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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Kwame Brown, on getting more playing time for Sixers: "I can't foresee the future. I'm not God"

(Associated Press)
Looking pretty cozy at the end of the Sixers' bench most games, Kwame Brown was every bit uncomfortable when questions started getting lobbed in his direction in the locker room Saturday.

“You better not be talking to me. Talk to the guys who play,” Brown said at his locker in pregame, before the Sixers hosted Charlotte.

Brown, the first overall pick in the 2001 draft, was acquired in July – a month before the Sixers traded for Bynum. For all intents and purposes, Brown was expected to be their starting center. What's transpired since? The journeyman hasn't played since Feb. 20, missing the next 20 games as a healthy scratch … and counting.

Does he expect to play again this season?: “I can't foresee the future. I'm not God.”

Well, what about next season? Brown's got a player option (that he's bound to pick up) for $3 million: “I'll be a Philadelphia 76er next year.”

Unless, of course, the Sixers opt to cut him and pay him in full, or buy out his contract and hope to negotiate him down from that hefty figure. Either way, it's not a favorable position for the Sixers.

Brown doesn't wonder if he'll get more time for the Sixers, though he'd like some.

“As a competitor, everybody knows that. You're asking me a dumb question,” Brown said. “But when you ask me why I'm not playing, you have to ask Coach.”


Thursday, March 28, 2013


(Associated Press)
This time of year, NBA players take a rooting interest in the NCAA Tournament. A couple of guys in the 76ers' locker room, those who have played in the Big Dance, start telling stories about their long-ago glory days … from as far back as this decade.

Thaddeus Young is preoccupied. Of course, he watches the games. But the man is busy, considering all the titles he's carrying around: Starting forward. Husband. Father. Student.

Young, who attended Georgia Tech for one year before declaring his eligibility for the 2007 NBA Draft, is continuing his studies. He's taking online classes toward a degree in organization management and business at Victory University, located in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.

He even served as a student assistant coach for Victory during the 2011 lockout.

“You could say I was on scholarship,” said Young, who today with the Sixers heads to Cleveland for Friday's game. “During the lockout, they asked me to be a student-assistant coach. It was just one of those things where I was, like, coaching. They gave me a scholarship. I was just helping them out. If I saw them doing something wrong, I told them something and they would do it. They listened.”

Because of his status as a family man – with wife, Shekinah, and their two-year-old son TJ – and the rigors of his day job, Young is continuing his education at a slower pace. He takes two classes throughout the course of the NBA season, then takes four during an eight-week stretch during the offseason. He said he's able to knock out a lot of the work at the beginning of the week.

“Right now, I think I'm doing pretty well juggling it,” he said.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


(Associated Press)
It didn't take long – four minutes into his postgame presser Wednesday – for Sixers coach Doug Collins to be asked about his team playing out the string.

After the win, a 100-92 decision over Milwaukee, the Sixers face an 8½-game deficit with 11 to go. Collins wasn't having it.

“We're not done yet. Are we eliminated?” he asked. “We're going to keep playing, man. You know me, right? I've never quit before I got to the finish line. We're not going to start that now, and our team doesn't have that personality. We're not going to do that. This city and this organization means too much to me and these players. They're young guys. They're trying to build a nucleus here. They know what they have going into next year and what has to be done to make this right.”

Which is all well and good, but it begs this question: Should the Sixers tank? Perhaps a better question is defining “tanking.”

By no means does anyone prescribe to the notion that the Sixers should intentionally miss shots, intentionally throw the ball away and intentionally give away their games to the opposing teams, just for the sake of bettering their place in the NBA draft lottery. But the term “tanking” is wildly unclear. The draft is filled with uncertainty, and nothing states that a team with a high pick is guaranteed success (See: Kings, Sacramento). Most fans seem to think that there's no harm in losing a few games now to potentially win a few games more next season. Once more, though, nothing is a stone-cold lock.

If you had a crystal ball and could predict the future, what do you see for the Sixers? Do the fold up shop and call it a season? Do they play for pride and win a few more for the sake of it? What do you think?

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013


(Associated Press)
Andrew Bynum will begin post-surgery physical therapy Friday, the Sixers announced Wednesday night.

Bynum underwent surgery on both knees Tuesday in New York. The procedure was performed by David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

The team announced Monday that Bynum would miss the rest of the season (really, all of it) with bilateral bone bruises that have caused swelling and pain in both knees.

Bynum will begin his PT at the end of the week and will remain non-weight-bearing for three weeks, after which he will spend an additional three weeks on crutches.

If there's any further update on Bynum, the Sixers will announce it.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


(Associated Press)
Andrew Bynum is to have surgery today, ending the 7-footer's tenure with the 76ers before he even had an opportunity to play for them.

Or did it.

After Monday's win over the Trail Blazers, Thaddeus Young said he would welcome back Bynum – an unrestricted free agent – for next season, assuming he was fully healed from the arthroscopic surgery on both knees.

