Albert Belle Gambles

Albert Belle Gambles

Sparked by Deadspin's recent athlete run in stories as well as ESPN's Page2 question of whether Albert Belle belongs in the Hall of Fame:

Hall of Fame ballots were delivered last week and among the usual
difficult decisions, there is the Albert Belle riddle. Where does one
of the most feared hitters of the '90s fit? He had more home runs
(389), RBIs (1,239) and a higher OPS (933) than Kirby Puckett, who was
a no-brainer first-ballot. But does Albert belong in? Do the math -- a
score of 100 is necessary to get to Cooperstown.

It was February of 2003 and I was in Vegas for the first time ever.  I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino due to it's close proximity to the Thomas & Mack Center where I was seeing a few concerts coupled with the fine scenery at the Hard Rock.

It was early on Friday probably around 2 pm and I wandered into the casino to throw some money around.  I kind of hate blackjack so I sat at a Caribbean stud table with a 5$ minimum.  The casino was pretty empty but there was a rather large black guy sitting at the table I sat down at.

As soon as I sat down I thought the guy playing next to me looked really familiar but I couldn't put a name to the face.  He was all buddy-buddy with the pit boss and dealer like he was in there 5 days a week.  The pit boss walked over at one point and said, "Hey Al, anyone else reach the 50-50 club yet?"  Even then it took me a minute to figure out that Al = Albert.  At that point I said something to the effect of "I didn't think anyone ever reached the 50-50 club?"  Then Albert kind of fires back all defensive that he did it in HRs and doubles.  I didn't even know they counted that as some sort of milestone?

He wasn't all that friendly, but I did chat him up a little bit.  Apparently he lived in Scottsdale or some random city out there.  Once I realized who he was I was kind of shocked he was playing at the 5$ table AND betting the minimum every single hand.  Hopefully he will make the Hall of Fame for the sole reason I would be able to say I played poker with a Hall of Famer.  The only other famous poker run in I've ever had was the cook from Under Siege 2 at the Mirage.

Sorry, I didn't say it was very exciting.


Watch every single minute of Joel Embiid's super fun NBA debut against OKC

Watch every single minute of Joel Embiid's super fun NBA debut against OKC

Oh, man. Remember that time Joel Embiid did the Dream Shake?!? And then that time he did the crossover. And when he was pumping the crowd up on his way back down the court after drilling a three ball?!?

Well now you don't have to just remember it. You can watch it all again.

Our friendly video team cut together a video featuring every single minute of JoJo's action in his NBA debut. Sadly, he was on a 20-minute restriction, but that didn't stop Brett Brown from getting him out there for a couple of extra minutes.

Enjoy. And as Dario Saric would say, "I love him so much."

If reading is more your thing, check out Jess Camerato on Embiid's debut and Andrew Unterberger on The Process being secured.


Report: Sixers anthem singer Sevyn had contract barring political statements

Report: Sixers anthem singer Sevyn had contract barring political statements

Sevyn Streeter, the performing artist who claimed Wednesday that the Sixers replaced her for the national anthem because of her intent to wear a jersey with the words "We Matter," signed a contract that prohibited political statements, according to CBS3's Jan Carabeo.

Per the report, Streeter was offered an alternate shirt and told she could wear her own shirt in the stands after the performance.

"I was angry, extremely, extremely angry and disappointed and honestly brought to tears by all of it. It broke my heart," Streeter told The Associated Press. "Honestly, I was very excited about being able to perform the national anthem. I was really looking forward to that."

The Sixers didn't directly confirm or deny the allegation but responded with the following statement:

"The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community."

This statement is consistent with efforts being made throughout the NBA calling for action over gestures, as detailed in a feature in B/R Mag. 

“I’m past the gestures,” Carmelo Anthony told B/R Mag. “I’m past that. It’s all about creating things now and putting things in motion. So, that’s what I’m on. I’m trying to get guys on board with that and help them understand that — enough of the gesturing and talking and all of that stuff — we need to start putting things in place.”