Posts for sixers

Markelle Fultz Says He Did Not Have the “Yips”

Kevin Kinkead - September 21, 2018

I didn’t make it over to Camden today because repair guys are at the house to fix my leaking roof.

Anyway, a large portion of Sixers media day was shared by the team, including Markelle Fultz’s eight-minute availability.

The biggest thing that jumped out to me was a question from the AP’s Dan Gelston about comments made this summer by trainer Drew Hanlen:

Gelston: Drew said this summer in a podcast that you had the yips, where you forgot how to shoot. That’s what he said. How does that happen – is it just the injury? Is there more to it? Confidence? How do you get that?

Fultz: Yeah, you know, I think it was a mis-term in words. But me and Drew have talked, and what happened last year was an injury. Let me get that straight. It was an injury that happened that didn’t allow me to go through a certain path that I needed to to shoot the ball. Just like any normal person, when you’re used to doing something the same way each and every day, and something happens, of course you’re going to start thinking about it. It’s just normal. So, of course I had that injury happen, and then people took certain things, of changing shots, and ran with it. But that didn’t affect me. That’s the reason I didn’t just come out last year and try to go against the media or whatever. I just was worried about getting healthy and getting back to what I do. That’s what I did this summer, so I’m happy.

For reference, the Hanlen quote comes from Daniel Schmidt’s “Talking Schmidt” podcast.

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NBC Sports Philly Hires Serena Winters as Molly Sullivan’s Replacement

Kyle Scott - September 20, 2018

Press release:

NBC SPORTS PHILADELPHIA NAMES SERENA WINTERS SIXERS MULTIPLATFORM REPORTER

Winters Joins the Award-Winning Broadcast Team of Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby

Philadelphia, PA (SEPTEMBER 20, 2018) – NBC Sports Philadelphia – home of the Authentic Fan – announced today that Serena Winters is joining the network as a multiplatform Sixers reporter. Winters will work with veteran broadcasters Marc Zumoff and Alaa Abdelnaby on all Sixers telecasts, and create coverage surrounding the team across all platforms.

Winters joins from NBC Sports Northwest, where she served as host of ‘The Bridge,’ a daily primetime sports TV show, and contributed to the coverage of the Portland Trail Blazers. Prior to her role with NBC Sports, she was the lead reporter for Lakers Nation, and part of the on-air talent team at Spectrum SportsNet since 2012.

“We are thrilled to welcome Serena to the NBC Sports Philadelphia family,” said NBC Sports Philadelphia VP of Live Events Shawn Oleksiak. “Serena has terrific insight on the NBA from her time covering the Lakers and Trail Blazers, and Sixers fans will find her very informative and engaging.”

“I’ve always dreamed of working sideline for an NBA team, and to do this in the best sports city in the world is an absolute dream come true,” said Winters. “I am honored to join NBC Sports Philadelphia, and to cover the Sixers – one of the most exciting, talented and entertaining teams in NBA.”

For a while people figured that Taryn Hatcher was Molly Sullivan’s replacement on Sixers broadcasts. Nope. NBC actually had plans to fill the role directly. Serena Winters was the choice.
Hit the jump for pics and videos of Serena’s work: Continue Reading

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Sports Betting Updates

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Running Thread: Sixers Introduce General Manager Elton Brand

Kevin Kinkead - September 20, 2018

Elton Brand is being introduced as the Sixers’ new general manager this morning.

Joining Brand at the table is owner Joshua Harris. Head coach Brett Brown spoke to the media for two hours at his Tuesday luncheon and is not present at this presser.

I’ll continue to update the post with bullet points and quotes from today’s availability:

Opening remarks

Harris:

  • Elton is smart, hard working, and everything we’re looking for
  • This is a player’s league and Elton is universally respected, he knows how players feel and react, he’s the perfect GM for today’s NBA, where relationships are paramount
  • Brand will report to Harris and make decisions off court, while Brett Brown makes decisions on court

Brand:

  • Believes this team has an incredibly bright future, a dynamic young core, veterans, and a great coach in Brett Brown
  • I know how passionate the fan base is and I understand what the expectations are, the next 12 months are very important and in the near term we’re focused on advancing further into the playoffs

The organizational structure

Harris:

  • Elton and Brett are partners. Both of them report to me and to ownership. We expect they will be collaborating a lot. Brett is the on- court voice and Brand is the off court voice.
  • Not going after a president of basketball operations, pretty happy with the existing structure in place and we’ll put the organizational stuff behind us as we move on
  • Via press release: Additionally, Alex Rucker has been elevated to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations (reported by Adrian Wojnarowski Tuesday night)

Brand:

  • I’ll make basketball decision recommendations to ownership, but Brett and I are aligned. When it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for. Brett will have a say in final decisions, as will ownership, who we report to

Here’s an exchange with Howard Eskin about who has the final say in the existing setup:

Eskin: But who has the last say?

