I thought the Ringling Brothers went out of business. That doesn’t appear to be the case. The circus is in town pretty often these days, and it’s main attraction is a giant version of the Hasbro game “Operation.”
This fiasco I’m referring to is the basketball operations and medical department for your beloved “process pushing” Philadelphia 76ers.
They’re a young, talented and promising team that continue to get in their own way, much more off the court than on.
In terms of just basketball, their youth and inexperience backfired in gut-wrenching 105-104 buzzer beating losses to the elite Houston Rockets Wednesday night.
Their “operation” off the court specifically dealing with their hierarchy is a confusing, messy, often mysterious soap opera. Until they improve this aspect of their organization, it doesn’t matter how skilled they are on the basketball court, they’ll never reach their ultimate goal of winning it all.
Championship caliber teams in all sports excel on the playing field or surface, as well as behind the scenes in the front office.
Unless you’re the scandal-surviving Patriots or stave off all the LeBrama brought with the Cavs, most teams can’t separate issues off the playing surface and the actual games.
They may say they’re able to, but ultimately, they likely aren’t. The two aspects are circular to one another.
Year after year, the 76ers fail in this area. The old expression is same story, different day.
The latest example is first overall pick Markelle Fultz, who looks anything but, whether it because of an injury, altered shot or a combination of both.
It’s a fiasco.
Fultz’s agent says the rookie received a cortisone shot October 5. The 76ers never announced such news. President Bryan Colangelo didn’t feel it was necessary as part of his newfound transparent ways.
Colangelo didn’t feel Fultz needed to be sidelined with his shoulder soreness because he was cleared medically and wanted to play. Except, it was pretty obvious the rookie was doing himself and the team no good in the first week of his NBA career.
No one knows how Fultz injured his shoulder, hence the ineptitude of the medical staff. Colangelo speculates his altered form “could” be the cause of soreness.
Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown insist Fultz changed his very good college stroke on his own. Fultz’s long-time trainer and mentor Keith Williams completely refuted that as a guest on 94 WIP’s Carlin and Reese program. Williams believes the different looking form is from the guard’s shoulder discomfort.
Oy ya yoy, the 76ers are once again a mess.
Why is it every season a rookie gets injured? Why is it every season the front office falls on their face for possessing different views of transparency than the fans.
Where is owner Joshua Harris? What does he think? Why does he constantly enable these methods?
Where is Markelle Fultz? I know injured players aren’t required to speak to media, but who would know better how the shoulder became injured or why his form is different than Fultz himself?
The Sixers say Fultz is missing three games and will be reevaluated Tuesday. Would you be surprised if the top overall pick in his rookie season with the “Medical Mastermind” 76ers sat out more?
You shouldn’t be.
The Sixers may make the playoffs this year, but until proven otherwise they’re the same organization that struggles at transparency and being on the same page.
The Legend of Howie Roseman
To give yourself a break from the headache that is your Sixers, lay back for a second, close your eyes, relax and realize for the first time since Donovan McNabb, the NFL best 6-1 Philadelphia Eagles sport a franchise quarterback.
Carson Wentz is near perfect, if not flawless. To take a page out of the book of “John Gruden Gushing 101,” the tall, 6’5”, North Dakota State phenom can throw, run, lead and inspire.
If a play seems for naught, the second-year quarterback very well may find a way to escape a super crowded pocket and scramble for several yards. If a receiver gets open running downfield, the kid can sling it down with the best of them. His accuracy is pinpoint. His Houdini acts are top play worthy.
There is one person responsible for the acquisition of the Birds’ franchise savior, Howie Roseman.
It’s hard to believe someone who seemed so inept at their job, is the best general manager, or whatever you want to call him, in Philadelphia by far.
This is the same guy who acquired Marcus Smith, Nnamdi Asomugha, Bradley Fletcher, Patrick Chung, Cary Williams, Riley Cooper, Vince Young, Jason Babin and an assortment of other “Dream Team” rejects that didn’t work.
Yet, if Wentz is the only move that works out for both Roseman tenures – and it won’t be – then that’s good enough.
The quarterback is the key to the Eagles’ success and Roseman made it happen. If the Birds win a Lombardi Trophy in the near future with Wentz, Roseman will be considered one of the greatest stories in Philadelphia sports history.
He’d be remembered as a behind the scenes person who worked his way up to general manager, struggled at first, lost his job to Chip Kelly, but regained it by owner Jeffrey Lurie instilling his trust in Roseman and the personnel czar Lurie request him to hire.
Before I forget…
• The Phillies were one of the first of a handful of teams to start their managerial search. Most vacancies are filled. Only the Phils, Nationals and now Yankees are open. Reports are Matt Klentak could put a new skipper in place sometime next week, around November 1. Are you surprised? Klentak’s personality ever since he arrived was patience. You saw it with the likes of Rhys Hoskins and other prospects. You didn’t see it with Pete Mackanin, which wasn’t right. But, maybe Klentak’s methodical search will benefit the Phillies after all. The Yankees decided not to bring back Joe Girardi after an excellent decade of managing in the Bronx. The Yanks sported a winning record every season he was there, made the playoffs six out of 10 years. He’s strategically smart, owns his rare mistakes as he did in Game 2 of the ALDS and understands players because he was one. Not to mention, he also runs a strict clubhouse, which could benefit a young Phils squad. The young Yankees exceeded expectations with Girard and were one win from the World Series. It’s a no-brainer to bring him to Philadelphia over Dusty Wathan, John Farrell or the other unattractive no names rumored to be of the Phils interest.
• Heading into Thursday night, the Flyers are 5-4-0, despite playing better than a slightly above .500 team. They looked inspiring in wins over Washington, Florida and Edmonton in their home stand, but came up extremely small against Nashville and Buffalo. This is the Flyers’ MO … mediocrity. Until the Orange and Black can prove that winning a long stretch of games isn’t impossible, it’s going to be more of the same with them as well.
• Game 2 of the World Series was a phenomenal, epic, back and forth affair that went extra innings and featured a lot of dramatic bat flips. That’s beautiful baseball on its biggest stage and I couldn’t be happier, except if I was actually able to stay up until its conclusion at 12:36am EST. These games start too late. There’s no reason to cancel out half the country with three and a half hour baseball games that begin close to 8:30 P.M. because Vin Scully is putting on a very entertaining show, for real. The solution is to start them at 6:30 or 7pm EST. The west coast will compensate for the mid-afternoon first pitches and in the end everyone will get to see the classic.