Mike Missanelli Takes on Skip Bayless, Defends the Philly Rep, Likely Adds to It

Mike Missanelli Takes on Skip Bayless, Defends the Philly Rep, Likely Adds to It

I've never been a fan of the talking heads shows on ESPN and ESPN2. Fortunately, I'm at work when they're on, and I don't get home until well after the PTI/Around the Horn nonsense is over. Usually the shows strike me as a bunch of guys I don't know loudly disagreeing about the minor points of a minor story, making the discussion a little more about themselves with each parry.

Usually the combatants are current or former columnists at major papers around the country, so they often know their topics fairly well, but the format just brings out their dumbassedness (in my opinion—obviously somebody likes this stuff or they wouldn't keep rolling it out). The only context in which I know Skip Bayless is this argument-based sports coverage. So, I wasn't surprised to get in the car and hear Mike Missanelli of 950 ESPN radio fired up about something Bayless said yesterday, when in a discussion that had NOTHING to do with Philadelphia fans, teams, or anything at all related to this townl, he described an incidence of poor fan behavior as "Philly-style, rude, crude, dangerous behavior in the stands."

Bayless agreed to call into Missanelli's show yesterday, and it didn't take long to get ugly. Listen to the clip here. More after the jump.

Bayless' first response out of the gate shows he's not ready for what's about to happen ("Isn't that a 'duh'?"), and after he stops saying he's going to hang up because Missanelli insults him, which Bayless says he himself doesn't do, despite the fact that he's on the call because of something insulting he said, Bayless resorts to big-timing the guy whose show he's appearing on. Skip pretends not to know Missanelli's name a minute after being given it before joining the on-air program, and presumably before agreeing to appear. He may in fact not know Mikey Miss, but that has nothing to do with the question he's being asked. Missanelli does his best to dismiss that tactic, saying "just Google me when we're off the phone" (btw, Google "Mike Missanelli." It's fun!).

The interview may be something of an ambush, but it's definitely clear that Bayless is relying on the same old BS stereotypes that Philly fans are the worst in the country, despite the fact that nearly every town has its share of negative stories, and none of Skip's are even remotely recent. I do love the story of how his friend who ran the away-game tours for Cowboys fans had a rule that you couldn't wear Dallas gear during trips to Philly though, and that "Skip" talks about being afraid to go to the Vet.

I've heard Mikey Miss take on some national voices from ESPN before,
beating them up about making weak, general statements about Philly
sports fans—most recently Colin Cowherd, another hack. I don't always agree with his opinions on Philly sports
news or the role of the media (nor do I any other host), but I dig
that he's made the defense of Philly a primary objective despite it
requiring him to slam people who work under the same network banner as he does.

How do you score this one?

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.”