700 Level Readers, It's Been Real, But I'm Leaving To Become Malik Rose's Head Writer

700 Level Readers, It's Been Real, But I'm Leaving To Become Malik Rose's Head Writer

One of the great developments here in the early part of the Sixers season, aside from their play, has been the color commentary of Malik Rose. Rose, who is the fifth person in five years to hold the Sixers color commentator job (Steve Mix, Bob Salmi, Ed Pinckney and Eric "Snooze Button" Snow preceded him) has been an incredible addition to Sixers telecasts. 
He's refreshingly honest, incredibly funny, and has developed an instant chemistry with play-by-play man Marc Zumoff. He's also displayed a wicked sense of pop culture. In response to a recent Evan Turner drive into the paint he dropped an Animal House reference by asking "Mind if I dance in your paint?". He also hit us with a Chappelle Show "Negrodamus" line.
Another reason to love Malik is that he is active on Twitter (@MalikRose). I've had a few Twitter exchanges with him, but nothing topped last night. See, Malik actually used a line I came up with on Twitter during the telecast.
The story begins on Tuesday night, just after Jodie Meeks hit a jumper to push the Sixers point total for the night to 100. Whenever the Sixers hit the century mark all fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center win a McDonald's Big Mac. Malik, being Malik, casually dropped a McDowell's Big Mick "Coming To America" reference to commemorate the occasion of fans winning free Big Mac's. 
In disbelief that Rose mentioned Coming to America Matt P. and I exchanged tweets confirming what we'd heard. Here's the exchange:

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@Rev215
Rev@mattp700level Kind of sounded like it. I thought @MalikRose was going to go with "MeekDonalds" when Jodie hit the hundo.
Jan 11 via Tweetbot for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Rose, clearly appreciating comedy genius when he sees it, tweeted back to me.

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@MalikRose
Malik Rose@Rev215@mattp700level that would've been AWESOME!!! I'll keep that in mind!
Jan 11 via EchofonFavoriteRetweetReply

Which brings us to the video below. The Sixers were blowing out the Wizards. The game was well in hand. The crowd was hungry. Hungry for more Big Mac's. But which Sixer player would oblige them and send them home with the promise of free two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun? 
Hmmm, Jodie Meeks would be a good candidate. I mean, he was in the midst of tying a career high with 26 points. The planets were aligning, my friends. Meeks collected a pass from Lou Williams, gathered himself, and launched a three...buckets! Let the Big Mac's flow like the salmon of Capistrano. The crowd goes bonkers, drunk on the promise of free food, and Malik Rose hollers "MeekDonald's!!!"

Needless to say, I lost it as soon as I heard it. I immediately head to Twitter to a) put it on record that I heard what I heard and b) to let Malik know I heard it. 

#embedly_twitter_4905786{background:url(http://a0.twimg.com/images/themes/theme15/bg.png) #022330; padding:20px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 0px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .embedly_tweet_content{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:0px;height:40px; padding-bottom: 12px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p span.metadata span.author{line-height:15px;color:#999;font-size:14px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p span.metadata span.author a{line-height:15px;font-size:20px;vertical-align:middle} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 10px 0 0px;width:48px;height:48px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p a {color: #0084B4; text-decoration:none;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 p a:hover{text-decoration:underline} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .embedly_timestamp{font-size:13px;display:inline-block;margin-top: 5px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .components-above span.embedly_timestamp{font-size:10px;margin-top: 1px;line-height:12px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 a {color: #0084B4; text-decoration:none;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 a:hover{text-decoration:underline} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-screen-name {font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-full-name {padding-left: 4px; color: #999; font-size: 12px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions{margin-left: 10px;font-size:13px;display:inline-block;width:250px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .components-above span.tweet-actions{font-size:10px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .controls{line-height:12px!important} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions a {margin-left:5px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions a b{font-weight:normal} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .components-above span.tweet-actions a b{vertical-align:baseline;line-height:12px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .components-above .tweet-text{font-size:13px;vertical-align:baseline} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-image {float: left; width: 40px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-user-block-image {float: left; width: 48px; height: 48px} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-row {margin-left: 40px; margin-top: 3px;line-height: 17px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-user-block {margin-left: -40px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .stream-item {padding-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 12px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .simple-tweet-image img {margin-top: 4px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .simple-tweet-content {margin: 0 0 13px 0px; font-size: 14px; min-height:48px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .in-reply-to-border {border-color: #EBEBEB; border-style: solid; border-width: 1px 0 0;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .in-reply-to-text {margin-left: 4px; padding-left: 8px; padding-right: 10px; color: #999; font-size: 12px;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions i {background: transparent url(http://a2.twimg.com/a/1306889658/phoenix/img/sprite-icons.png) no-repeat;width:15px;height:15px;margin:0 4px -3px 3px;outline: none; text-indent:-99999px;vertical-align:baseline;display:inline-block;position:relative;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions a.retweet-action i {background-position:-192px 0;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions a.reply-action i {background-position:0 0;} #embedly_twitter_4905786 .tweet-actions a.favorite-action i {background-position:-32px 0;} Rev215RevOh snap, @MalikRose used my MeekDonalds line! https://t.co/h0cWRB9n Jan 14FavoriteRetweetReply in reply to @Rev215

@MalikRose
Malik Rose@Rev215 Thank you Bro!!!!
Jan 14 via EchofonFavoriteRetweetReply

No, thank you, Malik. I hope it's cool that I put this on my resume and use you as a reference. Yeah, so, no big deal really. I am just a television writer now. It was great knowing you guys. Enrico, Matt, Kulp, Andrew, Nick, I'll try to stay in touch, but I can't promise anything.
Malik, I'll have my people call your people.

