K.J. McDaniels’ mom slams 76ers on Twitter


K.J. McDaniels signed a risky one-year contract with the 76ers that could allow him to leave Philadelphia as soon as this summer.

His mom might wish he could bolt even sooner.

The Twitter account @kjmomshawn is purportedly run by McDaniels’ mom, Shawn. Its first follower: K.J. McDaniels. I think it’s safe to believe his mom runs that account.

Anyway, that account tweeted in early October the 76ers were “A SCREWED UP PROGRAM”:

That type of negativity about her son’s team is nothing new. Check out these tweets when he was at Clemson:

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McDaniels’ mom seemingly took her complaints about the 76ers to another level yesterday. In screenshots captured by Jim Adair of Crossing Broad:

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Notice the extra ‘s’ in the Twitter handle – @KJsMOMshawn vs. @kjmomshawn. However, it seems these are the same accounts. Adair also took a screenshot of the “SCREWED UP PROGRAM” tweet, and the author is also @KJsMOMshawn. Now, it shows up on the @kjmomshawn account – though the recent string of anti-76ers tweets do not. It seems, McDaniels’ mom deleted her tweets from yesterday and slightly tweaked her username.

Her anger is understandable. The 76ers are tanking, and though I think it’s a sound plan, it has unavoidable downsides. It’s miserable for players and, clearly, those close to them.

But there is an upside for McDaniels. He’s getting a larger role on a team lacking veterans. He’s playing for a coach in Brett Brown who emphasizes teaching. Those are big deals for a young player.

At this point, it’s in McDaniels’ best interest to take advantage of what Philadelphia offers him and block out the frustration the best he can – even when those close to him share it.

Tony Wroten: Eric Bledsoe ‘crazy’ for thinking Kentucky would beat 76ers


Kentucky coach John Calipari doesn’t believe his team has any shot against an NBA team – even the 76ers, who technically qualify. That’s the prevailing wisdom from anyone who has spent thoughtfully considered a college team’s chances against the pros.

But Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, a former Wildcat, is certain Kentucky would beat Philadelphia.

The 76ers – or at least one 76er – is sticking up for himself.

John Gonzalez of CSN Philly:

Hollis Thompson and Brandon Davies decided not to comment, instead designating Tony Wroten as their spokesman on the issue. Before an entire question could be asked about what Bledsoe said, Wroten responded.

“Nah, they can’t beat us,” Wroten replied. “He’s crazy.”

So you obviously heard what he said. Was it insulting?

“Yeah, it’s insulting,” Wroten said. “He might be serious, but I know Bledsoe. I’m not going to take it personally.”

I’m generally in the camp that believes no college team can beat an NBA team. But this Kentucky team (which hammered Kansas, 72-40) is pretty good, and these 76ers (0-11) are pretty bad. That Philadelphia is more interested in tanking for a high pick than filling its roster with NBA-caliber players certainly changes the debate.

The common argument is that a college team has only a few NBA players, but an NBA team is full of them. That’s not necessarily the case here, because multiple 76ers wouldn’t make any other NBA team. It also helps that Kentucky is loaded with draft prospects.

That said, I’d still pick Philadelphia over Kentucky. I just don’t think Bledsoe is crazy for suggesting the game would go the other way.

Eric Bledsoe: Kentucky would ‘definitely’ beat the Sixers


Anytime there’s an especially dominant college basketball team put together, the silliest of hot sports takes eventually ensues.

“[This college team] is so stacked, they could beat [current worst NBA team]!”

This has gone on in various forms since UNLV was loaded with Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony back in 1989-90, but even that year’s Clippers team that finished 30-52 with guys like Benoit Benjamin, Danny Manning and Charles Smith on the roster would have crushed them.

Fast forward to today, and it’s this: Could Kentucky beat the Sixers?

The answer is no, and it should be one that’s quite obvious. But that didn’t stop current Phoenix Sun and former Kentucky Wildcat Eric Bledsoe from siding with his guys.

From Josh Newman at ZagsBlog.com:

“I’m definitely taking Kentucky,” Bledsoe told Brian Geltzeiler and Malik Rose Wednesday morning on SiriusXM Radio when asked who would in a 7-game series. “I think Philly would get probably, maybe one game. I know they’re (Sixers fans) gonna be mad, but I love my Wildcats.“

It’s debatable whether or not Bledsoe buys what he’s selling here, and it’s more than likely he was simply having some light-hearted fun at the silliness of the question.

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The truth of the matter is that the idea is more realistic than it’s ever been, given the fact that the Sixers have jettisoned all of their veterans, and are left with nothing more than young players still developing their craft at the professional level.

But seriously. Michael Carter-Williams would carve up the inexperienced college-level defense, Tony Wroten would go for about 40 points, K.J. McDaniels would be rejecting everything in sight, and that would be that.

Dion Waiters would be happy to win Sixth Man of the Year


Dion Waiters wants to start. He’s never hidden that.

But pulled from the Cavaliers starting lineup for Shawn Marion (or maybe, soon enough, Joe Harris), Waiters seems to be embracing his new role.

He’s even discussing Sixth Man of the Year.

Waiters, via Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group:

“I would be very grateful, thankful for the opportunity [to win the award],” Waiters told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing. Hopefully we can keep winning and I’m able to walk away with it.”

“I’m a leading scorer on the bench, I’m a leading scorer in the starting five,” he said with a dead-serious expression on his face. “It doesn’t matter. You know what I’m saying.”

In context, it seems Waiters was asked about the award rather than bringing it up. So, let’s not blindly criticize him for arrogantly putting himself in the race.

I don’t expect him to win Sixth Man of the Year – or deserve to. Beyond not fitting in a starting lineup with LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, Waiters is not the caliber of the league’s top reserves.

Waiters’ strength is scoring, and he’s averaging 12.2 points per game since becoming a backup. That’s tied for ninth in the league among players who’ve come off the bench a majority of their games:

Player Team PPG
Jamal Crawford LAC 19.0
Michael Carter-Williams PHI 16.0
Ryan Anderson NOP 15.8
Isaiah Thomas PHO 15.6
Gerald Green PHO 13.9
A.J. Price IND 13.0
Anthony Morrow OKC 13.0
Manu Ginobili SAS 12.2
Gary Neal CHA 12.2
Dion Waiters CLE 12.2
John Jenkins ATL 12.0
Mario Chalmers MIA 12.0
Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL 11.8
Amar’e Stoudemire NYK 11.1
O.J. Mayo MIL 11.1

Waiters doesn’t have the secondary skills of a few players above him on that list, either.

But, as the second part of his quote showed, Waiters still has plenty of confidence. As long as he understands how to balance that confidence with embracing his place on the team, he’ll do just fine as a reserve – Sixth Man of the Year or not.

Michael Carter-Williams responds to Stephen A. Smith’s comments about his Player’s Tribune essay


Last week, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams posted an essay on the Players Tribune about his thoughts on the team’s supposed tanking, and it included a brief passage about ESPN analyst and First Take panelist Stephen A. Smith:

We knew it was going to be a circus when ESPN flew in Stephen A. Smith to Philadelphia for the 27th game against Detroit. In the locker room before shootaround, we got swarmed by reporters. You could barely move around the room. Somebody actually asked, “So how does it feel to be a part of the most losing team in NBA history?” Which was really funny because we hadn’t even played the game yet. Everybody just expected us to lose and set the record.

The media creates this narrative and repeats it over and over. That’s how Stephen A. Smith ends up in our locker room with a big smile on his face. I’m not picking on him. I know he’s playing a character. He knows he’s playing a character. But what happens when we break the streak by going out and beating Detroit that night? Now it’s another story. After the game, a lot of the reporters didn’t even stick around. The ones that did weren’t prepared. They didn’t ask us about the specifics of the game. They made up questions on the spot, like, “Uh, hey, you guys won … so how do you feel?”

We weren’t the story anymore. They were on to the next thing. Stephen A. didn’t really stick around. I guess he had a plane to catch. Believe me, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure he doesn’t come back for the same reason.

Smith wasn’t pleased by these comments, and took exception in a Monday radio interview. Via CSN Philly:

“You’re never going to have the last word over us,” Smith said. “And you damn sure ain’t going to have the last word over me. I’m not going to start problems, but I can damn sure finish them. If these guys want to come at me, let them do it at their own peril. It will be a mistake.”

Carter-Williams was asked about the comments at Sixers shootaround on Monday, and downplayed them:

“I am just really focused on my teammates and trying to get a win,” he said. “That is where my focus needs to be; my teammates deserve that, and my coaches deserve that. I am just going to keep pushing every day in practice with the guys. That outside distraction stuff doesn’t mean much to me.”

When specifically asked if had seen or heard Smith’s comments, Carter-Williams said, “I came across it because people told me about them. I have seen things on Twitter, but again, none of that fazes me too much.”

This whole “feud” doesn’t make a lot of sense. Carter-Williams’ initial comments about Smith were pretty harmless, and I doubt even Smith would disagree with the notion that his bombastic on-air personality is a character to some degree. That he felt the need to respond to it in the first place is just bizarre.

Carter-Williams doesn’t have a lot to gain by going back and forth, so he took the smarter path and basically said, “no comment.”