Sixers Release Schedule, Will Open Season Against Blazers on 26th

Sixers Release Schedule, Will Open Season Against Blazers on 26th

Well, the '11-12 season does mark the 35th anniversary of the '76-'77
season, so maybe it's not random that this year should start with a
finals rematch from that season. (Maybe.) The schedules for every NBA
team (Hey, the Sixers are one of those!) were released Tuesday night, and
the Sixers will open the season on the road in Portland, against
LaMarcus Aldridge and them Trailblazers, on the day after Christmas.
It's one of many notable dates Sixers fans can now put on their
calendars in semi-permanent marker. Others include:

Dec. 31st: For what feels like the 25th year in a row, the Sixers
play a mediocre West Coast team on New Years' Eve. This year, the boys
face off with the Warriors in California at 10:30 EST, unofficially
celebrating the New Year sometime around halftime.

Jan. 6th: The team finally returns to the WFC for their home opener
against the Detroit Pistons. The Ballers will likely be craving revenge
(or possibly just crab fries) after the Pistons defeated them in the
last game of the year in '11, ruining their chances at a plus-.500
season.

Jan. 9th-14th: The Sixers play five games in six days, including a
home-and-home against the Wizards, a visit to the Knicks at MSG and the first of their two three-games-in-three-nights stretches. The
team will play a staggering 16 games over the course of 25 days in
January, an unfortunate (for them, at least) consequence of the
super-compacted 66-game season.

Feb. 3rd: The Heat revisit Philly for the first time since Lou
Williams' last-minute three sunk them in Game Four of the two teams'
first-round series—regrettably, the only time the Heat lost to the
Sixers in their eight total meetings last year. The WFC will be packed
(by WFC standards, anyway) for the Big Three and company's return
shortly after Groundhog Day.

Apr. 16-18: The Sixers play three in a row for the second and final time this season—against Orlando, Indiana and Cleveland, all of whom
will be somewhere between decent and abysmal this season. The Cleveland
game should be the easiest, but we'll see how the Ballers do at standing
upright in the fourth quarter before setting the line on that one.

Apr. 26: Philly finishes up its season (again) against the Pistons,
this time in Detroit. Let's hope the team is more than a game over .500
at this point so we don't have to go through the disappointment of
statistical mediocrity again. (Or I guess they could just go well under
and take the suspense out altogether. Their call.)

The team's full schedule is available at Sixers.com. 18 days and counting!

Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

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Report: Rockets to hire Sixers associate coach Mike D'Antoni

The Sixers are losing a top assistant coach just five months after he joined the team. 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical, the Houston Rockets are finalizing a deal to hire Mike D'Antoni as their head coach. According to Wojnarowski, the deal is for four years, with a team option in the final year.  

D'Antoni had been a Sixers associate coach since last December, when the team hired him after starting the season with a 1-26 record. 

While he took a supporting role in Philadelphia, D'Antoni has 12 years of NBA head coaching experience with the Nuggets, Suns (where he worked with Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo and special advisor Jerry Colangelo) and, most recently, the Lakers. The 2013-14 Lakers went 27-55 under D'Antoni. 

D’Antoni is 455-426 as a head coach. He won the 2004-05 NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Suns. He also was an assistant coach for gold-winning Team USA men’s national teams.

Rockets interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff withdrew himself from consideration for the job earlier this month, and D’Antoni has been considered a top candidate for the position. The Rockets have had four coaches in the past 10 seasons, including Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Adelman, Kevin McHale and Bickerstaff.

The Rockets finished eighth in the Western Conference this season with a 41-41 record. They were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Warriors, 4-1. 

Earlier in the week, Wojnarowski reported P.J. Carlesimo could take D'Antoni's place. 

Carlesimo, 66, and Sixers head coach Brett Brown were both assistant coaches under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs from 2002-07. Carlesimo also has previous head coaching experience with the Blazers, Warriors and Sonics/Thunder. 

CSNPhilly.com's Dave Zangaro contributed to this story.

Markieff Morris detained at Philadelphia International Airport

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USA Today Images

Markieff Morris detained at Philadelphia International Airport

Former Prep Charter and current Washington Wizards star Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, according to law enforcement officials.

Morris, who was with a party that included his mother, checked a bag for an international trip when “a suspicious item” was found in his suitcase, according to law enforcement.

A secondary search of his bag revealed what law enforcement officials called “suspected marijuana.” Terminal A at Philadelphia International is overseen by Tinicum Township Police in Delaware County, not by the Philadelphia Police Department. Philadelphia airport security notified Tinicum Township Police. Morris was then taken to the Tinicum Township Police precinct for questioning. He was later released on his own recognizance.

A Tinicum Township police spokesman said the investigation is ongoing.

Morris, a Philadelphia native, is in his first full season with the Wizards, who acquired him from the Phoenix Suns in February. The Suns drafted him out of Kansas with the 13th overall pick in 2011. Morris' twin brother Marcus was drafted one pick later by the Houston Rockets before being dealt to Phoenix, where played with his brother for a little more than two seasons. Marcus now plays for the Detroit Pistons. 

Brian Dawkins spotted at Eagles practice and he still looks ripped

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Brian Dawkins spotted at Eagles practice and he still looks ripped

Brian Dawkins, one of the most beloved Eagles off all time and a guy who clearly still hits the gym, was in Philadelphia on Thursday and was spotted at the NovaCare Complex to watch the team practice.

As you can see, Dawkins still has biceps as big as your waist. The team sharing a simple photo of Dawkins got fans all in a tizzy.

Was it a coincidence that Weapon X appeared just days before "X-Men: Apocalypse" is set to hit theaters? Only he knows.

For his part, Dawkins acknowledged that it's better to stay in shape than become a fat old man.