Philadelphia 76ers fans were high fiving each other when it was announced a few months back that Ed Snider and Comcast-Spectactor announced they were selling the team to Joshua Harris and a team of investors. Snider was seen as a guy who loved hockey and the Flyers, and happened to own the 76ers, too.
But Snider told the Associated Press it was not easy to sell the Sixers, but that the economics of the NBA forced his hand.
“It was mostly economics,” Snider said of the decision.
“A lot,” Snider said, declining specifics. “We felt that we had given it our best shot and it was time for someone else to take over.”
This is what owners have been saying — even ones in large cities and good sports towns like Philadelphia have trouble turning a profit. The Sixers should be able to make money. Of course, they have been mediocre and dull on the floor for nearly a decade (since the Allen Iverson led run to the finals) and that has not inspired fans to pack the arena or sponsors to flock to the team. Philly fans know their sports and are not going to pay big money for uninspired fare.
The sale of the team to Harris is expected to be approved by the other owners soon.
Snider and Comcast-Spectacor did not give up control of the Wells Fargo Center building, where the Sixers are tenants. The company is focusing more on that end of the business, which shows you where it thinks the profits are to be made.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.