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The Nature of Rooting

I'm probably more guilty of this than anyone. Jrue and Iguodala are both A's for me. Then I'd say Thad is a B. Lou C+. Brand, Turner, Meeks all solid C's. Then Hawes, Speights, Voose, Brackins, Nocioni are all D's. It's definitely a sliding scale that varies quite a bit. There have been times when Thad's been a D for me, same with Lou.

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J reply to Brian on Jan 3 at 17:21
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You and Jrue need to get a room and get it over with.

I would have to say Elton Brand and Lou Williams are my two favorite players. They are both winners and leaders. Brand's personality reminds me a lot of Roy Halladay.

My favorite Sixer of the decade was Andre Miller.

First: I'm from Switzerland, so nobody cares about the NBA and no games are televised whatsoever. Anyways, I somehow managed watching the 2000/01 NBA finals (more by accident - I wasn't really interested in basketball) and really liked it. Of course I was rooting for the underdog. I didn't really follow the sport until I (again by accident) watched the '09 playoffs (Sixers vs. Magic). Ever since I'm hooked and rooting for those Sixers. The NBA's international league pass helped big in making basketball my favorite sport though...

Players: Iggy A, Jrue/Lou B+, Thad/Brand/Turner/Meeks/Voose B, Nocioni/Brackins C, Hawes C-, Speights D---

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Spencer for hire on Jan 3 at 14:40
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wStatman, good stuff!!!! I would like to add coach's grades; Jordan I learned to despise and give an F and Collins an A while Deleo and Cheeks would rate a B because Cheeks was a former player and Deleo made the best out of an awkward situation.


I tend to lean on a B for all the players, rarely booing unless a player is dogging it. I wish the best for anybody wearing a sixer uni. My A grades depend on position[Cheeks] being a p.g. and coach myself and personality [Caldwell Jones] always sipping a beer after a game, something I enjoyed also.

Brand: Benefits from the Duke University invisible shield of deflection. Is following in the Blue Devil tradition of Jim Spanarkel, Johnny Dawkins, Dave Henderson, Mike Gminski and, last but not least, Billy King.

'Spirit of 76' least exemplified by Chris Webber and Glenn Robinson.

I began rooting for the Sixers the year they started the season 9-1 and found themselves a game out of first. For some reason I really identified with that. Also I've always hated superheroes and Wilt Chamberlain filled in perfectly. I once saw him make three hook shots in a row - perfect swishes - from 25 feet.

I mostly have stopped following professional sports since I can no longer watch the games for free on channel 29 or channel 9. But this current Sixer team is compelling to me. I find all the players likable -- even Speights. The only Sixer in recent memory who gets a 'D' is Webber. I really dislike that guy. I don't care how far my team goes in the playoffs. I just want them to play exciting and intelligent basketball. I used to dislike Lou because I thought his playing was stupid and selfish and I wanted him traded. But he's gotten much better in this regard. I enjoy watching good team chemistry, good role players. I hate the way the NBA markets the superstars. After Wilt, I've no further interest in superheroes or superstars.
Jrue gets an 'A'. Love his understated intensity.

Yes. I would root for Carmelo or DeMarcus Cousins if they played for Philly.


Iguodala- A
Holiday- A
Thad- B
Lou- B
Turner- B
Brand- B-
Meeks- C
Hawes- D
Nocioni- D-

"Are there any Sixers that you dislike so much that he can't "win you over" no matter how well he plays?"

Greg Buckner, Matt Harpring, and Willie Green were the ones I hated. Spencer Hawes and Voose are the current Sixers- I don't trust un-athletic white guys at the C position.- Does that make me a racist.

Not if you don't trust un-athletic green guys either.

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Sixersftw on Jan 3 at 15:12
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I became a fan when we kinda sucked due to geographical proximity. I was an infant when the title contending team was together so I had to cling to Barkley. When he was traded I continued to follow the Sixers and Barkley but I couldn't get into the Suns. I did adopt another Western conference team (Kemp/Payton ftw) because we were unwatchable at the time. Eventually, Iverson came along and bye bye need for a west coast squad.

