Archive for the ‘Philadelphia 76ers’ Category

andrew-bynum-blackout

The Sixers’ season hit its absolute nadir this Tuesday, with the team’s double-digit home loss to the arguably league-worst (and almost certainly league-least-talented) Orlando Magic, which was followed by 11 minutes of Doug Collins laying his team to waste while wearing the grin of a man desperately trying to disassociate himself from his situation. The press conference was severe enough that we got “The Sixers are really bad and it’s actually kinda your fault Doug Collins” type columns from both Grantland and ESPN proper, and just about every Sixers writer in the country raced to their Twitter account to be the first to vehemently agree.

To make matters worse, the Sixers played on national TV last night. Every NBA season, there’s one or two teams whose over-ambitious preseason projection gets them an uncomfortable number of nationally televised games, and this year, it appears to be the Sixers, who lost to the Bulls last night in a 93-82 loss that was far more embarrassing than the final score would indicate. A sampling of representative Sixer blogger tweets:

We’re on TNT against the Celtics again next week, by the way.

So where was Bynum through all of this? Well, if you have the answer to that, please do let Coach Collins and GM Tony DiLeo know, since they don’t seem to have a clue. Bynum was supposed to talk to the press before the Magic game, but he never materialized, turning out to never even have been in the building. Or maybe he was. Or maybe there is no Bynum. Or maybe there was no building? Asked about Bynum’s absence in his now-infamous postgame presser, Collins gave an incredulous, “Am I My Bynum’s Keeper?” type response, as if you were asking him about one of his grown sons that he’d long since stopped attempting to answer for. My guess is that any questions Collins is asked about Bynum for the rest of the season will be answered with a frustrated, mildly accusatory, “You’ll have to ask him that.”

It’s hard to get too mad at Collins for getting publicly flustered at the Andrew Bynum experience, since it’s all pretty mild compared to what we’ve all gone through personally as fans. It’s getting late early in this here NBA season, and though the Sixers have long since said bye-bye to the prospect of postseason relevance, it’s not too late for Bynum to throw us a late-season bone — potentially even a parting gift — by suiting up and playing for 10-15 games, giving us the slightest glimpse of what could have been. And then once you consider the possibility of that, the wheels start turning, and you think of Bynum playing alongside a still potential-laden Sixers core, and with a fairly decent draft pick to boot earned in the process … maybe it doesn’t have to be a completely lost season?

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andrew-bynum-half-hair-costume

Evidence for:

  • He looks like he is in costume.
  • Only half of his hair is braided, which seems aerodynamically nonsensical.
  • This could be the beginning of a Two-Face costume from the Tommy Lee Jones era.
  • Considering he hasn’t yet played a game for the Sixers, you’d think he’d have enough time to let all of his hair down.

Evidence against:

  • Has had his hair braided before, so it makes sense he’d have some remnants.
  • Might have been thinking, “Cornrows are kinda cool” but couldn’t really talk himself in to them.
  • Left side of head could have just been super itchy.
  • It’s my birthday and this is Andrew Bynum’s very weird idea of a present.

Verdict: Worst case of bedhead ever. Not a costume.

(via Jordan Raanan)

Evidence for:

  • He looks like he is in costume.
  • Is wearing cornrows in 2013, which seems a bit gauche.
  • Pretty sure Allen Iverson had these braids when he played in Philly, so it might be a tribute of some sort.
  • Really no reason to wear a bracelet and earrings like that to a basketball game, unless you’re going for the full Iverson.

Evidence against:

  • Had his hair braided earlier this season for some reason.
  • If Michael Beasley is still doing it, it must be super cool.
  • Hair that long can get unruly, so he has to do something.
  • Pretty normal shirt and suit, actually.

Verdict: Trying to bring the early 2000s back, not working.

(via Fosketmatics48)

Here is a story perfectly tailored to this website’s preferences. It involves Nick Young being Nick Young, Andrew Bynum’s hair and a generally silly vibe — basically, it’s perfect.

From the Washington Post:

Young tried to grow out his hair to compete with teammate and all-star center Andrew Bynum, whose awkward afro has garnered headlines since his brittle knees have kept him sidelined all season. Eventually, Young had to relent.

“Aw, man. Ain’t no competing with that. Have you seen that? He got me,” Young said. “I tried but he started doing some…I don’t know what he been doing. But that’s Andrew. That’s how he’s been all year.”

All this time I thought Nick Young was growing a nouveau Jheri curl because he wanted to be Michael Jackson circa “Thriller,” but it turns out he had entered himself in to an Afro-growing contest with Andrew Bynum. I thought the MJ thing was perfect, but this is even better. Especially since it’s not entirely clear if Bynum even knew he was part of the contest. (Honestly, I hope he wasn’t and that Nick Young was competing because he couldn’t live with having the second-biggest hair on his team.)

