs
2014-15 projected record: 8-74, miss playoffs
Thanks for being clear about the playoffs, guys. Eight wins would best the 76ers — and NBA’s — worst record in history by one game, leaving them with a .099 win percentage. That is good enough for 30th in the totally made up USA Today Sports’ NBA Watchability Rankings. Well, USA Today, I will be watching a whole bunch of Sixers games this year, and I will let you know exactly how unwatchable they are, through a stream of tears of laughter hidden behind empty beer cans.
After direct messaging “Ronnie 2K” at 2K Sports to let him know his offensive game better be on point in NBA 2K15, Joel Embiid shared his overall rating on Instagram last night. The 77 overall puts him one point behind Jabari Parker (and tied with Andrew Wiggins) to make him the 2nd-highest rated rookie in the game. Embiid, of course, wants his rating to be higher, but that’s none of his business though. To celebrate, or just to be Joel Embiid, he took to the streets of Philadelphia to do the 76ers favorite, the Shmoney Dance.
No word on if that made the game as a pre tip-off move.
In a piece that went online today, Joel Embiid talked to Billboard magazine about his musical preferences and his tweet game. When it comes to all things Embiid, it’s not especially interesting — though we dig that he digs Philly’s own Meek Mill and he’s bonded with his teammates with the shmoney dance — except for this part:
Later, Embiid raised some eyebrows when he called Nicki Minaj’s record-breaking, booty-popping “Anaconda” music video “trash” on Twitter; three weeks later, he still stands by the assertion. “I mean, all the dancing, all that stuff was cool — but I think the music, personally, I don’t think it was a good one,” he says of the “Anaconda” clip. “The dancing and stuff, I think that’s what got other people so excited … She’s got a big butt, and she uses it well. And she uses it well to mess with people!”
Yea … mess with people. That’s what she’s doing.