I’ve always felt like there’s no need to defend your reporting if you trust your sources and believe in your work. You don’t need to justify your process or go on sports radio or write follow-up pieces. All you have to say is, “my sources are sound, I stand by my work.”
That’s just my opinion.
Chris Sheridan took another approach, addressing the negative response to his New York Daily News article describing dysfunction and disagreement within the Sixers locker room and front office. His story, 76ers’ Brett Brown is heading for coaching purgatory, was widely panned and even skewered by Sixers Vice President of Communications Dave Sholler, who called it a “steaming pile of trash.”
Sheridan wrote a column for Heavy.com, titled “Why Sixers are Angry About Daily News Report on Ben Simmons” in which he compared Sholler’s response to that of a 4th grader and went on to blow a little bit of sunshine up his own butt.
Sholler is the Vice President of Communications for Harris-Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, the conglomerate that runs the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center and renowned esports franchise Team Dignitas, according to Sholler’s Linked In profile.
So the guy makes a lot of money, and it is his job to protect his bosses, put out fires and try to control the message.
Sholler’s inability to do so with dignity in response to the New York Daily News story concerning internal turmoil within the Philadelphia 76ers was a dead giveaway that the story was right on the money.
Yeah? Maybe. I don’t know. I wasn’t in the locker room or eavesdropping on Elton Brand.
I did point out yesterday that I’ve never once seen Dave Sholler respond to a story in this fashion, and there have been plenty of unflattering things written about the team in the past. He did not, for instance, criticize the ESPN story detailing the confrontation between Brett Brown and Jimmy Butler before the Portland road game, an incident proven to be true and later addressed in detail by both Brown and Butler. In this case, Brown and Ben Simmons basically swatted Sheridan’s story away.
More from him after the jump:
8 p.m. on TNT and NBC Sports Philadelphia.
I wrote a bunch of stuff about Chris Sheridan yesterday (and he provided us with a follow up, so we’ll get to that later), but let’s actually start your Thursday with some basketball talk.
JJ Redick went for 17 points on 7-12 shooting in 24 minutes of game two play, a huge improvement over the five-points he mustered in game one before fouling out.
We mentioned the other day that Brooklyn is using a defensive technique called “top-locking” against him, which is when his defender (typically Joe Harris), puts himself between JJ and the ball handler. When you defend in this way, you deny JJ the ball and deny him the dribble hand-off that he’s very good at executing:
That’s a top lock. Harris will sit himself in front of Redick and invite the backdoor cut instead of allowing him to wrap around Ben Simmons to the high arc.
Philly struggled to get JJ going in game one, but they were better in game two, and I asked Brett Brown Wednesday if the coaching staff was satisfied with how his team navigated this tactical wrinkle, after the jump:
Sports Betting Updates
Two out of three ain’t bad. Especially when the rubber match gives us a fantastic outing from Jake Arrieta.
Arrieta went eight innings and gave up two runs off six hits with three strikeouts and two walks as Adam Morgan and Hector Neris were able to just do enough to finish the job in a 3-2 Phillies win. This was the Arrieta people have waited to see. He stayed in the game into the ninth before getting into some trouble. Gabe Kapler explained why he kept Arrieta in the game in perfect Gabe Kapler fashion:
Why did Jake Arrieta stay in the game?
"He was kicking ass and taking names." pic.twitter.com/byl5NmGbBc
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 17, 2019
The Phils got on the board early in the bottom of the second with a Maikel Franco sac fly. In the fifth, Scott Kingery continued his hot-streak and hit a solo homer to center. Cesar Hernandez hit a solo shot of his own the following inning.
Arrieta has pitched seven or more innings in three consecutive starts. He’s one of two pitchers to do that this season, joining Mike Minor of the Rangers. Speaking of him…
The New York #Mets and Philadelphia #Phillies are showing strong interest in Texas #Rangers ace Mike Minor, who is off to a dazzling start. He pitched a 3-hit CG shutout Tuesday vs. #Angels, and has a 1.27 ERA in his last three starts. He's owed $9.5 million this year and in 2020
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 17, 2019
I’ll take that. There’s some uncertainty with the pitching staff now with Nick Pivetta being optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Jerad Eickhoff, who pitched well on Tuesday, will start in Pivetta’s place on Saturday against the Rockies.
