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Reports: Manny Machado to the PADRES

Kevin Kinkead - February 19, 2019

FINALLY.

Thank the Lord Jesus in Heaven that something happened:

The contract is 10 years at 300 million, according to Mark Feinsand:

Good GOD that is a lot of money. Jeff Passan says there is an opt out after the 5th season.

Thoughts:

  1. Angelo Cataldi will be happy Machado isn’t a Phillie because he “doesn’t hustle”
  2. Machado signing will speed up the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, since Scott Boras no longer has to sit around and play the world’s dumbest staring contest with Manny’s agent, Dan Lozano. Now Boras can ask for 10 years at $301 million just to show everyone that he has the bigger weiner.
  3. Manny is not going to win anything in San Diego, but the weather is great, the fans don’t really care, and it’s a nice place to play without a ton of expectations.
  4. When the Philly electrician told Machado to “do the right thing and sign,” Manny obviously did not heed his advice. Tom, I think his name was.

So that’s that. Bryce Harper, it’s your move. We are approaching DEFCON levels that have never been realized. We are easily at DEFCON 9 or 10 right now waiting to see what happens next.

New Wells Fargo Center Upgrades include Open-Concept Dining Area and Craft Beer Boutique

Kevin Kinkead - February 19, 2019

The $250,000,000 renovation project at the Wells Fargo Center is rolling right along.

You’ve probably experienced the revamped concourse and new food and drink options. You’ve probably heard the new sound system reverberating though your skull.

Here’s what’s next, via Comcast-Spectacor press release:

The next phase of the $250 million, multi-year initiative surrounds significant upgrades throughout the arena’s Main Concourse level, which will deliver an impressive and energizing welcome to every guest who enters the venue. To be completed by the Fall of 2019, the next wave of enhancements embody the largest investment and most impactful improvements since the arena first opened its doors in 1996.

Among the many exciting developments include a re-conceptualized approach to dining and social interaction throughout the arena’s Main Concourse level, 8,000 brand new seats within the lower bowl, a concierge-style box office and a dynamic LED video and lighting system that reacts in real time to carry the energy of the game to every corner of the Wells Fargo Center, including the concourse.

Here’s a photo of what the new box office will look like:

Comcast says the box office will be relocated and remodeled to provide a “hotel concierge-style setting.” This new “North End Box Office” will be located next to the Broad Street entrance.

More info and photos after the jump:

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The Sixers’ Starting Five is on the Cover of Sports Illustrated

Kevin Kinkead - February 19, 2019

Process This,” says the cover of the new Sports Illustrated, featuring Joel Embiid, JJ Redick, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris.

The Sixers Are Finally All In” reads the subheading, or whatever you want to call it. The latest SI re-previews the top-heavy Eastern Conference, where 7.5 games separate the 5th place Sixers and 6th place Nets.

Writes Rob Mahoney:

Opponents will have to completely rethink the Sixers, down to the nuts-and-bolts mechanics that make their steampunk offense work. We should too. Throw out the underwhelming point differential, the usual matchup counters, the old narratives. As the dynamics change within many of the East’s top teams, the dynamics among those franchises must as well. Boston can’t rely on its edge over Philly from previous encounters—including last spring’s second-round win—just as Milwaukee can’t draw too much from its 3–1 season series advantage over Toronto. The teams who shared that history are gone, swept away by the opportunity at hand.

Well, the old narratives and matchup counters are still valid for Boston. Al Horford got the better of Embiid last week. The Celtics hunted JJ Redick on their offensive possessions and the Sixers didn’t do much in transition. Even with the addition of Harris and Butler, a lot of the same problems the Sixers have with the Celts reared their ugly heads last Tuesday. That’s on Brett Brown to figure out down the home stretch here.

But it’s cool to have the Sixers on the cover of Sports Illustrated, just three-years removed from that miserable 10-win season.

It’s been more than a decade since the franchise made an SI cover, and look who was featured:

How far can Elton Brand take the Sixers? He did his job, now it’s up to Brett and the players.

The Alliance of American Football Needed a Week Two Bailout

Kevin Kinkead - February 19, 2019

You watching the AAF?

It’s been pretty entertaining. Last night some dude threw a no-look, behind his head pass that actually resulted in a completion:

Problem with the AAF is that the league is already struggling financially, just two weeks into the season.

According to David Glenn at The Athletic, the league was dangerously close to not being able to pay its players:

…The league was running short on cash, and quickly. Without new investors, there was a good chance it was going to miss payroll last Friday.

On Tuesday, multiple sources told The Athletic, the AAF will announce that Carolina Hurricanes majority owner Tom Dundon, a self-made billionaire from Dallas, has become that nine-figure investor. Dundon will be introduced as the league’s new chairman after last week’s commitment of $250 million enabled the AAF to meet its obligations.

That’s a lot of money. A quarter of a billion dollars for a fledgling football league that might not even have long-term viability? Dundon is going to remain in his role with the Hurricanes but is now the de facto AAF king as well.