Iguodala is an A. Thad,Jrue,Turner, and Brand B. Lou B-, Meeks B-.Hawes C+ but rising the more he plays like Hawekeem. Everyone else is a C to C-. Mo Speights would probably be a D if not for his twitter.

A:
B:
C:
D:

The "Anything is possible!" Finals hooked me on basketball. I lived in Philly at the time and the 76ers became my defacto home team. Judging from my time spent living in others places I've realized that if you enjoy a sport it's best to follow a team. It's easier to folloe thr

Damn phone. It easier to follow... a local team but it's no different then picking a name out of a hat, minus the sense of community. But really that isn't fair as it's just a matter of distance.

•Why did you start rooting for the Sixers? Why are you still rooting for them (if you can articulate an actual reason)?
The first AI got me hooked on basketball, which was my gateway drug into every other sport. I've always felt a responsibility to follow and root for the hometown team, while at the same time respecting other players and talents.

Iguodala is the only player on the current roster I would give an 'A' to and root for no matter where he went (Jrue is close, maybe a high B+).

I was disappointed when we acquired 'Big Dog', I saw that failing from a mile away, and then was disappointed by Weber's play, thinking he should've fit in better, but about 1/2way through the season I really felt like he didn't even care.

Hands down, my most hated player was Matt Geiger. I'm getting mad right now just thinking about him, lounging in his stupid mansion, built off riding a bench when his team needed him most...

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Stan reply to will on Jan 3 at 16:10
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I never understood the Glenn Robinson trade. He was an expiring contract in 05' and Billy King traded him away for Rodney Rogers and an injured Mashburn who still had another two years on his deal. I never understood why he made that trade.

Iguodala, Holiday - A,
Turner, Thad - B
Brand, Lou, Hawes et al - C
Speights, Nocioni - D
guess I am partial to a certain kind of player - athletic, exciting, defense.

I think any of my D players could win me over with consistent play. i was actually a fan of Speights when he first arrived and Nocioni when he was in Chicago but consistent failure can break a man's heart you know.

I can only speak for myself but I feel it is fundamentally impossible to root for a team irrespective of it's players. If we had a fresh new roster, it would take people a year or two to really start rooting for that team. That's mostly just the time it takes you to fall in love with certain players. The team as a whole has an identity, but somehow I doubt that you can disconnect it from your love of your favorite players and how they impact the team.
I'm especially guilty of this. I want a game where certain players shine more than others. Admittedly, I was much less excited than I should have been when Lou hit the game winner in Game 3.

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jkay reply to jkay on Jan 3 at 16:07
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To add as a sort of disclaimer, I think every fan has a sort of childlike resiliency in him. If they traded you favorite player, you would mourn for a couple and weeks and then just get over it. The team at that point always remains your central focus.
But it's more pronounced in Football or Baseball than in the NBA where one player gone can transform your team from hot to suck. In that case, it's easier to recover if you can get a player everyone can support. Like how Chris Paul has cured Clipper-apathy.

If they traded you favorite player, you would mourn for a couple and weeks and then just get over it. The team at that point always remains your central focus.

I think that was true earlier in my life. I remember trying to convince myself that Tim Perry and Andrew Lang would make the Sixers a better defensive team, for example .... But I definitely felt like I rooted for the Eagles in 2010 with much less intensity than I had from 2000-2009, after they got rid of Westbrook and McNabb (McNabb wasn't one of my favorites early on but won me over; Westbrook was always one of my favorites), one year after losing Brian Dawkins (another favorite).