“Many guys have had knee surgeries and things done to them surgically and they've come back even better,” Young said. “It's all about (Bynum) getting back to the gym, getting back his rhythm and getting into the groove of basketball.

“Me personally, I think having him on the team and having his presence inside is huge. That's always been a knock on us, that we don't have a true big man. If we can get him back 100-percent healthy, it's going to be scary for a whole lot of teams next year.”

Evan Turner didn't sound as committed to the idea.

“I'm just pulling for him in general. I don't want to sit here and scream out, 'Come back, come back, come back.' Dude's going through surgery, know what I'm saying?” Turner said. “It's going to be tough enough rehab and everything. You just worry about the player above your own selfish needs.”

So what do you think? Should the Sixers make a play at Bynum in the offseason? They don't have the cap space to make a max contract offer, but should they commit some of their money to him? Post your thoughts.

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Monday, March 18, 2013


A step-by-step look at Andrew Bynum’s tenure in Philadelphia, including news Monday that he would miss the rest of the season:

Aug. 14: The Sixers complete a three-team trade, acquiring Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Aug. 17: The team introduces Bynum in an open-to-the-public press conference at the National Constitution Center. Famously, Sixers owner Josh Harris says, “Where do I sign?” when asked if the Sixers have intentions on signing Bynum, an restricted free agent in 2013, to a contract extension. Sixers CEO Adam Aron tells Bynum “the city is yours.”
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(Associated Press)
PHILADELPHIA – Over before it began.

Andrew Bynum, traded for in August by the 76ers and expected to carry them to the next level of the NBA hierarchy, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on both knees and will miss the remainder (translation: all) of the season, the team announced Monday night in a statement.

The 7-foot, 300-pound center will undergo surgery Tuesday, the team said.

Bynum's season with the Sixers boils down to these numbers: $16.5 million paid, zero minutes played.

Only eight months ago, the Sixers harbored such high aspirations for their season when they traded for Bynum as part of a blockbuster deal Aug. 14.

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Monday, March 11, 2013


(Associated Press)
He may not be the most talented man in the 76ers' locker room, but he's certainly the most outspoken.

Damien Wilkins doesn't shy from speaking the truth. He knows the Sixers have the tendency to show effort in games like Monday's, a 106-97 win over Brooklyn, than in games like Sunday's, against a bottom-feeding bunch in Orlando.

“Record-wise, we're not necessarily a good team, either,” Wilkins said, after scoring 13 points against the Nets. “We should want to play hard every night. Even if we're the No. 1 seed in the East, we all should strive to work hard every night. That's what we owe to ourselves, owe to our fans, to our organization. You can't teach effort. I think we have guys in this locker room who want to go out there and play hard every night. It's just a matter of us doing it.”

In a politically correct way, Wilkins made it clear that wins against a team like Brooklyn can be contagious. And the Sixers' schedule certainly doesn't do them any favors, with dates the rest of this week against Eastern Conference contenders Miami and Indiana looming.

Yet, Wilkins understands that accepting a losing attitude – while easier – isn't most satisfactory.
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Friday, March 8, 2013


(Associated Press)
MIAMI – The last time the 76ers played Miami, Thad Young was on the bench nursing a tweaked hamstring. There's no way on knowing whether Young would've prevented LeBron James, the NBA's surefire MVP winner, from a triple-double.

But the Sixers know this: They like their odds with Young defending James, as opposed to the alternative.

At Friday morning's shootaround, Young offered one sentence as to how he hoped to stop James: “Keep him in front of you and just try to stop the freight train,” Young said, smiling.

In the Heat's 16-game winning streak, which they carry into their meeting with the Sixers, James has averaged 28.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.6 assists – which astoundingly are all reminscient of his season totals. But James, already on pace to establish a career-best shooting percentage with his 56.2-percent clip, is hitting a ridiculous 61 percent of his shots during this streak.

James had 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a win over the Sixers Feb. 23.

“He facilitated more,” Jrue Holiday said of that performance.

And what about tonight?

“He has to see three or four jerseys. He can't just see one or two,” Holiday said.

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(Associated Press)
MIAMI --- If Lavoy Allen is put off by his recent lack of playing time, he sure isn't showing it.

A healthy DNP in Atlanta Wednesday nigh, Allen has seen his playing time decrease in the last two weeks. It's fallen from an average of 22.8 minutes per game to three minutes total in his last two appearances.

Allen said the Sixers' coaching staff told him he wasn't going hard enough on the glass to merit considerable playing time at the moment.

“They said I had only one rebound,” Allen said of a two-rebound, 17-minute effort Sunday in Washington. “Whenever I get the opportunity to play, I have to try my hardest. I'm just waiting for my next opportunity.”

Allen's next chance to play is tonight in Miami, against the reigning champion Heat. It's usually difficult to gauge Allen's mindset. Even when things are going well, the second-year forward has a way of downplaying the moment. (Last month, after grabbing 22 rebounds against Charlotte, Allen said he “just put my hands up. … Nothing special.”) So determining whether the soft-spoken Allen is upset by sitting out is no small task.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013


(Associated Press)
ATLANTA – The Sixers' loss to the Hawks Wednesday night did more damage than setting them back in the standings.