It’s just too bad that Nick Young didn’t stick with it. It’s been a while since we’ve seen two gigantic haircuts on the court at the same time, and with Bynum supposedly returning soon, we could have seen something really special. I don’t know that he’d ever be able to touch Bynum for hairstyle versatility, cartoon character likeness or looking like he’s in a costumeness, but it would have been fun to watch him try. RIP Nick Young’s kinda Afro.

That’s it. Just a man who looks like me riding a Segway around the 76ers’ practice court while dressed like a goth ninja in a down vest. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a Christmas present and he wants to show it off.

Your move, JaVale McGee.

(via Liberty Ballers/Growth Plates/BDL)

Philadelphia 76ers fans don’t get a lot of cred for being a depressed fan base, and that’s probably fair. The Sixers have won two NBA championships, one in 1983 — not exactly recent memory, but more recent than all but eight other NBA franchises — and as recently as 2001, they’ve gone to the Finals and had a player named MVP, two achievements that Wizards, Warriors, Hawks and (for now) Knicks and Clippers fans have not gotten anywhere near enjoying in the time since. No one responds to your claims of being a Sixers fan with a sarcastic (or sincere!) “Oh, I’m sorry.” More likely, they’ll respond with, “Oh,” as they struggle for something else to say.

Shortly after Philly was eliminated from the 2012 playoffs, Ben Detrick wrote an article for Grantland entitled “Are the Sixers the Next Thunder?” which infuriated me in a way I can barely put into words. That wasn’t because of anything Detrick wrote in the actual article (which essentially amounted to “No”), but rather the implied supposition that there existed among NBA fans some sort of belief that the Sixers were a team primed to make the next step. Nobody, least of all Philly fans, watched the team’s playoff run last year (which ended one game shy of the conference finals) and thought the Sixers were anything but a mediocre team that got incredibly lucky in facing a super-injured Bulls team and a super-inconsistent Celtics team. Mostly, NBA fans didn’t think about the Sixers at all.

This is the way it’s been for some time now. In the five full seasons since Allen Iverson was traded, the Sixers have finished within four games of .500 four times, twice with a perfectly mediocre 41-41 record. Few, if any, NBA franchises have been less consequential to the league over that timespan than the Liberty Ballers. They weren’t a contender, but they weren’t a lottery regular either. They weren’t a model franchise, but they weren’t a walking punchline. No individual Sixer player ever won any award or led the league in anything. The two Big Splash moves the team made — signing Elton Brand for $80 mil, drafting Evan Turner with the No. 2 overall pick — both fizzled out in quiet disappointment, certainly not successes, but not catastrophic failures either. Philly’s half-hearted PR machine tried to sell its dwindling, shrugging fanbase on the Sixers just being a young team in need of experience, but we were unmoved. We knew this team was destined to keep spinning its wheels, moving in place, until … well, we didn’t know until what.

Then came August 10th, 2012, and suddenly everything seemed clear. The Sixers had traded Andre Iguodala, the brilliant-but-limited All-Star who had been the face of the franchise’s mediocrity for the last half-decade, in a larger deal that would bring mercurial big man Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia. (Of course, in keeping with the franchise’s accidental strategy of invisibility, the Sixers’ part in this deal was still overshadowed at the time by that of the far splashier Los Angeles Lakers, who managed to pick up the one center in the league more highly regarded than Bynum in the same trade.) There was much rejoicing among the handful of Sixers fans remaining in the greater Philadelphia area, for the sense that finally, next year would bring about something different.

In just about every way possible, Andrew Bynum was the exact player the Sixers had been missing for so long. Obviously, he came with a resume — two championship rings, an All-Star start, a 2011-12 stat line that would have seen him lead the Sixers in points, rebounds, blocks and FG%, as his prior team’s third option — that far dwarfed anyone on Philly’s roster, with the assumed possibility, given his youth (still only 25!) and increasing numbers year-to-year, that the best was still to come. And he was also a legitimate big man and post threat for a team that had been overpaying Samuel Dalembert and Spencer Hawes to start at center for the better part of a decade.

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Evidence For:

  • Hasn’t been seen playing basketball in months, so this is VERY out of place.
  • Hair seems to be flat in back, which suggests a new Ben Wallace wig.
  • Wearing actual shoes when he obviously prefers slippers.
  • With the socks and hair, might be trying to trick people in to thinking he’s Eugene Edgerson.

Evidence Against:

  • Is technically still a basketball player, so he could theoretically be wearing basketball clothes.
  • Long, curly hair is easily molded in to tall shapes like Bynum’s troll hair.
  • Photo was taken nearly three months after Halloween and no one dresses up for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Verdict: Not a costume. Actually practicing for All-Star break return.

(via The 700 Level)