One difference for me in recent years is that I now read most of my news off the Internet, and most articles have comments sections. In a region as large as Philly, someone is bound to "hate" your favorite player, and the loudest, most persistent voices in the comments sections often are the most hateful. So, while I still root for the Philly teams, I feel almost no affinity to Philly fans as a whole (intelligent commentary -- such as found on this blog -- excepted), after reading all their idiotic, hateful comments over the past few years.

So it was, in 2010, after so many Eagles "fans" bid McNabb "good riddance" after eleven mostly successful years, that I had a hard time warming up to the 2010 team, which (fair or not) seemed to be a product of the "what have you done for me lately" crowd. I'm thinking I might feel the same way if the Sixers trade Iguodala ...


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jkay reply to Statman on Jan 3 at 17:16
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what have you done for me lately

For all the psychoanalysis you could do, I think the average Philly fan comes down to just that. Intellectually, I do not believe that is wrong. In fact, I think that is ideal; that a fan's only allegiance is to winning. It makes sense.
Personally, I could not reject it more. From when I began to understand the less-reported aspect of sports, I went in the opposite direction. It's even the reason why I try to stay away from watching pro football.

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Tom Moore on Jan 3 at 15:58
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Story (with Williams and Collins video): Williams is becoming the primary late-game scoring option:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/sports/sixers/williams-becoming-primary-late-game-option/article_7129de05-4a28-563f-8eeb-dee7618722f5.html

Ahh. reminiscing

Webber will pair with Sixers All-Star guard Allen Iverson to form one of the most formidable duos in the league.

"They're going to probably win the Atlantic now," Cavaliers guard LeBron James said of the Sixers. The Webber trade is "going to make them one of the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. I know Iverson is very happy about it. I'm going to call him and tell him he got an early Christmas present."

Well, I started rooting for the Sixers at the beginning of the 80's, when I first noticed the NBA as it was just becoming popular in my country (I am from Italy). I fell in love with Doc J, but immediately after for the team. I still root for them, as you said, as it connects me viscerally with my youth. I also love the underdogs and thinking that a team could achieve success little by little against all odds, thus the Sixers fit well into that concept. I unconditionally root (and always will) for the team independently from its players. In general terms i tend to grade each player in the roster with a B+, with some exceptions. I like to think that all of them could have an unexpressed potential, especially at the beginning of their stay with the team, but i am also realistic. I have some favourite players in the current roster such as Igoudala, for his all around skills, Jrue for his potential and Brand for his work ethic. I tend to favour players with high bb IQ and tend to dislike players who waste their talent not playing in "the right way", see Speights, but as long as they are with the team i will always hope they can improve and contribute.

A: Turner
B: Holiday
C: Iguodala, Williams, Brand, Voose?, Young C+ (I feel like I don't really understand Young's game and therefore can't criticize him), Hawes C-
D: Meeks, Speights

Iguodala's jump shots really piss me off sometimes. Not this year but I'm wary about getting my hopes up.

I think I like players based on how I can relate to them personally. Seems like Turner struggles with confidence/ self-consciousness a lot but sometimes he blows me away with how good he is when he plays his own game and that is something I relate to. Also you can see he always gives full effort--like he's always in a real textbook defensive stance. So that's admirable. I don't root for him unconditionally--by that I mean I always want him to succeed, but I don't support every decision he makes.

I really like Holiday but I have to watch closely to see his talent.

I recognize Williams plays an important role on the team but he's kind of one-dimensional. But getting more well-rounded this year it seems.

Young is an interesting player. He really plays a weird style. He is not someone I can relate to since I'm unathletic but learned how to shoot and stuff so my game is basically based on learned skills. He's effective but he doesn't seem like he should be. He's kinda awkward on the court compared to someone like Turner or Brand, who each are more of a complete package.

I would like Hawes more if he dedicated himself to rebounding and learning an inside game. I love when guys try to improve themselves for the good of the team. Here's a question: do you think Hawes has dedicated himself to rebounding and inside play? Could he be a better rebounder and such if he tried? If he keeps up his current numbers I'd be satisfied.

