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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sixers owner Joshua Harris releases statement in regard to allegations surrounding Clippers owner Donald Sterling

(Christopher A. Vito)
76ers owner Joshua Harris has made a statement in advance of a Tuesday press conference called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, during which Silver is expected to address racist comments that have been attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

“Without question, discrimination in any form is unacceptable and has no place in the National Basketball Association or anywhere else in society,” Harris said Monday, in a statement issued by the Sixers. “The comments were hurtful and outrageous, and in no way reflect the values and beliefs of myself, our ownership group or the Philadelphia 76ers organization.

“I am confident that Commissioner Silver will undertake a thorough and thoughtful investigation into the matter.” 

Silver is expected to meet with reporters Tuesday regarding Sterling, allegedly of whom a partial recording was leaked to entertainment website TMZ and later, in full, to Deadspin. Sterling has denied that the voice on the recording is his. (Audio of the blatantly racist comments can be heard here.) The first-year commissioner, Silver is said to be seeking quick action on the allegations, which would seem to be in compliance with requests from the NBA’s players union.

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Sixers, NBA mourn loss of Dr. Jack Ramsay


Dr. Jack Ramsay, a Hall of Fame coach with ties to the 76ers and Saint Joseph’s University, and whose basketball beginnings took place in Delaware County, died Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer. Ramsay was 89.

Ramsay, a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer who spent the bulk of his coaching career with NBA teams, first worked the sidelines as the coach of now-shuttered St. James High in Chester. The Delaware County Sports Hall of Famer, Ramsay graduated from Upper Darby High School and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University and attained master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

He moved into the college coaching ranks in 1955, when he was hired by his alma mater, Saint Joseph’s. Ramsay coached the Hawks until 1966, guiding them to seven Big 5 championships and 10 postseason appearances – including the first of each in program history.

From there, Ramsay joined the 76ers’ front office. And after winning a championship with 1966-67 team, he moved to the sidelines. He coached the Sixers from 1968-72, then the Buffalo Braves from 1972-76, before moving on to the Portland Trail Blazers. Ramsay coached the Blazers through 1986, with the franchise’s only championship, in 1977, highlighting his nine-season tenure with the team. Ramsay finishing his NBA coaching career with the Indiana Pacers, from 1986-88.

Ramsay had an 864-783 record (.525 winning percentage) during a 21-year NBA coaching career, for which he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Here are a few statements about Ramsay from around the NBA…

Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil: “Dr. Jack Ramsay was a legendary figure in Philadelphia and a man whose passion and contributions to this city and the game of basketball will long be remembered. He left an indelible mark on the basketball community – from the Big 5 to our organization and throughout his storied career within the NBA – and was a friend and mentor to those who knew him, both on- and off-the-court. On behalf of the Sixers organization, we truly mourn the loss and send our deepest condolences to the entire Ramsay family.” 

Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon: “When my brother, Melvin, and I bought the Pacers he was one of our first coaches and took us to our first NBA Playoff series. Jack was a good, humble man who gave us our first taste of success in the NBA. This is a loss for the sport of basketball, not just the Pacers. We send our condolences to his family, in particular his daughter, Sharon, who became part of our family when her husband, Jim, coached the Pacers.”

Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird: “Jack was a great man and I don’t use that term lightly. His contributions to the game, as a coach, advisor, broadcaster will endure forever. I remember talking to Jack, either in Florida, or when he came to our training camp when Jim O’Brien was the coach. I always learned something from him. This is a sad day for all of us in basketball and a sad day for anyone who knew Jack.”

Indiana Pacers basketball operations consultant Donnie Walsh:  “He was the first coach I hired with the Pacers. He was a wonderful choice, got us in the playoffs for the second time in our NBA history and got us our first NBA Playoff victory. During his time, we drafted Rik Smits and Reggie Miller and he was a tremendous teacher, a master, for young players like those two, helping them get off to a great start in their careers. I knew he was a great coach, but once I got to know him, he was a better man. I will miss him a lot, as will the rest of the NBA.”

