With Iverson Trade Looming, Prepare for the Worst

With Iverson Trade Looming, Prepare for the Worst

Editor's note: I  think Billy King sucks.  My boy Matt agrees, but puts it more eloquently for you in a guest post.

When the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu for less than market value this summer, many Philadelphians (myself included) second-guessed the move for netting too little in return. “Chemistry-improving” moves like these often do. However, what I later learned was that Pat Gillick is in fact still a very savvy GM, unafraid to make the risky, unpopular first move of a mid-scale overhaul. As the Phillies put together an enjoyable but unsuccessful playoff run late this summer, I learned a rare, reassuring lesson: trust in Pat Gillick.

I wish I could say the same about Billy King, and I know I’m not alone. Despite my getting schooled by Gillick on how to build a contender, I have zero optimism that King can pull off anything that will make his naysayers eat their words, and, more importantly, put together a deal that will help ease the pain of losing one of the three best players in the history of the franchise.

The funny thing is, I’m not even much of a Sixers fan, and I have little interest in the NBA. It’s about to get worse for me though, because the one guy I can really get behind is about to leave town. I have been fortunate to see him play live from just a few rows back quite a few times, and every time, I was amazed.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to read Bill Simmons’s take on AI, in which he bronzes Iverson and eulogizes (I hope) King’s atrocious career with the Sixers. I usually nod and laugh while reading Simmons. I’ve never agreed with him more than I do today, while not laughing at all. Here's a particularly painful moment from his column:

Philly isn't dealing Iverson because he's washed up. They're dealing him because Billy King did a preposterously bad job building this team and antagonized his only real asset in the process. Big difference. King even choked last summer when he could have landed Carlos Boozer and Boston's No. 7 pick for Iverson, choosing instead to bring the Answer back for another, inevitably frustrating season (and killing much of his trade value in the process). Not only should Sixers season-ticket holders be outraged, they should figure out a way to sue this team for negligence. Iverson should have retired as a Sixer; it's not happening because King stinks at his job. These are the facts.

The hottest of many rumors has The Answer headed to Golden State, and it seems to have some legs, since one of the possible future Sixers did not play last night with a questionable injury. So with word of a deal expected anywhere from any minute to "nothing in sight," I’m preparing not only for the departure of my favorite NBA player (ever), but also for Billy “the Wound Salter” King to totally shit the bed on the deal. I had some great chili from John’s Village Market for lunch; for dinner, I hope I eat my words.

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple Men’s Basketball adds two players to 2016-17 roster

Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy announced that the team has added two players to its 2016-17 roster. 

The Owls will announce the two new transfers, junior’s Isaiah Lewis and Steve Leonard, Thursday night at the Liacouras Center at the team’s Cherry and White Night. 

Lewis comes to Temple after playing for Casper College in Wyoming last season, where he averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists per game. Before his stint at Casper College, the 6-4 guard also played at Lee Junior College in Texas, and averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Leonard, a 6-6 guard from Collegeville, Pa., played two seasons at Ursinus College. He averaged 5.6 points over 43 games during his career at Ursinus. 

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

Brett Brown: Sixers' Nik Stauskas set for 'breakout year'

CAMDEN, N.J. — The irony of Nik Stauskas’ reputation as a three-point shooter is that he doesn’t view himself that way.

Stauskas was drafted eighth overall by the Kings in 2014 after shooting 44.1 percent from three over two years at Michigan. But that’s not how he envisioned himself being in the pros.

“It’s crazy,” Stauskas said after practice Thursday. “I know I was a great shooter coming out of Michigan, but I don’t consider myself a shooter. I consider myself a gamer. I don’t think I’m an effective NBA player when I just stand and spot up and shoot threes. That’s really not my game.”

Stauskas has struggled to find offensive consistency in the NBA. The third-year two-guard averaged 32.4 percent from long range in his first two seasons. He wasn’t reliable as a knockdown shooter and bounced in and out of the starting lineup last season.

Rather than being a finesse player, Brett Brown encouraged Stauskas to get aggressive. Brown wanted to a see an edge from Stauskas and not hold back at the basket.

Stauskas displayed that side to his game on opening night against the Thunder. In 23 minutes off the bench, he scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting. His only miss came on a three-point attempt. His 83.3 shooting percentage was a single-game career high.

“He was cocky,” Brown said. “He was in attack mode. He was not afraid to put it to the floor and get to the rim. I feel like he’s got a real chance to have a breakout year. We need him to have a breakout year.”

The Sixers picked up the options on Stauskas, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on Thursday.

“I think the statement the club made on his contract lets him probably have a little bit more comfort on what we think of him,” Brown said. “I was really happy with his swagger last night.”

Stauskas is figuring out his role on the Sixers this season. It is one that can change often given injuries. A key to being successful, whether he is on the perimeter or at the rim, is feeling confident and in a rhythm on the floor.

“I had fun out there,” Stauskas said. “More than anything, I think yesterday was the first time in a while that I’ve really enjoyed myself out there and had a smile on my face.”