Tag Archives: Philadelphia 76ers

Here are your 2015-2016 Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers have released it’s 15 man roster leading into their first game of the season. Many Philadelphia fans and pundits are going into the season with expectations at rock bottom [ESPN Power Rankings], but maybe there is some hope for a 7th or 8th seed? Maybe not, but read ahead and follow me on this…

Although the average age of players on the team is 24 years old, over half of the players already have experience within the organization. The new face of the team, Jahlil Okafor, will have a big opportunity to show and prove why he was selected top 3 in the most recent draft. The young culture of the team can potentially create a necessary bond and chemistry, which could lead to a few pleasant surprises.

Let’s hope last night was a sign of good things to come for Jahlil:

…Or maybe I am being the typical Philadelphia fan, finding optimism and discovering every bit of sunlight through the cracks in those brick walls our franchises always seem to run into.

Read up on the 15 players who will be representing your Philadelphia 76ers this season, here via NBA.com :  http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/beat-opening-night-roster-recap#

Guest Contribution by Tre Banks

For more exclusive coverage, ticket giveaways, features, and live updates follow @215mag on twitter, and Instagram.

Recap: 2013 Beyond Sport Summit

As one of the most passionate, sports-crazed cities in the world, it was only fitting that Philadelphia served as the host city for the 2013 Beyond Sport Summit last week.

“You don’t have to be here long to realize that this city loves sports,” noted Michael Burke, Managing Director of Wealth and Investment Management for Barclays (one of Beyond Sport’s global partners). “Sports is part of the DNA of Philadelphia.”

The goal of Beyond Sport – which was founded in 2008 – is to highlight how athletic endeavors can be used to benefit the greater good. During the three-day event, hundreds of organizations from around the world were honored for their work in using sports as a catalyst for positive social change.

“We shouldn’t talk about sport as an opportunity [for social change],” said NBA Commissioner David Stern during a panel on the intersection of sports and politics. “We should talk about it as an obligation.”

Attendees spent the first two days of the Beyond Sport Summit visiting a variety of local organizations that are making a difference in the community via sport. On the final day of the conference, Jeffrey Lurie – whose Philadelphia Eagles were named Beyond Sport’s Team of the Year in 2011 – provided the opening remarks, and several others with ties to the city had a chance to offer their views, including Eagles’ co-owner Christina Weiss Lurie, Philadelphia 76ers’ CEO Scott O’Neil, and former Philadelphia mayor (and PA Governor) Ed Rendell.

“Sports has a unifying effect that nothing else in society has,” noted Rendell.

Each of the major local sports teams are ahead of the curve in terms of giving back to the community. The Eagles Youth Partnership provides free vision care and educational programming to more than 50,000 children in the Delaware Valley each year. The Philadelphia 76ers, meanwhile, recently announced their “Sixers Strong” initiative that will result in all Sixers’ employees investing a minimum of 76 hours of community service during the 2013-14 season.

The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation provides free equipment, ice time and coaching to more than 3,000 inner-city children, while the Phillies Phestival has raised more than $14.3 million for The ALS Association since its inception in 1984.

“The courage of one,” said Lurie, “can only change the world when it’s united with the courage of everyone else.”

Wall Ball-in’ Out!

Photos by Kim-Thao Nguyen

Last Thursday, some of Philadelphia’s finest creators, movers and shakers congregated at the Vie on North Broad Street for one of the city’s most highly anticipated events: WALL BALL.

In its 9th year, The Mural Arts Program strived to bring an array of entertainment and excitement to its biggest annual fundraising affair. Not to be outdone by last year’s star-studded event honoring State Senator Vincent Hughes and his wife, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph as well as The Legendary Roots Crew, whose mural on South Street will be formally unveiled this upcoming Friday, this year’s swanky soiree put the spotlight on City Council President, Darrell L. Clarke and Philadelphia’s favorite big baller, former 76er, Julius “Dr. J” Erving, whose iconic mural on Ridge Avenue is a favorite in this acclaimed “City of Murals”.

This year, it was obvious that The Mural Arts Programs wanted to wow guests and contributors with fun and fantasy:  from fancy face-painting to scatting stilt-walkers to the elaborate array of light bites, Wall Ball 2013 left little to be desired from its content attendees. Mike Jerrick of FOX 29 News was the evening’s emcee and opened the floor for the live auction by dancing to Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” followed by some impressive sales in the name of charity.

After the last bid and before handing out awards, Mural Arts Program founder, Jane Golden, shared a story about a young Michael Whittington from the organization’s Restorative Justice Program before introducing him to speak briefly on behalf of its participants. With a testimony and an expression of gratitude extended to the guests, Whittington reminded everybody what doing this work is all about.  Jane Golden and the Mural Arts Program also posthumously honored the late local real estate developer, Tony Goldman.