Harris: On the court, Brett, off the court, Elton.

Eskin: Well, on the court..

Harris: So minute to minute, coaching sort of decisions will be Brett. Personnel decisions, trades, free agency, will be Elton.

Brand: First of all, thanks for the soft ball question, Howard. Basically basketball decisions, I’m going to make those. I’ll make those recommendations to ownership. Coach and I are aligned. It is a partnership. He said partnership and it is a partnership. Teams that have won in the NBA, the GM and coaches have to get along. He’s gonna have the players; when it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for.”

Eskin: But final say –

Brand: Final say, coach is going to have a voice in it. We’re going to discuss it. I’m going to make my recommendations to ownership, just like any other team does.

Eskin: So Josh has the final say?

Brand: On every team, ownership has a final say, especially for big, possible landscape (changes) for our organization. Every team.

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Markelle Fultz Talks About His Jump Shot and More in Players’ Tribune Video

Kevin Kinkead - September 20, 2018

The Sixers will introduce Elton Brand as their new general manager at 11 this morning. Media day is Friday and training camp begins on Saturday.

Add to that some unexpected Markelle Fultz footage this morning via a Players’ Tribune interview with Denver Nugget Isaiah Thomas.

Fultz talks about his jump shot, his rookie season, and expectations for 2018. Here’s the Twitter clip the Tribune shared:

The form looks good, I guess. I’m not a shot expert. It feels like he’s still “shot-putting the ball” a little bit, but if it goes in, it goes in. Reggie Miller had a funky form and scored something like 25,000 points. Marco Belinelli was more accurate when leaning sideways, so whatever works, works.

Fultz reiterates that he really was dealing with a shoulder injury last year and that criticism from fans and media didn’t really get to him.

The full clip is 17 minutes long and you can watch it after the jump:

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Brett Brown’s Media Luncheon: The GM Search, Passport Issues, and his Least Favorite Part of the Job

Kevin Kinkead - September 19, 2018

The Sixers’ preseason unofficially kicked off Tuesday with Brett Brown’s annual media luncheon at Bar Amis in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Brett spoke for a little more than an hour and a half yesterday. Transcribing all of that verbatim would be pretty painful, and I don’t think anybody would read it anyway. Plus, a lot of the quotes are outdated now with the announcement that Elton Brand will be the team’s new general manager.

So I think the best way to do this is to go straight through the files and write out bullet points while logging some full quotes for the more interesting stuff that Brett had to say, or the topics that other outlets didn’t focus on.

It was a good session, most of it anyway. A lot of it centered around the GM search, the growth of Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, and high expectations coming into a new season.

General Manager stuff

  • Sam Hinkie was never under consideration for the job
  • Brown had a say in the decision making process. He was looking for what he described as a “consistent partner.”
  • The organizational chart and power structure within the front office will be explained later (now on Thursday when Elton Brand is officially presented as the GM)
  • Brett Brown never wanted the job in the first place. His job is to coach the team first and foremost and he didn’t think he’d be able to help the franchise by assuming both roles at the same time.
  • Brown says it’s “not true or fair” to think that the lack of a general manager affected their pursuit of free agents. He does not see a connection between the GM situation and not being able to land somebody like LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard. “It has borderline zero to do with that.”
  • Finding an executive to run an organization doesn’t happen overnight. He doesn’t agree with the narrative that the Sixers took too long in finding their new general manager. The team did their due diligence with the search process.

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Woj: Sixers to Hire Elton Brand as General Manager

Kevin Kinkead - September 18, 2018

Wow.

Report:

Woj also says that Alex Rucker will be elevated to Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations while Ned Cohen and Marc Eversley remain in their respective roles of Assistant GM and Senior Vice President of Player Personnel.

