Fire Sam Hinkie

Fire Sam Hinkie

The Sixers need a general manager who's willing to do the most important thing of all: give frequent local media interviews

Sam Hinkie should be ashamed of himself.

He's been the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers for two months, and in that time he's given two press conferences and zero radio interviews. His only big interview since the draft wasn't with a local outlet, but with the NBA. If Hinkie walked into this room right now, I'm not so sure I'd recognize him. A true Philly guy, this guy's not.

What an insult to the fans of this great city. Reporters and radio hosts are representatives of the fans, and when Hinkie refuses interviews and likely gives lame, weak excuses like "I'm preparing for the draft" and "I'm concentrating on the season" and "I'm not going to tell you my entire offseason plan in advance," he's sending a clear message to every Sixers fan: "I don't care about you." There's a reason the Wells Fargo Center has been so empty for so many years.

Say what you will about Billy King, Ed Stefanski, Rod Thorn and Tony DiLeo, but at least those guys visited the WIP studios once in awhile.

The two giants of radio in this town, Howard Eskin and Angelo Cataldi, don't agree on much, but they're both understandably irate that Hinkie won't sit down for interviews with them. In fact, the WIP hosts are pretty much unanimous, except for the late-night fill-in guy.

Yes, we all loved the moves the Sixers made on draft night. But how much more fun would it have been if we as fans had seen it coming in advance? Imagine if Hinkie had gone on the morning show a few days before and told Angelo that yes, we're willing to trade Jrue Holliday and yes, we're only going to do it if we can have Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick.

Hinkie could have shown us, the greatest fans in the world, that he trusts us, and given us all kinds of excitement coming into the draft. It would've been Sixers fans' little secret, and all the more exciting when it finally happens.

We need a real GM in this city, someone who's willing to talk to the fans about his moves and trust us in advance with his draft and free agency strategy. Because in two years, when the Sixers' roster has two high first round picks each from the 2013 and 2014 drafts as well as copious cap space, it's paramount that team be led by a GM who knows what he's doing and, more importantly, is willing to give honest, candid interviews regularly to local TV, radio and print outlets.

So fire Sam Hinkie, hire Allen Iverson as GM and Dikembe Mutombo as coach, and we'll be good to go.

Other Philly sports takes:

- All right, I'm excited to be here in Lehigh for another exciting year of Eagles training camp! No traffic on the way up, and I found a nice, cheap hotel room and everything. My only question is, where is everybody?

- I love the Flyers' hiring of Ron Hextall. We all love the Broad Street Bullies, but let's face it- this team has been living in the past of its '70s legacy for way too long. So I'm glad they're now, at last, embracing their '80s legacy.

- If Taylor Swift wasn't able to play in the rain at the Linc, I don't have much hope for this year's Eagles team.

- Soccer rioters in Brazil murdered a referee and mounted his severed head on a spike? I never want to hear a bad word about Philly fans again.

- The Phillies may be under .500 and looking in every way like they're on their last legs, but I still say they should be buyers, just to be on the safe side. Jesse Biddle for Alfonso Soriano. Maikel Franco for Jake Peavy. If they're going to make a run, the Phils need some veteran leadership.

- There are times when we, as sports fans, get cynical. We question whether the good days are gone for good, and our hopes and dreams as fans are dying or dead. But then Demetress Bell signs with the Cowboys, and our faith is once gain restored.

FakeWIPCaller wrote this post. You can follow FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.

Best of NBA: DeRozan scores career-high 43 points in Raptors' win

Best of NBA: DeRozan scores career-high 43 points in Raptors' win

TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 43 points and the Toronto Raptors rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 107-97 on Friday night.

DeRozan shot 15 of 28 from the floor as he surpassed his 42-point effort against the Houston Rockets on March 30, 2015, helping the Raptors overcome the absence of fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry. Lowry sat out with a right wrist injury.

Serge Ibaka, acquired by trade from the Orlando Magic last week, scored 15 points in his debut, while fellow newcomer P.J. Tucker, picked up from the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, had a game-high 10 rebounds and nine points in his first game for his new team.

Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston, which also got 19 points each from Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart (see full recap).

Westbrook triple-double lifts Thunder over Lakers
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored 17 points in his 28th triple-double of the season, and his new teammates fit in seamlessly as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 110-93 on Friday night.

