The Evster: the Sixers are cool but the Wells Fargo Center still kinda sucks

The Evster: the Sixers are cool but the Wells Fargo Center still kinda sucks

Don't let the Sixers fool you. Despite their bonkers start, this organization is still completely and totally incompetent. I love Evan Turner, and I would jam my tongue into Michael Carter Williams's mouth, and I am almost, almost, almost ready to cheer when Spencer Hawes makes a three-pointer, but this team still has a lot of work to do before I spend my hard earned money on a trip down to the Wells Fargo Center.

Luckily, as a rising internet celebrity, I now get free tickets to games thanks to some guy on Twitter (who I've never met before). Seriously, some random dude gave me free tickets to the season opener vs. the Heat and also to the following week's game vs. the Wizards. It's incredible. He didn't even ask me to send him any barefoot pics or anything (yet). He just gave me the tix, and I went to the games, and snapped a bunch of photos for you sad, pathetic common-folk who still have to pay to attend sporting events because you don't have OVER EIGHT HUNDRED LOYAL TWITTER FOLLOWERS.

So here you go you sorry sack of inbreds: some sweet pics of life down at the Wells Fargo Center as well as some photographic evidence that the Sixers brass still spend most of their time sucking their own butts.

For the season opener vs. the Heat, the Sixers pulled out all the stops, hiring a group of mummers to perform outside the arena. The Mummers got the party started with some timeless ragtime hits while thousands of parents hurried their children through the turnstiles, imploring them to not make eye contact with the sad, weird troll people.

The following Wednesday? Not quite the same fanfare outside the arena, but still a pretty awesome way to greet the fans ...

... with a dumpster parked out front.

Just your standard, black, dirty, disgusting dumpster.

Come on down to the Wells Fargo everyone! Watch your step around the dumpster though. Couldn't move that before the game tonight. Just parked it right out front. Right in front of our multi-million dollar facility. Open the lid and see what you can find in there! Could be a dead mummer!

Aw man, I'm sorry I don't have a better picture of these bozos. These were the DJs hired to PUMP UP THE JAMZ when you first entered the arena. I wish I could remember their names, it was something like DJ Dazzle and his buddy DJ Razzle. Obviously those weren't their names, those are ridiculous names, but it was something like that. DJ Razzle had to be 55 years old. He kept putting his hand down on the DJ table to steady his balance. And yes, that's a Toyota Corolla in the background. They were playing Bruno Mars when I first got there.

This is a "Chicken American" sandwich from Chickie's and Pete's. I figured it'd be a smart move to go with a known Philly entity instead of some Aramark dogisht that'd been sitting under a heat lamp since last seez. Turns out the Chicken American is just three chicken fingers on a seeded roll with no cheese, no tomato and no taste. Very simple. Very basic. VERY American. Oh sorry, it did have a small dipping container of honey mustard sauce along with it though. So there's that. It cost $10.50. I ended up just eating the chicken fingers on their own after developing a severe case of lockjaw from trying to pry my mouth open wide enough to jam it all in there. It was seriously the driest sandwich I've ever eaten. But that's all right, at Sixers games you can always wash anything down with a nice cold brewski from the ...


CHIEW, CHIEW, ZIEWZZ (those are the slashing sounds of the Bud Light Blue Zone)

A little chilly in the Blue Zone last Wednesday. Too chilly in fact for them to open up shop. Same for this gem of a hot dog stand ...


What does that even mean?!?!?!?


My friend who I was with had a hankering for some "Assorted Candy" which I thought was going to be a bunch of different hard candies thrown into a bag. I realize now that that would've been ridiculous, but at the time it seemed like something the Wells Fargo Center would possibly offer. When my friend asked the dude behind the counter what kind of assorted candy they had, he told her they only had Twizzlers.

Now I personally think Twizzlers suck, but that's neither here nor there, the fascinating part is that this was OPENING NIGHT. The Sixers had an entire offseason to stock up on candy, and yet, apparently they decided to go with JUST THE TWIZZLERS. On top of that, this all took place the week of Halloween, so they easily could've gone to a local supermarket and loaded up on candy. But nope, just the Twizzlers was enough. JUST THE TWIZZLERS.

