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.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.