The Evster's tips for having a nice time while playing football on Thanksgiving

The Evster's tips for having a nice time while playing football on Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving day, idiots all across America will lube up with Ben Gay and attempt to play some sort of game that kind of resembles football. Most games will be intense, some will be a nightmare, all will feature at least one dickhead who insists on punting the ball during warmups. I've never understood why people do this. Just throw the stupid ball back to the human being it came from, and then repeat this over and over again. No one is impressed by your ability to kick a football in the complete opposite direction you want it to go. You literally have no control of your feet. Everybody hates you. Still, the rest of football is fun, which is why every year you strap on that long underwear and lace up the old Diadoras. And that's fine, that's perfectly fine, but remember, you're not a teenager anymore. You're probably not even a 20-something anymore. There's a chance that if you're reading this, that you are the oldest, fattest person on the entire planet. I honestly can't believe you know how to use a computer. So be careful out there, old fella, and be sure to follow The Evster's Tips for Having a Nice Time While Playing Football on Thanksgiving. Tip #1: Just Stay Home - You're going to kill yourself. Or at the very least, tear your Achilles tendon right off the bone. Let's be honest, you are in no condition to do anything, let alone run around with a bunch of men whose definition of "bump and run" coverage is kicking you in the shins. But then again, you are a stubborn jackass, and no one can tell you what to do. So if you're gonna play (and you're obviously gonna play) just make sure you get there early and ... Tip #2: Stretch - When you first show up to the field, you're gonna see a bunch of your old friends (a few of them smoking cigarettes) who you're going to wanna yuck it up with. You'll say what's up, give 'em some dap and then someone's gonna throw a football at your chest and say something like, "Hey let's throw a football!" and you're gonna get all excited and run around like a dipshit and then before you know it the game's gonna start without you getting to properly loosen up. THIS IS VERY, VERY DANGEROUS. You neeeeeeeed to stretch. I know it's lame, and yeah, you'll look like a total dufus doing it, but not nearly as big of a dufus as the guy who will have to limp around the dinner table four hours later. Do every stretch you've ever learned. Right over left, left over right. Lay down on your back and WORK THOSE HAMMIES. Don't forget about the butterfly jawn. That one is classic. Remember, you are not Edgerrin James. You have never been Edgerrin James. Edgerrin James has had sex with more people than all of your friends combined. This is a FACT. Tip #3: Don't Wear Any of Your Dope Jerseys - I don't care if you just found your old Deion Sanders Falcons jawn, do not wear it. Every year, some butthead shows up in an amazing jersey and gets it ripped by some scumbag who is too lazy to move his feet after getting burnt on an out-and-up. (By the way, there is no better pattern to burn someone on than the out-and-up. Especially if you're wearing cleats and your defender is not. Another tip: WEAR CLEATS.) Then the guy who gets his jersey ripped always whines like, "Duuuuuude! You ripped my jersey!" and everyone else is all, "Calmmmmm downnnnnn. It's just a stupid jersey," when secretly everyone loves jerseys and would be super pissed if they got theirs ripped, too. Instead, wear an ugly shirt you don't care about, like that one you bought from ZooWithRoy.com. Or just play bare chested and freak everyone out. (Note: if you do this, make sure to wear extra Ben Gay. This will not only make you more slippery and harder to tackle, but no one will want to touch you for fear of smelling like your dead grandfather.) Tip #4: Carry a Knife - Always worth having. Both to cut off those dangling threads from your shirt and also to stab another man in his chest. Tip #5: Line Up Opposite to Your Fattest, Laziest Friend - Make a deal with your buddy to take every third play off and then HONOR THAT DEAL. It will be the greatest arrangement you've ever made in your life. Not sure if you're aware of this, but going out for a pass on every single play is EXHAUSTING. Desean Jackson is in incredible shape. You have trouble putting your socks on. By making this pact, you and your friend can just jog around all afternoon while cracking jokes and pretending to give a shit when really you're just trying to get to dinner without dislocating your hip. The only problem is that inevitably your friend is going to play possum and try to blow by you at the line of scrimmage, which is when you should take out your knife and shank him in the ribs. Tip #6: No Quarterback Scrambling - This is the worst: Quarterbacks who take forever, almost like they're just waiting for someone to count to seven Mississippi, before they can take off down the sidelines. It's like, yeah, of course you're gonna pick up the first, everyone else is 35 yards downfield, dry-heaving over a trashcan. Just throw the ball off your back foot like Eli Manning. Or just throw it in a trashcan. That's always hilarious. Tip #7: Don't Do Anything - Honestly, nothing matters. Nobody's impressed by the guy who eats yogurt and dominates Thanksgiving football. There won't be any girls watching, or scouts on the sidelines, and there's really no reason to do anything at all. This is sort of my entire philosophy on life. I mean, why the freak should you ever do stuff? This Thanksgiving, just enjoy the fresh air. Maybe you'll catch a touchdown, maybe you'll see a few squirrels, maybe you won't get diarrhea from eating Wendy's the night before. That's really all that matters. Not getting diarrhea. Good luck to you.