And speaking of the Rockies, the Phils start their four-game series out in Colorado tonight at 8:40 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia+. Zach Eflin will get the start against Kyle Freeland.
The Roundup: Continue Reading
No Christmas, no Thanksgiving:
Week 10 bye is good. That’s right in the middle of the season and gives the Birds time to prepare for the disgusting New England Patriots.
There are five primetime games, which is a pain in the ass for me, because it’s less time to write the big Monday morning takeaways article. Four straight NFC East games to wrap up the season is a nice meaningful chunk. I dig that. What I don’t dig is three straight road games in October. Better to get them out of the way early? Perhaps.
The Eagles did a pretty cool schedule release video, after the jump:
Game three in Brooklyn tomorrow night.
The Nets had media availability today and said some things about the wicked elbow Joel Embiid struck Jarrett Allen with on Monday night, the Shaquille O’Neal spin move that resulted in Joel receiving a flagrant 1. After the game, Embiid and Ben Simmons started laughing after Joel offered up an apology:
"I got him pretty good and I'm sorry about it."
Joel Embiid cracks up after apologizing for his flagrant elbow to Jarrett Allen's face. pic.twitter.com/Hk1A3tH96B
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 16, 2019
“I’m not usually humble, that’s why he’s laughing,” Embiid explains at the end of that clip.
You might recall that Rodions Kurucs was also given a flagrant-1 when he got Simmons with an elbow a few possessions later, a play where he was boxing out Ben on a rebound attempt.
That video, after the jump:
Breaking news update on a Wednesday afternoon.
If you wanted to see a naked Robert Kraft engaged in a sex act at a Florida day spa, you sick perverts, it looks like it’s gonna happen.
Shortly after prosecutors said Wednesday they intend to release video that is expected to show Robert Kraft receiving sexual services at a Florida day spa, the New England Patriots owner’s legal team filed an emergency motion aiming to block the release.
Kraft’s lawyers have maintained that releasing the video would violate their client’s constitutional rights and hamper his chance for a fair trial.“Mr. Kraft has an obvious and profound stake in any potential disclosure of the sensitive materials at issue, which, among other things, depict him naked, and should therefore be permitted to intervene for the sake of protecting his interests and informing this Court’s decision,” the defense motion said.
So here’s the deal –
Prosecutors say this is a sunshine law thing, an open records situation that requires them to release this evidence. The actual sex act itself would be blurred, so if you wanted to see the New England Revolution owner in action, that’s not going to be the case, you sickos. You weirdos.
Kraft’s lawyers, then, are basically asking for an exemption since legal proceedings are ongoing. That’s the exact same bullshit Pennsylvania gave me when I was trying to obtain dash cam video of a Philadelphia Union player who was pulled over for DUI four years ago. The video was public material, but I was told the court case was still open (which was bullshit), so they wouldn’t give it to me.
We’ll see what happens here. Bob Kraft just needs to bring in a few of Jussie Smollett’s lawyers and he’ll get this thing tossed in no time.
Things are about to change around here. Following our earlier post on the likelihood of PA online sports betting launching sometime before the July 15 go live date for online casinos, an official with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says online sports betting apps could go live in as soon as three weeks.
Director of Communications Doug Harbach was quoted by Penn Live as saying online betting apps will go up for testing as early as this month.
“I really believe that within the next two to three weeks, we will see the first of the sports wagering internet sites go up for testing,” Harbach said. Assuming no major glitches, the sites should be given the green light from there.
Big deal, for those of you in PA who care about wagering on the NBA Playoffs, and a slew of other golf majors (The Masters was one of New Jersey’s biggest sports betting events).
PA regulator says it will be soon
UPDATE: After posting this, we spoke with Harbach. Here are some highlights of what he said about online betting launch in PA.