If the Sixers swapped rosters with Miami I would be pretty pissed at first but I'd gradually get behind them. Who is on the team definitely does matter. In the time between Iverson and Holiday I sort of lost interest in the Sixers because they sucked and weren't interesting.

I think I like players based on how I can relate to them personally.

This is a good point, one that I was discussing with Dannie at ReclinerGM last year: I tend to like the players whose games mirror my own (I wonder if this is true for everyone here?). So, for example, Iguodala's (usually) inconsistent jump shot doesn't bother me because my own is also inconsistent. However, I can appreciate his court vision, penetrate-and-kick ability, defense, and general unselfishness and intelligence, because those are all parts of my game (at 1/100th the talent level, of course). Similarly, I can appreciate Thad's ability to get his shots off around the rim and his smooth touch once he does, because that's how I get a lot of my points (I do it with fakes, though).

Who here is/was good enough to play in college or men's leagues? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

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mopey reply to Statman on Jan 3 at 18:00
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Hmm, very interesting point. I never thought of it, but you are right. I really like the players that play like me, or maybe I model my game after them. Igoudala and Nowitzki are probably the top two, with a dash of Ben Wallace.

The only way it doesn't fit is that when Im playing a pickup game Im usually one of the taller players - Im 6'3", so not very tall - and I play a center-ish role. However I like to camp on the perimeter occasionally as a 3 point threat and to keep the other teams big out of the lane. I dont think that's very effective in the NBA. I prefer my centers like Camby or Ben Wallace.

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Dwight reply to mopey on Jan 3 at 20:05
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That's why I get pissed when Thad or Iggy miss wide open jump shots from 10-12 feet. I think to myself, I can make that shot!

I would also suggest not modeling your game after anyone in the NBA. That's not how B-ball should be played. I would model your game on college players, where team-work and movement is much more emphasized.

Maybe model it on college players from fifteen years ago, or college players who aren't good enough to make it in the NBA and wind up staying in college for 4 years. The college players most people focus on these days are just there to stuff stats for one season before they enter the draft. Not much to learn from them.

I blew out my knee in high school (playing football, not basketball), and never got the chance to play much competitively after that. I found my game most resembled Matt Harpring, in the most unflattering of ways.

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jkay reply to Seth on Jan 3 at 17:29
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I'm impressed you could attach yourself to Turner that quickly considering we did not see him play much last season.
Turner question: ET can sky for rebounds like he is Iguodala but gets minimal elevation when he goes to the rim. I kinda chalked it up to him not being able to do a running jump well as opposed to a standing still leap (something I also suffer from). So in line with the Hawes question; do you think that's something that can be worked on?
I'm sort of leaning on that it's innate motor skills so no fixing it.

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Seth reply to jkay on Jan 4 at 0:44
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"Turner question: ET can sky for rebounds like he is Iguodala but gets minimal elevation when he goes to the rim. I kinda chalked it up to him not being able to do a running jump well as opposed to a standing still leap (something I also suffer from). So in line with the Hawes question; do you think that's something that can be worked on?
I'm sort of leaning on that it's innate motor skills so no fixing it."

I don't really think Turner could get much more elevation going to the rim unless he changed the way he drives, and I don't think it's worth making that trade. He has enough moves to get to the basket and get an open shot that I don't think he needs to dunk it.

Turner definitely grew on me in the playoffs last year, because he had some plays where he just schooled guys. I think that is one of the big differences between Turner's style of scoring and Iguodala's or Williams's, for instance. Turner puts the moves on a defender and has the whole gym saying "oooooh" and then shoots a jumper. Iguodala, on the other hand, is dribbling towards the rim and then before you know it he just dunked the basketball.

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Tom Moore on Jan 3 at 17:11
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Lou Williams (37 points) leads Sixers in fourth-quarter scoring this season. A little surprised Thad Young (17) is second. Holiday (16) and Iguodala (15) are the 3-4.

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Sean K reply to Tom Moore on Jan 3 at 17:23
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It makes sense regarding Thad Young; he's remained in the game running with the second team during the fourth quarter of the two blowout victories against Golden State and Phoenix. He recorded 7 points in each of those two fourth quarters to account for 14 of his 17. So that is an inflated stat for what was essentially 'garbage' time against teams more or less waiting for the game to end.
Thad has been really frustrating with his constant bricks of 15-18 footers. He needs to get back to last year's offensive strategy because he truly is dominant and fun to watch finishing around the rim.

This is a very good idea post Statman. Maybe it would've been better if we had it in the summer but later is better than never.

Anyway let me tackle the questions one by one:

- I started rooting for the Sixers in the mid 90s when i was about 8-9 years old. The first reason was very idiotic actually - I liked the name Philadelphia because in Cyrillic in my language it looked/sounded very funny. Later towards the end of the decade they started showing the NBA on TV in my country (Macedonia) and i started following the teams more closely. I am a sucker for underdogs though and the year they made the finals and were a major underdog in it really did it for me. Finally i started following the team much more closely and passionately the year AI got traded (i know weird). I wanted to see Iguodala and Lou Williams (who i was very high on early on for some reason) become stars and i wanted the Sixers to become great again drafting their own stars. Ever since i get more and more pssionate every year.

- I am a team first guy and root for the team primarily but that doesn't mean i don't root for individual players or that i unconditionally like the players on the team. For instance i started rooting for the team more or less during the Iverson years, but i was never a huge Iverson fan (actually i never liked his type game). Also my favorite player in the league is no longer a Sixer (beginning with this year), my favorite player is Ricky Rubio. Incidentally, Love is my second favorite non-Sixer player as well, so yes i will follow the Wolves closely this year.

GRADES:

A: Thad Young, Holiday
B: Turner, Vucevic
C: Iguodala, Hawes, Meeks, Lou Williams, Brand, Brackins, Nocioni
D: Speights

Younger players tend to fall as they grow older (except for Turner). Iguodala and Lou were both Bs when they were younger. I was low on Turner when the team drafted him (i wanted Favors) but somehow he grew onto me with his hard work, after all i love underdogs and under appreciated players.

I like players who are smart and "good guys" off the court so i guess that helps me relate to them better even though i am a strictly TV/Internet/League Pass fan. I like hard workers and hate self-centered stars (like Kobe)

And another thing, i always like to see skills winning over athleticism. Basketball to me is a sport of skills and smart skilled players should always be able to come out on top no matter how athletic the opponent is. This doesn't mean i don't value athleticism, because i understand how it helps the team win.

# Why did you start rooting for the Sixers? Why are you still rooting for them (if you can articulate an actual reason)?

I started rooting for the Bulls when I was 9 and Jordan took the league by storm. However, living a few hours from Philly they were always my 2nd favorite team. Then when the shit hit the fan in Chicago, I completely switched my rooting interested to 100% Sixers. It wasn't hard, with Iverson on the team.

Grades:

A) Brand
B) Dre, Jrue, Turner, Thad, Lou
C) Meeks, Hawes

My all time favorite Sixers were:

AI, Tyrone Hill, George Lynch, Sammy D, Brand, Dr J, Barkley and Mo Cheeks

My most hated were:

Players: Webber, Glen Robinson, Spencer Hawes (10-11 season)

Front Office: Ed Snider, Billy King, Eddie Jordan and Ed Stefanski

It never ceases to amaze me. Turn on the Kings game, first play he's "defending" Gasol, doesn't even put his hands up to contest a six-footer, swish. Second play, Cousins gets the ball in the paint, walks. Next time down he misses two point-blank layups on o-boards.

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Court_visioN reply to Brian on Jan 3 at 20:44
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but Brian the Sixers should trade Andre Iguodala for him!

