Philadelphia 76ers

Turner striving to be among NBA's elite players

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Turner striving to be among NBA's elite players

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Evan Turner is the 19th-leading scorer in the NBA, tied with Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. Both players are averaging 19.6 points.

While Turner is not in Paul’s class, one could easily argue that he is the least talked about top scorer in the league this season.

Yes, the Sixers are just 11-21 this season. But with the minimal success the team has experienced this season, it seems that most of the praise goes toward Rookie of the Year front runner Michael Carter-Williams, the improved Thaddeus Young or a steady Spencer Hawes.

Turner is averaging a career-best 6.7 rebounds, as well as 4.2 assists this season.

However, there is still a belief that Turner can and should be doing more on the court.

“Copping the brunt of it is too harsh, but Evan is trying to please. He is trying to share the ball,” Brown prior to the Sixers’ win over the Kings.

“He bested college basketball and then there was a stage early on where he was trying to force too much, playing in a crowd. We have challenged him to get other people involved. He needs to take that attack mentality that he does have and get other people involved.”

Early in the season when Turner had scored 20-plus points in nine of his first 10 games, there were rumblings that the fourth-year swingman might be able to crack the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Turner went through a rough patch that quieted most of that chatter, but that hasn’t slowed down his desire to reach that All-Star level.

“I am taking the right steps to acclimating myself as a premier player in the league,” Turner said. “I want to keep getting better, gaining rhythm and confidence, and that is the biggest thing whether I get a call in February or not. I think it is just about being acclimated and asserting myself. That is the biggest thing for my mental as opposed to anything else.”

Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons among Sixers at Eagles' home opener

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Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons among Sixers at Eagles' home opener

Philly teams supporting Philly teams.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Richaun Holmes and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot attended the Eagles’ home opener together Sunday.

While the Sixers watched the Eagles' game against the Giants from a suite, Embiid still high-fived with fans during the afternoon.

The Sixers and Eagles have close ties. Justin Anderson has longstanding friendships with Torrey Smith, Rodney McLeod and Chris Long (see story)

Sunday is the final day of the Sixers' offseason. Media day will be held Monday and training camp begins Tuesday at their training complex in Camden, New Jersey. 

Donald Trump starts war with sports, and athletes have united

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Donald Trump starts war with sports, and athletes have united

OAKLAND -- As President Donald Trump lurches closer to certified insanity, he is unwittingly doing the country a great service that, should we survive his dangerously whimsical term, will bring us closer to realizing our potential.

He’s unifying the previously disconnected and energizing the formerly apathetic. He’s even shaming some of those previously beyond shame.

It is because of Trump’s rage, unleashed in a span of less than 24 hours, that the NBA champion Warriors were more united Saturday morning than they were Friday afternoon.

After a speech in Alabama urging NFL owners on Friday to fire any “son of a bitch” who dared to protest peacefully to shine a light on injustices, Trump woke up Saturday and turned his Twitter ire upon Stephen Curry and the Warriors, conceivably the most wholesome representatives of American sports.

“That’s not what leaders do,” Curry said after practice Saturday.

“We know we’re in a fight,” Warriors center David West said. “And we’re going to continue to fight for our right to be human beings.”

But by advocating the job loss of peaceful protesters and then informing the Warriors they are not welcome at the White House -- because Curry said he’s not in favor of going -- we can only hope Trump has flung open a door of activism that never closes.

Trump’s radical combo ignited mighty blasts of blowback from players and coaches and commissioners of the NBA and NFL.

Among the many NBA figures issuing statements in one form or another, with varying degrees of condemnation: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, the players association and commissioner Adam Silver.

“The amount of support I saw around the league this morning was amazing,” Curry said.

Among the many NFL figures who were moved to comment: Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, Broncos lineman Max Garcia, 49ers owner Jed York, New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch, Packers boss Mark Murphy, the players association and commissioner Roger Goodell.

Trump has, in short, started a war with American sports.

His strike began with the comments made Friday night that were directed at Colin Kaepernick and others who have declined to stand for the anthem. Trump’s aggression intensified Saturday when he went after Curry in the morning and Goodell in the afternoon.

How did we get here?

The Warriors on Friday announced their plan to meet as a team Saturday morning to decide whether they would accept from the White House the traditional invitation extended to championship teams. Though it was fairly certain they would not, they left open the slightest possibility. General manager Bob Myers had been in contact with White House.

Curry at the time said he, personally, did not wish to go, and then he carefully and patiently expounded on his reasons.

Trump responded, at 5:45 a.m. Saturday, to tell the world that the Warriors would not be invited and, moreover, that Curry’s resistance is the reason.

And all hell broke loose.

The Warriors came back Saturday afternoon with a statement that made clear there no longer would be a team meeting on the subject, that they were disappointed there was no open dialogue and that they will instead utilize their February visit to “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion -- the values we embrace as an organization.”

“Not surprised,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Trump’s decision not to invite the Warriors to the White House. “He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.”

Trump has fired upon every athlete in America. He is waking up this country in ways we’ve never seen or felt and, my goodness, he’s doing so at a level we’ve needed for centuries.

“Trump has become the greatest mirror for America,” West said. “My cousin . . . she brought that to me. Because there are a lot of things have been in the dark, hidden, and he’s just bold enough to put it out on ‘Front Street.’"