He said there will be a limited test period for a period of a few days, similar to New Jersey, where operators can be up and running for select hours. The Gaming Control Board will then work with them to iron out any issues before setting them live 24-7. Harbach said there will be one site live before the others.
“And I would expect that there’ll be some additional operators in line soon thereafter to get their sites up and running. So I think we’ll start to see a number of these being offered within the next couple of months.”
It sounds almost like sports betting sites will go live on a first-come, first-serve basis?
“It will be. We made the announcement today that we were gonna do a more coordinated launch for the iGaming and that will commence on the week of July 15. But in regards to the sports wagering, we’re going to allow them to test and get up and running as they’re ready.”
So it sounds like one app will be ready soon, with several more to follow over the spring and summer.
Anyone wishing to bet will have to be 21+ and pass an age-verification (obviously). And you’ll have to be within the borders of Pennsylvania– this is confirmed using geo-comply or similar technology that uses your phone’s GPS, or through a program you can download on your computer. Both of these are in place over the river.
Executive Director Kevin O’Toole told Penn Live that sports betting is on a faster track to launch than online casino games because there are fewer approval factors at play. For sports betting, PA regulators will have to verify that age verification and GPS tracking works and that the underlying technology backing the bets is sound. But the events themselves – sporting events – are already sanctioned and well officiated, so there is no work to be done there. With online casino games, they have to approve apps to make sure game mechanics and randomness comply with the law and are fair to the player.
Online is where it’s at
This is a quote from Penn Live:
Gaming industry consultant Michael Pollock told PennLive last year that the online games are seen as capturing a younger players who, for whatever reason, are seen as less likely to visit physical casinos.
This is such a ludicrous, simplified line that it borders on patronizing. For whatever reason. Set aside the younger gamer’s interest in visiting casinos, the sheer scale of online betting is almost too obvious to point out: the market size is literally every adult who has a phone in their pocket. It’s not even up for debate. And yet…
This is because all those other states have not yet legalized and embraced online betting the way New Jersey has, because for some reason regulators thing in-person betting is somehow on par with mobile betting. https://t.co/QSUibN4xxe
— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) April 16, 2019
Of course your state hasn’t brought in expected sports betting revenue the way New Jersey has– the only state to, thus far, offer wide-scale online betting. Other states have adopted things like “in-casino mobile betting,” which is so archaic it almost hurts my head.
Pennsylvania has higher tax rates on casinos and partners when it comes to sports betting, which contributed to a tepid response from operators to enter the market, but the opportunity is too great in a state with two major sports cities. This all makes Philly the epicenter of the sports betting universe, with its entire market within three states that allow sports betting– two of which, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, will allow wide-scale online sports betting.
Which apps will be first?
We’ve put together a complete guide on where and how you’ll be able to bet online in Pennsylvania, but among those expected to be in contention to launch soon are:
- FanDuel Sportsbook (Valley Forge Casino and Resort)
- SugarHosue Sportsbook
- Rivers Sportsbook
- Parx Sportsbook
What about DraftKings Sportsbook PA? They’ll need to find a casino partner first, but do have plans to enter the market, likely before football season.
All have been working on betting apps for some time, and in the case of FanDuel and SugarHouse (and Rivers, owned by same company as SugarHouse), some have working apps elsewhere.
We’ve reached out to the PCGB for comment and additional information and will update this post if we hear anything.
I don’t know if the Chris Sheridan story describing some dysfunctional behind-the-scenes Sixers stuff is true or not. I pointed out some factual inaccuracies in this morning’s write-up, but like the Joe Santoliquito Philly Voice story, I can’t tell you whether the guy’s sources are legit or not. You and I are not in the Sixers locker room or wiretapping Elton Brand’s phone, so how are we gonna prove or disprove this thing with actual hard evidence? You can’t.
For what it’s worth, the Sixers put less than zero stock in the New York Daily News article, which was brought up at today’s practice session.
Brett Brown said this about the column:
I am aware of it. I have not read it, and I won’t. I have nothing to say about it.
Short and to the point, huh?
Ben Simmons said this, after the jump: