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According to several reports, Sam Dalembert has been dismissed from the Canadian national team. Not much is being said about the circumstances of his dismissal, but it looks like he was ripped by the coach, Leo Rautins, which led to a confrontation. Dalembert had a frustrating game against Slovenia, going 1-8 in a loss, it was after this game that Rautins called him out to the press, "He never got on track offensively or defensively. I didn't see him leave the floor to challenge people defensively, and on the offensive end he struggled not only with his shooting but with the decision-making behind the shots."

We've seen Sammy have these games, obviously, and when they happen you shake your head and move on. He usually bounces back. It seems pretty unprofessional for the coach to single him out and I would bet that this set Sammy off. In the grand scheme of things, I'm glad he isn't playing for the team anymore, the Sixers need him rested and who really cares if team Canada makes the Olympics or not. One thing this does point out, however, is just how good Mo Cheeks is at handling his team.

If you recall, last season Sammy made some foolish comments to the press about not having fun playing basketball. It could've snowballed into a huge deal, but Cheeks quietly had a talk with him, Sammy backed down and continued to turn in a solid season. One thing a lot of coaches just don't get is that respect has to be a two-way street with the NBA player. Mo does an excellent job of motivating his players, a task a lot of guys really aren't up to (ahem, Isiah, I might be looking at you). In fact, the job he's done with this young group of players is nothing short of amazing.

So Sammy, if you're reading, we're behind you. Get some sleep, rest your knees, and get ready for the only season that matters.

In other Sixers news, Ed Stefanski has starting negotiations with Andre Iguodala's agent, and he's expected to open talks with Lou Williams and also possibly Mo Cheeks on a further extension to his contract. One step at a time as he continues to assemble his roster for what we hope will be a deep run into the playoffs in '08-'09. Marreese Speights also continues to look very good in Vegas, his line last night in a win against the Wizards: 31 minutes, 9/17 from the floor, 6/9 from the line, 24 points, 13 boards, 2 blocks and only 2 fouls.