I started rooting for the Sixers cause I liked Iverson and Mutombo in the 2000-01 season. But even after both players left I continued supporting the team and now it's just a habit.

Yes I would still root for the Sixers. I would still hate LeBron and dislike Bosh somewhat.

a: iguodala, b: holiday, turner, thad, meeks, brand, anyone else is a C. I wouldn't say unconditionally, but Iggy has been playing the same way since he came into the league and as long as he continues the same way, I will root for him.

Currently, no Sixer that I dislike so much he can't "win me over".

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eddies' heady's on Jan 3 at 21:22
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Really good post. (Except for something I will quote in a separate comment and something I struggle to understand)

Now to answer your questions:
Why did you start rooting for the Sixers?

- I started rooting for them at a very very young age (two older siblings helped influence this) back around '78 or '79. There was only one NBA game of the week on TV back then, mostly on Sunday afternoons after church. Mostly, it would be either the 76ers, Celtics, Lakers, Bucks, or Rockets with the occasional appearance mixed in by the Kansas City Kings or New York Knicks.

I was absolutely captivated by Julius Erving and his ability to excite small crowds (back then) with his acrobatics and mid-range jumpshots. But deep down inside, even at that young age, I had an affinity for guards (probably because I never grew tall enough to be anything more than one). As much as Dr. J was a draw-me-in favorite, I had a soft spot for Maurice Cheeks and then an even softer spot for Andrew Toney, particularly because he would never seem to fail to stick a fork in the loved-to-be-hated Boston Celtics! The Boston Strangler!

- Another legitimate, but really silly reason is, they had the absolute coolest nickname. The 76ers! What's cooler than that for a young lad? Numbers, and not ordinary names for a team's nickname? I sure was sold.

- Plus, they were winning at a consistent rate around this time into the early 80's. What impressionable kid doesn't want to root or favor a winner? One of the most painful memories of my Sixers fandom is the 1981 ECF vs the hated Celtics. Up 3-1 and the Sixers lose 3 in a row by only a combined total of FIVE (5!) points! Excruciating. The next year was slightly better but still sad as they made the NBA Finals but lost to the Lakers in 6 games. (And almost gave away another 3-1 lead to the Celts in the ECF but thrashed them in game 7 at the Garden when an unforgettable, and probably not to be repeated moment happened with the Garden crowd shouting in unison for the Sixers, "Beat LA!, Beat LA!". Talk about chills ...) And if I wasn't hooked by then, we all know how 1983 turned out. Champs at last!!

Why are you still rooting for them (if you can articulate an actual reason)?

- One and one only - loyalty. I never change or waver in who I've liked since early childhood in any sport, college or pros. It should be the basic fabric of any sports fan, at least to me.

Do you root for the Sixers independent of who is playing on the team?

- Hands down, without a doubt. How could you not if you are, in fact, a fan of that team? You know, fanatic!

For example, if the Sixers switched rosters with the Heat right now, would you gain enjoyment from their title run?

- Hell yeah! I'd be the biggest LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and Norris Cole fan in the world. There'd be no other way. I don't find it difficult to root for the Yankees, so why would I be mad at my favorite NBA team being a 'superteam'?

What are your "rooting grades" for the current Sixers. If you gave out any A's, would you say that you root for that player unconditionally?

- Every single player is a C. I joke around and clown on some guys but that's just all in fun. It doesn't cause me to become biased and dislike the guy, after all he's still a Seventy-Sixer to me. I will criticize too, which doesn't mean I dislike the player, again he's still a member of my favorite team. I analyze and criticize more from what I would call a coaching standpoint, not from a dislike this guy or like that guy angle. Of course, some guys I like more than others but that just stems from what their games, repertoires, and skillsets consist of and how they mesh and blend in with the current team assembled.

The only difference with my definition of "C" is everything you stated except for I may or may not be indifferent if a particular player is traded. That's the only description I may waver on, depending on the player.

