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Hip-Hop: Demoted?

Times are tough everywhere, even with the cable giant that owns our local basketball and hockey franchises. Hence, the 76ers have apparently expanded the duties of rabbit mascot Hip-Hop.

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Previously only limited to cheering on the 76ers, dunking off a trampoline, eating carrots and looking creepy, he’s now helping put in the floor for the 76ers’ Spectrum farewell game on March 13.

Yep, This Is How The 76ers Lost

The last time they played New Jersey, the 76ers missed their last 18 shots and lost, 85-83. Who knew they’d be able top that loss the next time they played New Jersey.

If you can’t watch the highlight above, here’s how the 76ers lost last night. They were up a point after Andre Iguodala hit one of two free throws with 1.8 seconds left; Nets’ guard Devin Harris took the inbounds pass, lost the ball off Iguodala’s chest, got the ball back and sunk a half-court shot with no time left.

Need more proof? Here are the Daily News and Inquirer recaps.

It’s a slim chance that whole play took less than 1.8 seconds. But since the ball did appear to leave his hand just before the buzzer, the clock’s late start is silently forgotten. Well, not by Sixers fans.

The 76ers have stumbled coming out of the All-Star Break; they’ve lost four in a row against mostly average competition. One thing they need to do? 100 free throws, every day, after practice, until this gets better. Okay?

[Thanks to The 700 Level for the video]

Break Up The Sixers!

How about that, eh? Last night, the 76ers won their third straight since losing Elton Brand for the year, this time over the Suns. The boys from Phoenix were on the second half of a back-to-back, but any time you hold Steve Nash to two points and run a team out of the gym it’s a good performance.

Even better, it was the young guys who stepped up last night: Marreese Speights (the most efficient rookie in the game) had a career-high 24 points and 7 boards, while Thaddeus Young maybe atoned for this possible mistake by dropping 25, also a career high.

The 76ers are only 26-24, but they are more than a game over .500 for the first time all season and are only three games out of hosting a first-round playoff series. (Hollinger puts their playoff odds at 91 percent.) How ’bout that, eh, indeed!

The 76ers are still hyping their Spectrum farewell party on March 13; today they sent out an .mp3 of Dave Zinkoff introducing the 76ers back at the old arena. You can listen or download below.

Zinkoff introduction

While we’re at it, here’s the Inquirer’s recap of last year’s game if you’re not into the current sports stories (McNabb and the Eagles, somehow, and the Phillies packing up chewing gum to send to Scientology World HQ) on the landscape and want some actual sports to read about.

Oh, and also at The Spectrum this weekend? MONSTER JAM!!!

76ers’ Brand Out For Season

Where’s that graphic again? Oh, yes.

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Sigh. It’s looking likelier we can add another guy to it: Elton Brand, who Comcast SportsNet reports is having surgery and is out for the year. [via The 700 Level]

Imp’t Former Sixer Update

020509greatperm.jpg Here’s something that will shock you if you’ve come to town since 2001: Back then, the Sixers were the most popular team in town. It’s almost hard to imagine it now, but, yes, that’s true. The Eagles were still coming out of their horrid late-90s funk — which included a 3-13 season in 1998 — while the Phillies stunk. Also, there was a hockey team playing to 99.9% capacity.

But the 76ers were the team on everyone’s mind in ‘01, when they rallied from deficits in their first three playoff series before dropping the NBA Finals in five games to the Lakers. (If they had just made some free throws… oh, let’s not get into it.)

Anyway, ShamSports.com has an update on Jumaine Jones, one of the 2001 Sixers’ players.

Jumaine Jones was suspended from European basketball for a year in September by FIBA, for the weird yet wonderful crime of signing contracts with two different teams at the same time; one with [Armani Jeans Milano], and one with Ural Great Perm in Russia. However, he’s been playing for the greatly named Great Perm anyway, averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in Russian league play.

Great Perm! If only NBA teams had awesome nicknames like the two teams Jones signed with, it’d be a lot more popular. Oh, wait, I forgot, it’s basketball is our new national pastime, thanks to Barack Obama, says noted sports experts Reason magazine.

Where are they now, 2009, part 28 [ShamSports.com via TrueHoop]

Sixers: Back To Old Logo

Took them long enough! Italian Sixers blog — of course there’s an Italian Sixers blog — Sixers 4 Guidos reports the 76ers told season ticket holders they are moving back to the old logo (at right).

The jerseys will be the ones the team wore during the 1982-83 season; the Sixers currently wear the white throwbacks at home games.

The 700 Level has more. Truly, the best move since signing Elton Brand, or Ed Stefanski telling Mo Cheeks to start running midway through last year.

76ers’ Totally Amazing Halftime Show

Even if their jerseys are still ugly, the 76ers are white hot right now with three straight wins.

Considering nobody showed up for Game 6 of the first round of the playoffs last year, it’s doubtful people are going to start coming in droves to the Center anytime soon. But maybe there’s another reason: Turns out the human slinky halftime show was way more entertaining than any “basket ball” game could ever be.

The booing starts about halfway through. It’s not as loud as the booing of Destiny’s Child back in 2001, but then again this is a much more entertaining performance.

Thanks, RJ!

Anthropomorphic Rabbit Sure To Lead 76ers To Promised Land

102908hiphop.jpg As you may remember, last year the 76ers had quite the season; they finished 2 games under .500, returned to the playoffs (this is the NBA, after all) and took 2 games from the Pistons in the first round. Then, this offseason, the 76ers not only signed Elton Brand but cut a lot of the deadweight off the roster. A bench with Royal Ivey, Kareem Rush, Theo Ratliff and Donyell Marshall instead of Kevin Ollie et al? Um, yes, sign me up.

(Side note: I actually went here and looked up who was on the 76ers bench last season. The 76ers traded Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth to the Timberwolves; they’ve actually signed Kevin Ollie as well. The rest of the guys on the bench? Herbert Hill, Shavlik Randolph, Louis Amundson. Ha, ha.)

But don’t sign me up for tickets to the season opener, because that’s tonight at the Wachovia Center. (That Daily News story is headlined “Sixers president/GM Stefanski set dominoes in motion for new-look team,” yet another quick, witty headline the Daily News sports section is best known for.) The game has been moved up to 6 p.m., even, due to the baseball game.

The 76ers sent out a helpful email detailing the in-game entertainment in tonight’s opener (thanks RJ):

1/2 QTR Break: Hip-Hop & the Hare Raisers Dunk Show
Halftime: Human Slinky
3/4 QTR Break: Carvel Tricycle Race

What, no musical chairs? The Carvel Tricycle Race, though, I could see bringing in the crowds.

Editor’s Note: Naw, seriously, the 76ers are going to be awesome this year. 49-33, No. 4 seed in the East, lose to the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs. It ain’t perfect, but it’s a start.

Sammy D Ready For Disney On Ice

Sammy D and Mickey Mouse and others

Comcast Spectacor sent over this photo with a press release yesterday, and oh man you need to click it to enlarge. I have no idea what the release was about; I simply didn’t read it after seeing the greatness above. 76ers big man Samuel Dalembert, Mickey Mouse, Mr. Incredible and a kid who is very interested by something off-camera. Hey, he also won 40 tickets to Disney on Ice! Whoo!

In other news, all of the people in this photo have been registered to vote by ACORN. Ho, ho, get it, topical political humor. Kinda.

Update: Oh, look, there’s a nice story attached to this photo, too. Well, that will teach the 76ers: Don’t attach such awesome photos to your press releases from now on. Er.

This Never Gets Old

Never.