Nerlens Noel excited for impending return to game action

Nerlens Noel excited for impending return to game action

NEW ORLEANS -- The weeks and months have quickly piled up. Nerlens Noel has not played an NBA regular-season game since last season ended for the Sixers on April 13. Nearly eight months later, Noel is nearing the return he has been eyeing for quite some time now. 

“It’s always an excitement to be able to play basketball after this amount of time, including the summer, not being able to play organized basketball at a competitive level,” Noel said Thursday. “I’ve been really looking forward to this. I think I’ve gained some momentum coming back from this minor surgery, and I think I’m in a really good place and I’m feeling good with my body. Everything is on point.”

Noel has been sidelined since undergoing elective left knee surgery in October to address an inflamed plica. He traveled to New Orleans on Wednesday to join the Sixers ahead of their 99-88 win over the Pelicans (see game recap). Noel continued his rehab Thursday while the team prepped for the game. 

“I’ve been able do five-on-five, full contact,” Noel said. “I’ve tried to maximize my opportunities of that with the team being gone on the road. I came down here and went through most of shootaround and it went well. Now these next couple of days, [I will be] going through practice, still working on my wind. I do like where I’m at now.”

The Sixers’ next game is Sunday against the Pistons in Detroit. Brett Brown had given Noel’s availability for that game a “maybe” (see story)

“I’m not sure,” Noel said of playing Sunday. “I’m ready to go with these next couple of days and see how my wind feels and how my body feels, which I have been feeling good. So it’s a possibility.”

When Noel does return, there is a scenario in which he could be paired with center Joel Embiid. Last year, the Sixers struggled finding the best way to utilize Noel and Jahlil Okafor, also a center, at the same time playing the four and five positions. As Okafor has said of playing with Embiid, Noel also believes his off-the-court friendship with the towering rookie would translate onto the court. 

“I think it would be something that’s experimented,” Noel said. “It’d definitely be interesting.”

Noel candidly expressed his opinion of the Sixers’ logjammed frontcourt at the start of the season. Since speaking to the media after his surgery, Noel has mentioned he is in a good mental place (see story). For him, that means being out on the court again. 

“I love myself and I love the game of basketball,” Noel said. “When I step out here to come and play, it just brings a lot of enjoyment and excitement to me. Regardless of what the details of it are, I just love the game and I’m happy to just be playing.”

Best of NHL: Flames edge Coyotes in OT for fifth straight win

Best of NHL: Flames edge Coyotes in OT for fifth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dougie Hamilton scored 1:09 into overtime, Chad Johnson stopped 27 shots and the Calgary Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Thursday night.

Mark Giordano scored for the Flames in a chippy game filled with big hits and multiple fights.

Hamilton capped a fast-paced overtime by deking Arizona's Mike Smith with a forehand before flipping in a backhander. Calgary has won five straight and eight of 11 (8-2-1).

Max Domi scored before leaving with an upper-body injury and Smith stopped 33 shots for the Coyotes, who have lost six straight and 11 of 14 (3-7-4).

Arizona captain Shane Doan became Arizona's all-time assist leader and is the fifth player in NHL history to own his team's records for games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals and power-play goals (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins roll over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby got his 18th goal and added an assist to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Florida Panthers 5-1 on Thursday night.

Conor Sheary, Tom Kuhnhackl, Matt Cullen and Carl Hagelin also scored for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray made 28 saves.

The Penguins have won four straight and five of their past six.

Jaromir Jagr scored his 755th career goal, and Roberto Luongo stopped 25 shots for the Panthers. Luongo allowed three goals on Pittsburgh's first five shots.

Panthers coach Tom Rowe, who replaced Gerard Gallant on Nov. 28, made his home debut. The Panthers have lost five of six under Rowe, but managed a point in three of those losses (see full recap).

Price loses cool as Habs beat Devils
MONTREAL -- Carey Price lost his temper after being bumped twice in his crease and made 19 saves to help the Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 on Thursday night.

Torrey Mitchell scored twice and Phillip Danault, Artturi Lehkonen and Max Pacioretty also had goals for the Canadiens in their return from a five-game trip.

Adam Henrique scored a goal and set up one by Taylor Hall for New Jersey, which ended a two-game winning streak.

Montreal had a season-high 49 shots on Cory Schneider.

A wild first period included three goals, four goal reviews and Price's meltdown (see full recap).