In an effort to engage younger patrons of Mural Arts, the organization also incorporated an Off-The-Wall Ball at the neighboring Alla Spina Restaurant. This abbreviated party was an amazing amalgamation of muralists, artists, and mural-lovers having fun and making a contribution to art and its restorative power.

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program is the nation’s largest mural project and provides programming for over 100 communities, including at-risk teens and adult offenders. For more information about the Mural Arts Program, visit www.muralarts.org or follow on Twitter @MuralArts.

50 Shades of Dre

All-Star. Olympian. Overpaid. Overrated.

Aloof. Enigmatic. Polarizing. Underappreciated.

Andre Iguodala has been called all of those things – as well as other, unprintable things – ever since he arrived in Philadelphia in the summer of 2004. So perhaps it was only fitting that the city’s most mercurial athlete was five time zones away when the Sixers decided to trade him last week.

The four-team deal that ultimately shipped Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers could have easily been consummated at any point before the 2012-13 NBA season. But with each of the franchises eager to pull the trigger before any of its fellow trade partners got cold feet, Philadelphia agreed to send Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets.

Three days later, the former Sixer helped the U.S. Men’s National Team capture a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.

So to recap: Less than 72 hours before the greatest athletic achievement in his life, Iguodala was traded away by the only team that he had ever known in his professional career. But trades in the NBA are relatively commonplace. The more important story is the divorce between a man and the city that – in contrast to its still-infamous tourism campaign – never loved him back.

The split between Andre Iguodala and Philadelphia should be amicable for both parties: It isn’t as if this was a case of unrequited love.

For the better part of eight seasons, Sixers’ fans have been anything but silent in their disdain for the 6’6″ swingman. Professional basketball hasn’t often been a topic of conversation on the Philadelphia sports talk radio airwaves in recent years, but whenever it was, Iguodala typically was the lightning rod for most callers’ vitriol.

Things changed only slightly with the advent of social media. 82 nights a year – or 66 nights during a lockout-shortened campaign – thousands of hands throughout the Delaware Valley remained poised above keyboards and smartphone screens during Sixers’ games. What Iguodala did on the defensive end was unimportant: Whenever he missed an ill-advised three-pointer, or failed to convert a pair of free throws, 140-character missives began to flood Twitter timelines all across the region.

After the Sixers fell in the first round to the Miami Heat in the 2011 Eastern Conference Playoffs, Iguodala was asked if he expected to return to the team the following year. His response? “I expect to be in the NBA.”

One day later, Iguodala skipped his end-of-year exit interview with Sixers’ head coach Doug Collins. If Iguodala’s goal was to anger an already hostile fan base, then he couldn’t have played his cards any better.

But in true enigmatic fashion, there were plenty of times when he got it right. Before the start of the 2011-12 season, when a group of fans came together for an “End Of Lockout” party, Iguodala showed up, even though he was under no obligation to do so. He shook hands, he posed for pictures… he probably would have kissed a few babies if any were present. It was a genuine display of goodwill for a group of supporters who truly loved the Sixers and the game of basketball.

That one gesture began the reconciliation process between a man and his fans. Not much changed on the court: In fact, it appeared as if Iguodala made a conscious decision to shoot even less than he had in the past.

Yet last season, Iguodala had perhaps his best year ever, culminating in his first-ever All-Star appearance. He led the Sixers to a 35-31 record – the team’s first winning season in seven years – and provided us with one of the most thrilling endings in Philadelphia sports history.

Last May, in the closing moments of Game 6 of the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the 76ers trailed the Chicago Bulls by a single point. With 7.7 seconds left in regulation, Iguodala corralled a missed Omer Asik free throw and drove the length of the court with reckless abandon.

He was fouled with 2.2 seconds to go, and in front of a sold out Wells Fargo Center crowd – very few of them optimists at that moment – Iguodala calmly sank two free throws, securing Philadelphia’s first playoff series victory since 2003.

Shortly after the final horn, Iguodala jumped on top of the scorer’s table, posed, and bathed in the admiration from a sea of Sixers’ fans.

“I don’t know how you could write a better script,” said Collins during the post-game press conference. “Dre has gone through a lot here and I told him after the game that no one deserves more than you do to have this moment.”

And in that moment, something of a truce was formed between Andre Iguodala and the city of Philadelphia. The two neighborhood kids who never seemed to get along had finally made peace with one another.

Three months later, those two game-winning free throws are little more than a distant memory. One of those neighborhood kids is now headed halfway across the country, and his replacement (Andrew Bynum) is already more popular than the old kid ever was.

Andre Iguodala never gave us what we wanted while he was here, but in leaving, the Sixers – and their fans – got the franchise player that they’ve long wished for.

The 76ers will open the 2012-13 season against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center. There will be some sort of ceremony to honor Iguodala before the game, and most fans in attendance will give him his proper respect. Ironically enough, Iguodala may be cheered more that night than he ever was while he wore a Sixers’ uniform.

Perhaps Andre Iguodala isn’t the only one that we should be calling enigmatic after all.