Let's talk about the Sixers Flight Squad, shall we? (Who I am totally fine with by the way, I am totally fine with them.) I am all for people running around like idiots and launching themselves off of trampolines and ramming their faces headfirst into a basket. I'm honestly shocked that Slam Ball wasn't a huge success. But these dudes need to RE-LAX. 95% of the time they're on the court, they're just trying to pump up the crowd by yelling things like, "C'MON!" and "LET'S GO!" and "DJ RAZZLE ON THE SCRIBBLE SCRABBLES!" There's just so much clapping and so much head-nodding. None of them know how to properly throw a t-shirt.

The picture above was taken around 20 minutes before tip off (still plenty of great seats available!) when the Flight Squad came out for a little impromptu break dance sesh. It was so embarrassing. Whenever someone did a flip, all the other members of the squad would go, "Ohhhhh!!!" and then another guy would do a Jackknife or something and they'd all go, "OHHHHHHH!" and then another guy would do some sort of Swizzle Shift and I don't even know what that means, but that's seriously the only way to describe what this young man was doing with his body. At the moment this photograph was taken, two of the dudes were doing the Kid and Play dance. They had one kind of candy in the arena, folks. Twizzlers. Just the Twizz.

The Flight Squad's gametime performance was a whole 'nother story. End to end explosiveness (with even more clapping and head-nodding and pump-up-the-crowd action). The dude in front of me (pictured above) was so into it that he actually filmed their dunks. He was probably 24 years old.

Later, when the Sixers cracked the century mark, he asked me how to redeem his free Big Mac coupon. I told him he had to go to section 101 to exchange his ticket for the coupon and when I finished explaining this to him, he repeated everything I said just to make sure he knew what to do. I found this very endearing. He was very excited to get his Big Mac. I was excited for him too.

See that cotton candy dude? Probably a very nice person. Well, he had the audacity to ask a little kid if he wanted strawberry cotton candy or blueberry. I wanted to be like, "Dude, it's blue and pink. There's no difference in flavor. Cotton Candy is the flavor," but instead I actually kept my mouth shut for the first time in my life. I didn't catch the little kid's response, but I'm guessing it was something like, "You're an idiot, right?"

Also, if you had to call them different flavors, the blue would obviously be blue raspberry!

This is who greets you when you enter the bathroom. The poster boy for Horizon Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning. I don't know about you, but no plumber, heating guy or air conditioning dude has ever entered my house looking that presentable.

Before allowing any blue-collar worker into our home, my wife will lay down a giant tarp at the front door just so they don't track in any dirt, mud, or some sort of dead animal that might be attached to the bottom of their boots. Also, that guy and that lady are TOTALLY gonna pork. The sexual tension is PALPABLE. Look how he's making eye contact with her HARD. I feel sad for that lady's husband. If I was a stay at home mom, I would have sex with every person who came to my front door. FACT.

The team store didn't have any Michael Carter Williams jerseys (they were being delivered the following Wednesday, because WHY HAVE THEM READY FOR OPENING NIGHT?), but they did have TWO different key chains: a $7 version with the Sixers logo on it and an $8 SPENCER HAWES JAWN with an imitation human torso.

I've never understood why people need key chains in the first place. They're so bulky and annoying to carry and now that jeans have gotten considerably skinnier, they dig into your thighs and omg am I really talking about key chains let's just end this post immediately.

The Evster writes the blog TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. You can follow him on Twitter @TVMWW or you can follow his wife @DianeSawyer.

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

Report: Sixers have shown interest in Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones

With Ben Simmons and Jerryd Bayless hurt, the Sixers are still lacking a distributor, and so it makes sense that they've been in contact with the point guard-rich Timberwolves.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Sixers and New Orleans Pelicans have shown interest in T'wolves backup point guard Tyus Jones. 

With fifth overall pick Kris Dunn and Ricky Rubio, Minnesota is set at PG. Jones, 20, is third on the totem pole a year after being drafted 24th overall. 

According to Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves are more inclined to trade Jones than Rubio. 

Jones has a connection to the Sixers in Jahlil Okafor, a former teammate at Duke. Both were one-and-dones for the 2014-15 National Championship team. Jones averaged 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists for the Blue Devils. 