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Boogie Wonderland: A DeMarcus Cousins/pick swap Sixers FAQ

Boogie Wonderland: A DeMarcus Cousins/pick swap Sixers FAQ

An otherwise relatively unremarkable All-Star Weekend in New Orleans was capped last night with news that rocked the basketball world: DeMarcus Cousins need not catch his plane back to Sacramento, as the All-NBA center and Kings franchise malcontent would be sticking around with the Pelicans. Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac had just dealt Sactown's three-time All-Star to the Big Easy for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, the Pels' 2017 first-rounder (top-three protected) and the Sixers' 2019 second-round pick.

The league-wide fallout from this deal is of course considerable, and perhaps affects no team besides the two directly involved as much as the Philadelphia 76ers. What does this mean across the board, and for our considerations specifically? Let's Boogie:

So, like ... why?
The biggest question any fan of any team has regarding the DeMarcus Cousins trade is simply how the hell it could've happened. As a talent, DeMarcus Cousins is absolutely transcendent. At least until our guy JoJo becomes fully weaponized, it's hard to imagine a big man with a more complete offensive game — he's an elite post player (28 points a game, 12 in the paint alone), a clever and willing playmaker (five assists a game), and as of this season, also a knockdown outside shooter (35% from deep). He's an improving defender and as imposing a late-game threat as an opposing team could hope to avoid, and at 26 years old, he's only just entered his prime. If he isn't a top-ten player in the NBA right now, he'll do until the top-ten player gets here.

And yet, he just got traded for a protected first-round pick, a 23 year-old-rookie averaging under 10 points (and <40% shooting), an early-career journeyman guard and a combo ball-hog the Kings already said goodbye to four years earlier. It's as stunningly minimal a return for an All-World frontcourt talent as a team has gotten since the Lakers pissed off the rest of the Association by stealing Pau Gasol before the trade deadline in 2008. And while it's shocking that the Kings accepted such an offer for such a generational talent — especially after publicly and privately insisting they intended to hold on to DMC — it's even more surprising that no other team offered a better package first.

Of course, it's not as simple as it looks on paper. The Kings had a number of factors working against them in dealing Cousins — the two biggest being that Cousins had apparently refused to sign an extension with whatever team dealt for him (with his contract expiring in summer 2018), and that it seems like no good teams wanted to roll the dice on adding Cousins for a post-season run. The teams that were reported as being in on the DMC sweepstakes — the Lakers, Pelicans and Suns — were all well under .500, willing to gut their roster for the kind of blockbuster deal that the Celtics and Wizards of the world were apparently unwilling to pull the trigger on.

Why would that be? Well, as anyone's paid attention to DeMarcus' career since he was drafted three spots after Evan Turner in 2010 knows, Cousins' elite talent comes with a price. At times a locker-room bully and an on-court timebomb, Cousins has proven exceptionally difficult to build around — though it's hardly a challenge the Kings have risen to, whiffing on draft picks all around him and making perplexing deals (like the Stauskas deal the Sixers directly benefited from — more on that later) that have short-changed the team's future and not even particularly improved the present.

Whether the Kings put DMC in an impossible situation or if DMC made the situation impossible for the Kings on his own has been the subject of extended unsolvable debate for some time now, but most industry insiders agreed the situation was becoming untenable. And with the Kings owing a first-round pick to the Bulls this year if their draft slot fell outside the top 10 — they entered the All-Star Break at No. 11 — but only owing a second-rounder if the pick didn't transfer this year, they had added incentive to get worse quicker.

Does any of that explain how they couldn't get an offer even a little better than the odds-and-ends package they ended up getting for a player of Cousins' game-changing caliber? Maybe not. But this is the Kings, and as the Sixers know better than anyone, they aren't always the smartest organization when it comes to maximizing their assets. So, on that topic:

How does this change our pick swap situation?
As you may recall, the 76ers once traded the rights to Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic to Sacramento for Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, the rights to swap first-round picks in 2016 and 2017, and an unprotected first-round pick in 2019. Since last night, many pundits have asserted that the Sixers got a greater haul in that deal — which, of course, was mostly about taking on the contracts of Landry and Thompson, in a cap-purge of misguided Sacramento urgency — than the Kings got for dealing one of the best players in basketball.

