Hoop Updates: Stern Threatening to Cancel Season, Sixers Make New Hire, Philly-DC Rematch Set

Hoop Updates: Stern Threatening to Cancel Season, Sixers Make New Hire, Philly-DC Rematch Set

We have an update on the NBA Lockout! And it's, uh, well…well it's not great.

After months of little to no progress, league commissioner David Stern may be at his wits end. Those of you watching the Rays-Yankees game last evening more than likely saw on the bottom of your sports ticker that Stern was threatening to cancel the 2011-2012 season if the owners and players could not make "major progress" on a deal by Monday.

In the intervening hours, the story has been largely squashed by a number of outlets as either a fabrication, misquote, or even your basic empty negotiating threat. Head on over to NBC Sports for a detailed wrap-up of of how this apparent "non-story" has unfolded.

Though its true that there's probably plenty of time to save at least part of the season—the drop-dead date often thrown around for that scenario is something like early January—the window is certainly closing on the idea of a full season. Piecing together the reports that have surfaced, it certainly sounds as though the two sides remain so far apart on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that hope is running out to complete an 82-game schedule without moving the season passed its usual dates or trying to compress that season into a smaller time frame.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume this Friday in New York.

Sixers' Hire
Once the league is back in business, the Philadelphia 76ers will have a new assistant coach. Following the loss of Quin Snyder to Mike Brown's new staff in Los Angeles, coach Doug Collins has hired former Charlotte assistant Jeff Capel II to fill the void.

Prior to his time in Charlotte, Capel spent time at the college level coaching Old Dominion, North Carolina A&T and Fayetteville State. He has also spent time as a head coach in the D-League, returning to Fayetteville to oversee the developmental "Patriots."

In her report on the signing, CSN's Dei Lynam adds that the opening of NBA training camps has been pushed back until October 16th at the earliest. This date is obviously subject to further postponement given the success or failure of the league's on-going negotiations.

Battle for I-95 Rematch
And so, as long the players are locked out, they might as well do something, right?

Word is that the D.C. guys are a little salty about dropping that pick-up game to Team Philly last Sunday and are looking for a rematch in their hometown. Part II has been scheduled for October 15th from inside Coolidge High School in downtown D.C.

Rosters have not been finalized, but "some possible players for the Goodman League could include Kevin Durant, John Wall, Jeff Green, Michael Beasley and DeMarcus Cousins."

Former Temple Owl and Philadelphia's own Mark Tyndale announced on his Facebook page earlier this week that he has received an invitation to represent Team Philly just as he did with other former Owls Dionte Christmas and Mardy Collins at the Palestra.

In case you missed it, check out highlights from the "Battle for I-95" below.

I guess we're supposed to be arguing over which stretch of road is worse for traffic or something, as if its a sort of badge of honor that "it takes us longer to get home than it does for you—WE WIN!" Frankly, I don't think it's all that hard to agree that the highway can be a hellhole in and around both metropolitan areas and don't need to fight over whose construction patterns are worse.

But, if we agreed to that...then we'd get fewer 'oops. And then everyone loses.

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.