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.

Former Flyers coach Bill Dineen dies at 84

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The Associated Press

Former Flyers coach Bill Dineen dies at 84

Bill Dineen, who had the distinction of being Eric Lindros’ first NHL coach, died early Saturday morning at his home in Lake George, New York. He was 84.
 
“Such a wonderful person, who got along with everybody,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. “I never played for him, but worked with him in scouting. Just a great guy.” 
 
Dineen succeeded Holmgren as head coach during the 1991-92 season.
 
“When I got fired, a lot of our guys were squeezing their sticks,” Holmgren said. “They were tight. It shouldn’t be hard to play the game. When things got tough, they were a little under stress, Billy coming in, he loosened things up.”
 
Dineen coached parts of two seasons here from 1991-92 through the 1992-93 season, which was Lindros’ first year as a Flyer.
 
“Bill treated everyone with the utmost respect,” Holmgren said. “He was the perfect guy for Eric coming in here. That respect goes both ways. He was almost a grandfatherly figure for Eric at the time.”

Dineen served as a scout with the organization from 1990-91 until succeeding Holmgren as coach. He then returned to a scouting role in 1993-94 and remained with the Flyers as a scout through 1996-97.
 
Mark Howe, one of the greatest Flyers defensemen of all-time, played for Dineen as an 18-year-old rookie in the WHA with the Houston Aeros (1973-74), and also had him during his final year as a Flyer in 1991-92.
 
“He was one of the best people I ever met in the game of hockey,” Howe said. “He was a real players coach. Of all the guys I ever played for. Maybe a little Paul Holmgren, too. 
 
“If you lost the game, he was one of the very few people if you went for a bite to eat or a beer after the game you lost, you actually felt poorly for letting the coach down.”
 
Howe said Dineen’s teams weren’t all about skill.
 
“He picked people that were about ‘the team,'” Howe said. “He made me earn my spot that first year in Houston.”
 
Dineen posted a 60-60-20 record with the Flyers. His son, Kevin, played on both of those teams before assuming the captaincy from Rick Tocchet in 1993-94. 
 
A gentleman behind the bench, Bill Dineen was much the same person as a player. A former right wing who spent the majority of his six-year playing career with the Detroit Red Wings, he had just 122 penalty minutes in 322 games, scoring 51 goals and 95 points.
 
“I knew Billy for a long time," Flyers senior vice president Bob Clarke said. "He was a player and coach at the minor league level and the NHL level, but I think more importantly he was a really, really good hockey person and really good person.” 

Dineen won two WHA titles coaching the Aeros and two Stanley Cups as a player with the Red Wings. A member of the AHL Hall of Fame, Dineen also coached the Adirondack Red Wings from 1983 through 1988-89.
 
Three of his five sons — Gordon, Peter and Kevin — played in the NHL. Sons Shawn and Jerry had their roots in the AHL. 
 
“His boys are scattered all over the map,” Holmgren said. “Just a tremendous hockey family.”
 
Dineen is part of Flyer folklore trivia. He, along with Keith Allen and Vic Stasiuk, were all Red Wings teammates during 1953-53. They also shared something else in common: all three later  became Flyers head coaches.

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 74, No. 23 Notre Dame 66

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The Associated Press

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 74, No. 23 Notre Dame 66

BOX SCORE

NEWARK, N.J. – Villanova wasn’t ready to surrender its No. 1 ranking that quickly.

Despite trailing No. 23 Notre Dame for the first 30-plus minutes of action Saturday, Josh Hart and the Wildcats kept the Fighting Irish at striking distance and stormed ahead late for a 74-66 win in the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center.

The Wildcats wouldn’t take their first lead of the game until the nine-minute mark of the second half, which would put the teams on the seesaw for the next few minutes of action. Trailing the Fighting Irish, 62-61, with over six minutes remaining in the game, Villanova went on a 12-5 run to close out its 10th win in as many tries.

Hart continued his spectacular senior season, pouring in a career-high 37 points, pulling down 11 rebounds and dishing out four assists, all team highs. Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Eric Paschall each chipped in eight points behind Hart. 

Colson Bonzie and Matt Farrelll each scored 18 points each for the Fighting Irish.  

Turning point
Leading 68-66 with under two minutes remaining, a Kris Jenkins three pointer clanked off the back of the rim and fell to the ground as a loose ball. Jalen Brunson corralled the ball before it went out of bounds and was fouled by Matt Farrell. Brunson hit both free throws to extend the Wildcats’ lead to four. 

Bonzie missed an open look at a three on the other end and Darryl Reynolds was fouled after grabbing the rebound off the miss. Reynolds sunk both free throws to put the game on ice.

Big men on campus
Villanova: Josh Hart 

Hart kept Villanova in striking distance in the first half, scoring over half of his team’s points (19) and chipping in four rebounds and three assists. Hart continued his dominance in the second half with another 18 points and seven rebounds. The senior was 10 of 14 from the field, three of four from deep and a perfect 14 for 14 from the free throw line.  

Notre Dame: Matt Farrell

The Bridgewater, New Jersey, native had an impressive homecoming. Farrell gave Villanova’s defense fits all afternoon with his scoring and playmaking abilities out of the pick-and-roll, as he finished with 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field and six assists.  

Inside the box score
• Both teams struggled from deep. Notre Dame shot 6 of 22 and Villanova hit 4 of its 16 attempts

• Notre Dame led for 30:54 of playing time.

• A lot of the game was played in the half court, as both teams combined for just 13 fast-break points.

Up next
Villanova returns to The Pavilion for its fourth Big Five matchup of the early season, as the Wildcats play host to Temple on Tuesday.