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Ben Simmons Appears on Kevin Hart’s Ice Bath Video Series

Kevin Kinkead - February 18, 2019

Kevin Hart has a video series where he conducts interviews with athletes and celebrities while they sit in an ice bath.

It’s called…

…wait for it…

Cold as Balls

Past guests include LaVar Ball, Blake Griffin, Candace Parker, and Gabby Douglas, and this time Sixers’ point guard Ben Simmons joined the show to talk about a little bit of everything, from LeBron James, to Australia, and the city of Philadelphia.

I’ve got a bit of Kevin Hart fatigue, but I found this to be entertaining:

I hope you had a great President’s Day.

Sincerely,

-Kinker

Angelo Cataldi Says Brett Brown Called Him Personally During the 2018 Boston Playoff Series

Kevin Kinkead - February 18, 2019

Whenever I see Angelo Cataldi’s weekly column pop up at Philly Voice, I expect a short read, a bunch of recycled cliches cobbled together into an article featuring very little supportive evidence or meaningful analysis.

Today’s offering is titled Angelo Cataldi: The Sixers’ weak spot may be head coach Brett Brown,” which is certainly fair and probably even true. This is the most talented Sixers team of my lifetime, and Brett Brown is under immense amounts of pressure to pull these guys together and get ’em rolling. General Manager Elton Brand did his job, and now it’s Brett’s turn. There’s nothing outrageous about Angelo’s premise, and Brett’s late-game management is one of the biggest question marks surrounding the team as we exit the All-Star break and hit the home stretch.

The problem with Angelo is that he ruins every decent topic with half-assed and/or incomplete execution, which makes him look lazy and ready for retirement.

Angelo takes issue with the end of the Boston game, writing the following:

Without belaboring every glitch in the final moments – every timeout Brown failed to call, every misplay Brown oversaw – let’s just say the game came down to Joel Embiid against Al Horford, 34 seconds left, the Celts ahead, 106-104. The NBA would acknowledge in its subsequent Two Minute Report that Embiid was hacked on the ensuing shot, and he was.

But why was the star center left to his own devices with the game on the line? Embiid later took all of the responsibility on himself, saying it would have been better to call a timeout, but his team had none. Actually, the Sixers had two. It was the responsibility of Brown to set up that play, not Embiid. As he so often does, the coach chose to leave it to his players.

Okay, first things first, I think Angelo is talking about two different things here. He begins that paragraph by talking about the Embiid/Horford no-call possession that took place with 34 seconds left. At that point, yes, the Sixers had two timeouts remaining.

But then he goes on to say, “Embiid later took all of the responsibility on himself, saying it would have been better to call a timeout, but his team had none,” which refers to the Sixers’ final possession, which happened on a different trip down the floor. It was the play where Tobias Harris missed the three-pointer and Embiid got the rebound, then scored the layup instead of kicking the ball back out.

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“They Quick to Forget”

Kevin Kinkead - February 18, 2019

I know people say “nobody cares” and “who gives a shit” about anything Markelle Fultz related, but here are a couple of things for you to consider:

  1. whenever we post a Fultz story, people immediately click on it and read it
  2. the majority of Sixers fans still want to know why the #1 overall draft pick became a huge bust

That’s it. Site traffic doesn’t lie. For every complainer on here that doesn’t want to read Fultz stuff, there are ten times as many who are fascinated with what I’d describe as the most bizarre story I’ve seen in at least ten years.

This past weekend, Markelle posted this clip on social media, which is a hype video that ends with him writing “they quick to forget,” with a couple of sleepy-face emojis:

I disagree. Sixers fans and NBA fans at large were not “quick to forget” how good he was in college. He was the top pick for a reason. They showed much patience while he was dealing with Scapular Muscle Imbalance and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, hoping he’d reach the level he displayed at Washington.

So anyway, this could be something, or it could be nothing at all. But like I said with the Orlando press conference and his mom’s comments, Markelle is leaving himself open to interpretation, and when you do that, you’re gonna get negative feedback from a portion of Sixers fans who feel like you’re shading them, even if you’re not.

Philly Guy Paul Felder Suffered a Collapsed Lung, Still Won his UFC Fight

Kevin Kinkead - February 18, 2019

Grays Ferry native Paul Felder improved to 16-4 last night with a unanimous decision win against James Vick in his 12th UFC appearance.

He went the distance in that bout, finishing the fight with… what sounds like a pretty bad injury according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani:

Butler told Helwani that Felder was being held an extra day in a Phoenix hospital and that the injury will keep him out of his color commentary duties for UFC Prague, which takes place this weekend. There are, however, no long term issues resulting from the injury.

He himself didn’t seem to be too fazed:

Not sure about you, but if I suffered a collapsed lung in a UFC fight I’d probably ball myself into the fetal position and immediately tap out.

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