Are there any Sixers that you dislike so much that he can't "win you over" no matter how well he plays?

- Never was, never will be. I just can't bring myself to dislike a player to that degree on my favorite team. I may want to see him exchanged/replaced by a guy who will fit better to help the team reach the ultimate goal of a championship, but it won't cause me to be blinded or oblivious to his successes. If he's succeeding, hopefully the team's succeeding, and that's ultimately what I desire. Finally, another championship banner hoisted.

Good-natured post. Long, good to dig in the memory banks, but really fun.

eddies': good stuff. As we've been over before, I grew up at around the same time as you. Game 7 in '81 was my worst moment in sports (Bobby Jones had the Doctor open on the alley-oop with one second left, down 91-90, but threw the ball to the top of the backboard), Game 7 vs. the Celtics in '82 was at or near the top. I think if Depressed Fan had been around back then, the Game Thread for Game 7 in '81 would have been about 2000 posts long! (Especially since, in those days, a visiting team was never going to get a call in the Boston Garden in a decisive playoff game -- to beat the Celtics, you had to knock them out, like the Sixers did a year later.)

For people who grew up with the Sixers during those "glory years," it's easy to see how they've stayed fans through the years. I'm more impressed with those who came later and stuck with them despite less success ...


I was really young during the title year and the years previous, remember watching on TV with my dad, but we lived in North Jersey so I didn't get to see much. Went to my first game I believe on mischief night in 1984 at the Meadowlands. It was Barkley's rookie season and Dr. J was on the way out, we had complete nosebleed seats, but I was hooked from that day on.

Always been a Sixers fan, really felt betrayed when they traded Barkley, but I never thought about becoming a Suns fan. I rooted for him and for them, especially against Jordan because of all the bandwagon Bulls fans in New Jersey, which was always ridiculous to me.

I definitely make connections w/ players, but none of that trumps the team. Feels sort of like a personal loss for me when a favorite player leaves. Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook being the latest examples. I remember being almost in tears when there was a rumor about Don Mattingly either being traded to the Dodgers or signing with the Dodgers as a free agent.

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eddies' heady's on Jan 3 at 21:43
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"And I'm constantly surprised on the blog when most commenters want the team to succeed and don't really care which players get them there. This isn't to say one way is better than the other; it's just that the concept of rooting for a team independent of its players is difficult for me to grasp."

Just can't understand this. I'm the exact opposite of you in that I have never been down with what seems the new age of rooting for players and not teams. Where I grew up, this was very prevalent during the Jordan years. I actually call it the Jordan syndrome. It didn't seem to start until he came into the league and the bandwagoners came out in droves. Friends and classmates that were once Lakers and Celtics and Knicks and even Sixers fans just suddenly jumped ship and became Bulls fans.

I was completely flabbergasted and astounded! How could such a thing be?

It had yet to really stick in my craw though as I found out when Jordan retired and went to play baseball they abruptly weren't Bulls fans anymore. What?! They were Magic fans (Shaq and Penny), they were Rockets fans (Olajuwon), they were Knicks fans (Ewing) etc. Liking players and not teams? I thought, how silly.

This always puzzled me and I could never ever grasp how they could change "favorite" teams so swiftly like that. The world I operated in you just didn't do that and it cheapened the fan experience, to me.

Loyalty carried so much weight in how I was raised and it bled over to my fandom. It was a basic tenet and woven into my fabric of becoming a sports fan - of teams, not the players that come and go through them.

(Interesting that you feel the exact opposite of me, as I've felt you were old school like me when it came to things like this. Differences are a beautiful thing, I guess.)

It had yet to really stick in my craw though as I found out when Jordan retired and went to play baseball they abruptly weren't Bulls fans anymore. What?! They were Magic fans (Shaq and Penny), they were Rockets fans (Olajuwon), they were Knicks fans (Ewing) etc. Liking players and not teams? I thought, how silly.