Westbrook also had 18 rebounds and 17 assists for the 65th triple-double of his career.

It was the first game for new Thunder players Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott, acquired Thursday in a trade with the Chicago Bulls. Gibson scored 12 points and McDermott added eight, even though they arrived Thursday night and weren't even available for shootaround on Friday.

Alex Abrines and Andre Roberson each set a career high with 19 points, and Steven Adams added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder.

D'Angelo Russell scored 29 for the Lakers (see full recap).

Pacers beat Grizzlies to snap six-game skid
INDIANAPOLIS -- CJ Miles made five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, Paul George had nine points and nine rebounds after remaining with Indiana following the trade deadline, and the Pacers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 102-92 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

Monta Ellis finished with 16 points, Myles Turner scored 12, and Lavoy Allen, Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young each added 10 for the Pacers.

The Pacers outscored the Grizzlies 64-42 across the middle two quarters and never relinquished their lead, leading by as many as 27 points in the second half. The Grizzlies finished the game shooting 41 percent from the floor (35 for 84).

Troy Daniels had 13 points for Memphis and Marc Gasol scored 12. Indiana outrebounded Memphis 50-39 and scored 29 points off 17 Grizzlies turnovers (see full recap).

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

Thrust into bigger role, Sixers' Holmes stars in win over Wizards

BOX SCORE

For as much as the Sixers’ bigs are talked about, Richaun Holmes often is left out of the conversation. 

He’s not the centerpiece of the team like Joel Embiid nor was he heavily involved in trade talks like Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. He is the backup center who bides his time on the bench and quietly stays ready when he gets the nod.

And on Friday, he was the standout player in the Sixers’ 120-112 win over the Wizards (see Instant Replay)

“He’s been sort of the person that people forget about because of the logjam of five men,” Brett Brown said. “We all sort of think, ‘Well, he should just accept it because he’s behind Joel and Nerlens and Jahlil. Good ol’ Richaun. Go to the D-League and it’s OK.’ And that doesn’t work. He’s a pro, he’s competitive. He’s handled it. He’s really been a wonderful teammate.”

Holmes was bumped up in the rotation following the trade of Noel to the Mavs. He moved into the second-unit role while Okafor started in place of the injured Embiid. 

Holmes recorded his first double-double with 12 points (6 for 9 from the field) and 10 rebounds (three offensive). He also blocked a career-high five shots, tying Embiid for the most by a Sixer this season. The second-year big man put together this impressive performance in 26 minutes off the bench (see feature highlight).

“Just play hard,” Holmes said of his approach. “Just go out there, show what you’ve been working on, play hard every second you’re out there. That’s the motto I’ve got.”

Holmes is averaging 16.1 minutes and has appeared in just 32 of the Sixers’ 57 games. This season, he also spent time with the Delaware 87ers of the Development League to get playing time. Holmes embraced an opportunity similar to Friday’s a month ago when he scored 18 points in as many minutes against the Clippers. 

“I try to approach every game this season the same way, whether everybody was playing or people were hurt,” Holmes said. “Prepare like I’m going to play 30 minutes a game. I think having that mindset helped me to stay ready at all times and be aggressive when I had a chance.”

Brown did not rule out the possibility that Holmes could start at some point if he continues this production. The Sixers are limiting Okafor to 20 to 24 minutes per game, according to Brown. That, combined with Embiid’s injury, could lend itself to an increased role for Holmes. 

“I think in that environment, it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary for Richaun to get a start from time to time,” Brown said. 

Even if he remains on the second unit, Holmes proved he can provide a spark off the bench. Dario Saric noted how Holmes’ impact on both ends of the floor bolsters the frontcourt in addition to a more offensively-minded Okafor (11 points, two rebounds). 

“I think he played unbelievably good in both ways,” Saric said. “Everybody knows he’s an elite guy finishing around the rim, and he stepped in Nerlens’ place, he replaced him unbelievably good. I hope he will get the same minutes for the next game because we have Jahlil, who is more like a post-up player, who likes more to score from the low-post block, and we for sure need some guy like Richaun who will play in both ways." 

Perhaps the person least surprised by Holmes' game was Holmes himself. It was the result he puts in long hours to produce.

“It’s all about the grind,” he said. “All about keep working, keep trying to move up, keep trying to get better every second and it’ll pay off.”