Brett Brown told us today at his annual media lunch that a GM would be named soon, but I didn’t see this coming.

Edit:

Thursday news conference, per Woj. Sixers PR confirmed the news.

Brett Brown: Coaching up the Coaches (Plus a Few Minutes with Monty Williams)

Kevin Kinkead - September 18, 2018

Sixers camp begins this week, if you can believe it. We’ll spend a few hours with Brett Brown today at his annual media lunch, but Monday night was set aside for teaching, as the head ball coach held his annual “coach the coaches” clinic at the Camden practice facility.

There were not a lot of open seats in the building. Not sure what the final head count was, but a few hundred folks came from places like South Jersey and Jenkintown to learn about the Sixers’ offensive and defensive philosophies and receive some free instruction from an NBA staff coming off a 52-win season.

This was our first look at the newly assembled group of assistants, which includes Monty Williams, Billy Lange, and Kevin Young. All three assistants spent about 20 minutes going through a specific demonstration for the assembled coaches, will I’ll elaborate on further down.

First, here are some notes from Brett’s introduction, which explained the way the Sixers mark their practice court.  We missed about 50% of his presentation because we were speaking with Williams behind the bleachers at the time:

  • Brett talked about the Sixers’ four-point line, which is painted a few feet behind the actual three-point line and has been written about on several occasions. The reason they use this line because Brown likes his three-pointer shooters to start further off the arc and step into their shot, rather than hugging the line in a catch and shoot situation. Brown describes this as the difference between deep shooters who are “huggers” and “steppers.”
  • Defensively, they use the four-point line to mark their pick-up points, as in that’s where they want to step up to the opponent’s ball-handlers when coming down the floor.
  • Billy Lange is going to be taking over defensive responsibilities this year with Lloyd Pierce becoming the head coach in Atlanta. Pierce was heavily involved with the defensive side of the ball last season and is seen as the architect of the Sixers’ top-five defense.
  • Monty Williams is going to focus on the offensive side of the ball, plus set plays and special situations, which was Kevin Young’s role last season.

More after the jump:

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JJ Redick was “Very” Close to Signing with Another Team

Kevin Kinkead - September 14, 2018

JJ Redick had a relaxing summer.

You would have had a relaxing summer, too, if you signed a one year, $12 million dollar deal to re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers.

But it almost didn’t happen. Redick nearly signed with the Pacers, as he mentioned on one of his podcasts this summer. He elaborated on that this week when he spent about an hour with ESPN’s Zach Lowe on the most recent “Lowe Post” podcast.

Lowe asked Redick how close he was to inking a deal with Indiana:

“Very. Basically I had conversations with a few teams on July 1st at midnight. Phoenix was the one team that said ‘we can make something happen straightaway.’ The Indy thing came up basically July 1 during the day. I talked to Nate McMillan for like 20 minutes one night. We were sort of waiting on LeBron, and once LeBron made his decision, then it was like the Lakers were sort involved as well. There was an opportunity (for me to go) there. But ,truthfully, I looked, I kind of knew that this is what the market was going to look like this summer. There were a couple of 2-3 year deals for less that I could have pursued. But they were not situations I thought were great situations. The Indy situation was really intriguing to me. I wouldn’t have started, but I felt like I sort of fit what they needed. And I just envisioned playing, like, two-man with (Domantas) Sabonis and getting dribble handoffs from him on that left side. He’s really good. Then it was basically deadline time, it was 3-4 hours left, and I was in the pool and my agent called and said ‘Philly changed their offer.’ Initially, I’m 34 years old and it was too much money to give up. Indy’s offer was more than Philly, not a lot, but I took less to go to Philly.”

As far as deleting his social media accounts, he says that doesn’t have anything to do with the August incident involving a courtesy car driver who may or may not have had someone locked in a cage in the backseat:

“…I had been wanting to get off of the social media for some time. And then the timing of it looks suspicious because of what happened in August with me and the car circus thing… it was like a week after that. But this was a conversation I had started in June with someone who works for me, works with me, about going to Instagram and Twitter and deleting these accounts. We finally got it done and it just happened to be the week after (the incident).  If I was to want to have a public account again on Twitter or Instagram I’d have to (start from the beginning). It’s not deactivated, it’s out.”

Redick said he’s not “at liberty” to provide a follow up to the car story.

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