Allen Iverson — one of the most beloved Sixers — will be in the building in Philly Saturday night for what should an intense Game 6 against the Boston Celtics.
It’s a game where the Sixers need to play with the fire that Iverson always brought to the court.
Iverson’s attendance was first reported by Tzvi Twersky of SLAM and then the team CEO apparently confirmed the report, according to CSNPhilly.com. There will be a tribute to Iverson at one point.
Philly fans were already going to be fired up after Kevin Garnett called them “fair-weathered.” To which a Philly columnist responded saying that’s better than being racists… ugh. Did Boston have race issues in the past? Yes. Are there racists in Boston now? Yes. There are also racists in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Peoria, Bakersfield, Springfield (all of them) and every other city in that Johnny Cash song. Sad but true. Boston does not have a corner on the racist market.
Anyway, Philly fans will rain boos down on Garnett, which is what he wants anyway. It fires him up.
But with Iverson there, the fans have something to cheer, also. And the current 76ers have someone to inspire them. If they play with AI’s fire they can force a Game 7.
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.