UPDATED: 4/28, 2:10 p.m.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver: "Today, the NBA family mourns the loss of one of the true legends of our game, Dr. Jack Ramsay. From his coaching tenure to his broadcast work, Dr. Jack left an indelible mark on every facet of our game and on every person he came in contact with, including me. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends.”

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Friday, April 25, 2014

MCW on Nerlens Noel: "I'm definitely going to do everything I can to help him out"

(Times staff / ERIC HARTLINE)

Nerlens Noel thinks Michael Carter-Williams can aid his development next season.

Noel, the 76ers center, is coming off a rookie season in which he missed all 82 games while rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee. Carter-Williams is fresh off a rookie campaign in which he put up the type of numbers that will likely garner a Rookie of the Year award.

Noel and Carter-Williams, a pair of Boston-area kids, played for the same AAU team in their youth, so they won’t have to develop a camaraderie. Instead, they have to pick up where they left off.

“I think Michael will definitely be able to help me as I come back,” Noel said April 17, on the team’s breakup day following its season finale. “(He’s been) just showing me a couple little things you need to be on the court experiencing.”

The biggest thing for Noel, a 6-11, 230-pounder, is to avoid feeling the pressure of having to live up to Carter-Williams’ big first season as a pro. He led all rookies in points, assists, rebounds and steals and is considered a heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Carter-Williams said his season “takes pressure” off Noel.

“He’s coming in and he’s going to play his part,” Carter-Williams said of Noel. “I’m definitely going to do everything I can to help him out. A big part of his game is off his teammates, especially off me. He has to keep developing his game, I’ll help him out along the way. He’s not going to have too much pressure. He’s going to go in there, play some defense and do the things he needs to do (like) rebound the ball and score the ball. He’ll be great. He’ll be fine.”

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Sixers' Michael Carter-Williams earns Rookie of the Month award (again)


The 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for April.

The point guard led all rookies with 17.6 points per game, ranked third with 7.5 rebounds and fourth with 6.4 assists and 32.5 minutes. His .525 field-goal percentage was fifth-best. Carter-Williams helped the Sixers close the season with their first winning streak since Dec. 29-Jan. 4.

Carter-Williams earned four of the six Rookie of the Month awards for the 2013-14 season.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sixers' Byron Mullens has mixed emotions about the idea of rebuilding


Byron Mullens is, admittedly, a little salty about the term “rebuilding.”

The fifth-year big man was around for two seasons of Charlotte’s transformation: a 7-59 lockout-shortened campaign in 2011-12, and a 21-61 record in 2012-13. Then the Bobcats opted against picking up Mullens’ option for this season. (He later signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, who traded him to the 76ers at the deadline.)

Now, as Mullens wrapped up a 19-win season with the Sixers, he was left to watch his former team in Charlotte qualify for the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, with a 43-39 record. And Mullens said he’d prefer not to repeat history.

“It sucked to be in Charlotte. It sucked to be in a rebuilding process,” Mullens said Thursday, when the Sixers conducted end-of-the-year exit interviews at their PCOM practice facility. “What sucked worse was to be in the rebuilding process and not be in the process now that they’re in, in a playoff race and in the playoffs. I’d say, if I’m going to give it my all in the rebuilding process, I’d like to be in it all the way – even after the rebuilding process is over. We’ll see what happens.”

When asked whether he’d like to return for next season, Mullens would not say. He holds a $1.06 million player option, though he could opt out and test free agency.

“We definitely talked about it, and we talked about the options we have with how many draft picks we’ve got in the draft and all of that,” Mullens said, of a discussion he had with Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie. “I’d just like to keep that between me and him, and see what happens. Obviously, everybody knows they have a lot of draft picks. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

“It’s tough. Me and Sam talked about (rebuilding), as well. My two years in Charlotte, they had a pretty young team. Obviously it was a rebuilding kind of like we have here now. People just have to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a while for young guys. You’re looking at 19-year-old kids playing with grown men. It’s tough. You have to respect it and be patient.”

Two numbers that might work against Mullens moving forward: The Sixers went 0-18 in games in which he played, and 4-4 in games in which he did not appear.

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