It's certainly arguable, especially now. As previously mentioned, the Kings currently have the league's 11th worst record at 24-33 — 2.5 games ahead of the Sixers at 21-35 — but without Cousins, the Kings are likely to plummet over the remainder of the season, as their offense has cratered all season when DeMarcus hasn't been on the court. (They did win without him in Boston a few nights ago, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them win three of their first four games or something without him, but there's just no replacing the production of a player like Cousins over an extended stretch.)

What's more, this is likely just the beginning of the dealing for Sacramento this February. Without Cousins, and without a suitable veteran replacement for him in return, the Kings are now officially in full rebuild mode, and reports say that the rest of their proven-ish veterans may follow Boogie out the door shortly. The Kings may not win more than a half-dozen games the rest of the season, which would likely place their draft slot in the 5-7 range. It's doubtful the Sixers will finish in a much lower range than that, so the swap up still might not mean a ton — but, if the Kings jumped into the top three, we'd jump along with them, and maximizing the chance of doing that is what #pickswap was always about.

And then, 2019. The Kings are rebuilding on the fly here, with zero proven blue-chip players to their name, and to pull off a successful impromptu rebuild can often take three or four years — even if you do it right, which you should have no faith in the Kings' ability to pull off. To have a first-round pick from such a team — one without the slightest hint of protection on it — is basically to have Google stock at the turn of the millennium. It's a home-run asset, and could easily prove the key to a blockbuster deal that helps puts everything together for our roster, or just an ace in the whole in case we need a talent influx in two years' time.

The Stauskas trade is really the gift that keeps giving for the Sixers — even if Stauskas himself never contributes to a good Sixers team, which he still very well might — and assurance that the legacy of Our Once and Always Dark Lord continues to live on past the front office's current tomfoolery. And speaking of that ...

What effect might this have on the Jahlil Okafor market?
Well, if they have Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins already, it seems highly unlikely that the New Orleans Pelicans will also have a need for the services of one Jahlil Okafor — particularly not at the cost of a first-round pick that they now can't deal for a number of years. If that leaves them out of the running, along with the Blazers and Nuggets, the Sixers may be quickly finding league-wide demand to be at a minimum for their ill-fitting big man.

However, Okafor may have his suitors yet. The Celtics and Bulls are reportedly still interested  in the specifically skilled big man, and while the Cousins trade does likely remove the Pelicans from the equation here, it does create a post-scoring void in Sacramento. A deal that sent plateaued Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore to Philly for Jah might end up making sense for both sides. If the Colangelo’s are so motivated, they can likely find somewhere to still move our semi-stud sophomore.

Will we still get a first-rounder for Okafor? That seems less clear — as swimming as Boston is in first-rounders, Danny Ainge is notoriously tight with his draft futures, and if he didn't want to trump that subpar New Orleans offer for Cousins, it's hard to imagine he'll be particularly motivated to leverage much for Okafor. It's more likely we'll have to content ourselves with the return of another prospect whose shine has already started to dull a little — a McLemore or James Young or Denzel Valentine or someone similarly unproven that we'll just have to hope ends up a better fit in Philly.

Even if Jah's trade market stagnates from here, though, this trade is a near-unqualified win for the Sixers — just further proof of what incredible foresight Hinkie had in making the Stauskas trade two summers ago, and of how much smarter Philly's been in executing their rebuild than nearly any other team in their position. The Pelicans still need to work through how to make a team built around two skilled, smart inside-out bigs work before free agency threatens to split them up, but all the Sixers have to figure out is how not to squander the goldmine of assets they're sitting on. Let's hope the Colangelo’s are up to the considerable task.

Sixers Twitter rejoices in the Kings' pick swap after DeMarcus Cousins deal

Sixers Twitter rejoices in the Kings' pick swap after DeMarcus Cousins deal

All hail the pick swap.

When word got out that the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, Sixers fans on Twitter rejoiced.

On July 10, 2015, the Sixers traded away the rights to Artūras Gudaitis and Luka Mitrović, and, in return, received an unprotected 2019 first round pick, Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and the right to swap first-round selections in the 2016 and 2017 drafts.

The Cousins move appears to significantly weaken the Kings, who are 24-33 and just 2.5 games better than the Sixers, so the pick swap looks healthier than ever.

But, for now, enjoy some samplings of Sixers Twitter from after the trade.

Here are some of the best tweets.