He played sparingly as a rookie last season with Minnesota (37 games), averaging 4.2 points and 2.9 assists in 15.5 minutes, but stood out this summer, winning Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

T.J. McConnell has started the majority of the preseason at point guard for the Sixers. Sergio Rodriguez got the nod in the last game against the Pistons. Brett Brown is also looking at Nik Stauskas to fill the spot in a non-traditional role.

Elton Brand announces retirement after 17 NBA seasons

Elton Brand announces retirement after 17 NBA seasons

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Elton Brand walked out to the practice court clad in a gray suit and tie. As he approached the media with his family, the Sixers' players and staff gathered to watch and, more importantly, pay their respect to the news he was about to deliver. 

“After 17 years of playing the game that I love, and it’s been great to me, I’m officially retiring,” Brand said standing next to his wife Shahara. “It’s for real this time. It was a wonderful journey.”

Brand, 37, played 17 seasons in the NBA with a career average of 15.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists. A two-time All-Star, he recorded four 20-and-10 seasons. 

This summer he signed his final contract, a one-year deal with the Sixers worth $980,431. Brand announced his intention to retire on Thursday and the roster move will be officially completed at the conclusion of training camp. Brand’s retirement clears up a roster space for the Sixers. 

“Me personally, playing, being out there, the mentoring role, it was great. I enjoyed it,” Brand said. “But I really couldn’t be out there giving my all after 17 years, helping the team, being in the right place on defense, and giving the coaching staff the energy they deserve from their players. I thought it was time.”

The Bulls selected Brand with the first overall pick in the 1999 draft out of Duke, a moment he considers a highlight of his career. He played his first two seasons in Chicago, followed by seven with the Clippers. The Sixers signed Brand in July of 2008. He was a member of the team for the next four years, including two playoff runs. Brand played one more season with the Bulls, followed by two with the Hawks. 

His already-lengthy NBA career appeared to be over at the end of the 2014-15 season, but he made a surprise decision to return to the league in January of 2016 with the Sixers. He appeared in 17 games last season, averaging 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13.2 minutes. 

While Brand was needed to log time because of injuries, including 20-plus on back-to-back nights, his biggest contribution came away from the game. The young team signed Brand to serve as a mentor to players such as fellow Blue Devil Jahlil Okafor, who struggled with off-the-court issues as a rookie. Okafor developed a big-brother relationship with Brand, talking often — and rarely about basketball itself. 

Brand shared his messages of discipline and work ethic across the locker room. He stayed late after practices to work on fundamental drills with then-rookie Richaun Holmes. On game days he often could be seen dressed in a suit, a visualization of professionalism for his teammates. At the end of the season, Brand paid for the team to take a trip to Miami. 

“We felt his presence,” Okafor said. “Having another vet in there, knowing who he is, his accolades, it was a respect factor to him. Whatever he said goes. I remember hearing his voice at halftime if we were playing poor, he would let us know about it. It was good to have somebody on your team tell you you’re playing bad rather than hearing your coach’s mouth all the time.”

Brett Brown described his emotions as "sad" when Brand informed him of his decision. In less than a year of working together, Brown has learned from Brand's NBA experiences. 

"He's as elite in class as anybody I have ever coached," Brown said, adding, "He's got the ingredients that make him, I feel, highly attractable down the road. Surely he's got stuff to offer after this is all done. Compassionate, hard-working, educated, real, tough. He was a great example for our locker room."

Brand plans to spend time away from the game and has not made any decisions on his next career move. He will be accessible to the Sixers and plans to spend time around the team but not in an official role. He has had conversations with the team about possible opportunities in the future, just not right now. 

The Sixers broke out in applause at the conclusion of Brand's announcement. He didn't know they were going to be present and joked that as the "OG" of the team, he doesn't like surprises. Brand wanted a simple no-frills gathering of media, a low-key departure from the game. It was fitting for a career based on quietly putting in hard work. 

“It’s been an honor, it’s been a privilege to play this game, the game that I love, and I’m certainly going to miss it,” Brand said. “But it’s definitely time now.”