Jrue Holiday rolled his right ankle in the second quarter and jammed his left thumb in the fourth quarter of the Sixers' 107-96 loss at Philips Arena. The all-star point guard said he's fine and doesn't expect to miss time because of the bumps and bruises.

Afterward, Holiday had ice bags wrapped around both knees and a third taped to his left hand.

“What can I say? I'm getting old,” the 22-year-old said.

Holiday suffered the ankle injury toward the end of the second quarter, when he blocked Atlanta's Devin Harris from behind. Holiday took a tumble after the snuff and was slow to get up. Though it looked as though Holiday also had rolled his ankle Tuesday on a layup attempt against Boston, Holiday said he didn't.

“I rolled my ankle today. At halftime, toward the end of the half,” Holiday said. “It's cool, though. I rolled it a little bit. It's nothing severe or anything.”

As for his thumb...?
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013


(Associated Press)
Before Tuesday's game, Sixers coach Doug Collins was asked what he'd alter about the team that had lost eight of nine. He said he'd want “a healthy team.”

Collins' comment seemed timely, considering as his players were suiting up for a game against visiting Boston, his all-star center was in New York City, getting yet-another opinion on his bad knees. Andrew Bynum was not at Wells Fargo Center. Instead, he was visiting personal physician David Altchek for a look-see at his bad appendages.

The Sixers have gone the entire season without Bynum, which is a different scenario than that which the Celtics have faced. They've been sans Rajon Rondo since January, with a torn ACL. The Celtics are entrenched in the playoff race, while the Sixers are – well – not.

“I think the big difference is their star player won a championship with them,” Collins said of Rondo. “Our star player has never played, so our guys have never been around him.”

It's looking more and more like Bynum may never play for the Sixers. (Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said in pregame that surgery has not been taken off the table.) That's left a bitter taste in Collins' mouth, but it'll be a cold day in hell before Collins waves a white flag.

Collins hopes the feeling of missing the postseason resonates with his guys.

“Anytime you miss the playoffs, it should hurt. Anytime your season is over and you go home without playoff games and you're not a part of that, it should be very painful,” he said.

“The plans we had this year, for this season, we really haven't been able to see. There's no excuses. Nobody's going to make any excuses. We just haven't had a chance to see that. I think the guys have done a nice job fighting through it. I'm proud of them. They've given all they can give.”

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Sunday, March 3, 2013


(Associated Press)
WASHINGTON – Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said surgery for Andrew Bynum is “certainly an option,” though the organization is trying to determine the appropriate next step for their injured center and his balky knees.

And, for those wondering, Bynum is still Plan A for the Sixers this season and beyond, according to DiLeo.

Bynum – who has missed the entire season – practiced with the Sixers Feb. 22, with that 5-on-5 scrimmage serving as his first on-court workout with his teammates since being traded to Philly. Bynum has been suffering from swelling in his right knee ever since.

Friday, Bynum said there are no surgical procedures to fix the cartilage issue he's battling in both his left and right knees. However, DiLeo did not dismiss the notion that going under the knife was a possibility for Bynum.

“(Bynum) probably knows as much as anyone. He's seen all the doctors,” DiLeo said Sunday, before the Sixers tipped off with the Washington Wizards.

“Now he has to make a decision, the doctors have to make a (decision) – what’s the next, best step? Is it continuing to rehab? Or go in and do arthroscopic (surgery)? Or is there some other alternative? That’s where we’re at right now.”

For more on DiLeo, pick up Monday's edition of the Daily Times.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013


(Associated Press)
Fifty-six games down, and Andrew Bynum has played in exactly zero of them. Naturally, the overwhelming reaction among 76ers fans is to pin blame and ill will on Bynum, who arrived in Philly to such fanfare only to sit on the bench while rehabbing knee injuries.

Can you blame them?

But there's something else here, something that seemed to get swept under the rug. If you paid attention to Bynum's latest rehab update, Friday after Sixers practice at PCOM, it sounded as though the 25-year-old center is genuinely concerned about his future.

Not with the Sixers. Not in the NBA. But with his future, in general.
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Friday, March 1, 2013


Andrew Bynum said he's experiencing some swelling in his right knee after last week's 5-on-5 scrimmage, calling it a “four- to five-day setback” and adding that he doesn't feel the need to play to get his next contract

Speaking at PCOM following the 76ers' practice Friday, Bynum said his right knee is his concern. For those keeping score at home, that's the one that had been better and, for the last few months, the left knee (the one he hurt in November while bowling) was the one setting him back.

Bynum said he's not sure if he'll ever play for the Sixers this season.

“Now it's getting really late,” he said. “I don't know.”

As for playing to get his next contract, Bynum said he doesn't feel the need to rush anything. The Sixers have 26 games to go and Bynum, an unrestricted free agent, isn't worried about his next deal.
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