Today in Philly Sports History: Sixers Begin 20-Win Losing Streak, 1973

Today in Philly Sports History: Sixers Begin 20-Win Losing Streak, 1973

One of the most seemingly untouchable records in Philly Sports history is somewhat under fire this NBA season--that, of course, of the nine-win season, still the absolute benchmark for single-season futility in professional basketball. It took a lot of consistent effort for the team to rack up 73 losses in 82 games, but the boys were persistent, and started one of their most inspired pushes on January 9th, 1973 with a loss to the Chicago Bulls--the first of twenty straight the team would rack up before all was said and done.

Just the day before, Sports Illustrated had released an article on the Liberty Ballers with the headline "The Spirit of the Sixers is Willing, But the Flesh is Week." The article, which projects the Sixers to go 7-75 for the season (disturbingly close to accurate), describes the Sixers' basic managerial technique as "Garbage In, Garbage Out" and includes possibly the most textbook example of a coach (Sixers clipboard-holder Roy Rubin) throwing his team under the bus in basketball history: ""Why can't someone else take some of the blame?," [Rubin] moans. "I'm not the one who misses the shots, who throws the ball away, who
won't box out. They're killing me. They're trying to take my livelihood
away from me."" Yeah, it was that bad.

The Nets are 3-32 for the season, and are losing tonight at the time of writing--a pace which certainly threatens the Sixers' all-time supremacy. But as forward Leroy Ellis puts it--or would put it were he ever asked--"Call us when they get to 4-58."

Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

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Report: Brett Brown accuses longtime friend of defrauding him of $750,000

Sixers head coach Brett Brown is in Australia this week, where he has accused longtime friend and former Australian men's national team assistant coach Shane Heal of defrauding him of $750,000, according to the Australian Associated Press.

Brown invested $250,000 into each of three companies for which Heal was the sole director. Brown wasn't given a legal title regarding the companies and didn't know the specifics of how the money would be used.

"I assumed that the money was going to be used for what Shane told me it was going to be used for," Brown said. "Because it was a friend that I had for 25 years."

Heal was charged last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission following an investigation relating to alleged misconduct in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to the AAP.

The sides return to court in Brisbane on July 20.

Heal played in the NBA for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1996-97 and was with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003.

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off; Cesar Hernandez (groin) out

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off; Cesar Hernandez (groin) out

A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).

It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.

Cesar Hernandez gets the night off. He's been dealing with a groin pull for 10 days, manager Pete Mackanin said Friday.

Andres Blanco bats second and plays second.

Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.

Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.

1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P