Somehow I don't really count those guys as fans. They're the kind that tune in for the NBA Finals or All Star game to bump up the TV ratings. For example, you'd probably never find that kind of a fan on a blog like this or call in to talk radio.

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eddies' heady's reply to jkay on Jan 3 at 22:33
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I sort of jumped the gun - it actually burned me up when some of those same bandwagoners mysteriously became Sixers fans, um Iverson fans, during the captivating 2001 Finals run. They were short lived though, if they ever were.

But I really became disgruntled in the years following that because everytime I would encounter an individual that wasn't familiar with my fandom and they ask me who I rooted for, I would say "I'm a Sixers fan". Nearly every single one would then proceed to say the exact same thing, "Oh, you like Iverson?". My reply would be, "NO!, I like the Sixers as a diehard", "the team", "I like Kevin Ollie, Josh Davis, Eric Snow, Aaron McKie, and Amal McCaskill, the whole team!"

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Tray reply to jkay on Jan 3 at 23:00
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No, I like a lot of players, have no particular team loyalties, but am by no means merely a casual NBA fan. I think a lot of young fans of the NBA are like this.

Well, keep in mind that I was speaking specifically about former Sixers and rooting for them on their new teams -- and, by extension, rooting for those teams because of them. None of those surrogate teams actually replaced the Sixers as my favorite team, and it's never actually happened that the Sixers did well enough after a major trade to face a former Sixer in a game that really mattered. So, I rooted for the Suns in '93 (because of Barkley) and the Sonics in '96 (because of Hawkins); the Sixers were awful in those years, so it was useful to have a second team to root for.

Back in the old days, of course, player movement was not as common, so you had a whole group of players who played most or all of their NBA careers as Sixers (Erving, Collins, Cheeks, Toney, Darryl Dawkins, Caldwell Jones, Bobby Jones, Mix), and any trade was a pretty big deal (e.g., Dawkins and Caldwell Jones in '82, Cheeks in '89).

I think I am "old school" like you in one aspect, that I root for the Sixers to win and am happy if they do, no matter who helps them do it. I'll give my share of criticism, but I think I'm pretty fair about complimenting different Sixers for good play that leads to wins ...

can someone remind me again how Norris Cole is better/different than Mario Chalmers?

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eddies' heady's reply to jkay on Jan 3 at 21:51
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new kid on the block? fresh draft pick?

Chalmers is better. Cole is shooting like Hawes on long twos right now, which is completely unsustainable. If that 65% suddenly even becomes 45%, he's pretty blah. He has taken better care of the ball than Chalmers, though.

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Tom Moore on Jan 3 at 22:07
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Better link for video of Lou Williams and Collins on Williams leading the Sixers in scoring off the bench:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/sports/sixers/sixers-williams-collins/youtube_f9b16829-29f8-59ae-b14f-273bc20c5c7f.html

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Johnnylaptop on Jan 3 at 22:14
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2004-05 season was the beginning for me and my son becoming hardcore fans. He had just turned 12, so I got some tickets for a game. Iverson, Salmons, Iggy, Korver. Sammy D. Lou, some of my favorites. Iverson was the man, taking and making those last shots of the game, and making them. Iggy is the only A for me, anyone who plays defense like he does is a friend of mind. Thad, Turner, Spence, Jrue, Lou, Brand, all get a B. The Voose gets a C,and the rest get a D.

Check out Favors' line tonight. 10 minutes, 5 boards, 5 blocks. They need to get rid of Al Jefferson yesterday so they can get Favors starter's minutes.

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Dwight reply to Brian on Jan 3 at 22:44
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Enes Kanter is another guy who played against us and looked good. He dominated Spencer late in the game. The Jazz front court has a very bright future.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jan 3 at 22:52
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Had the young point guard.... Be nice to get a young big to pair with him. But nooooooo, like someone on this blog told me shortly after that draft day, he said his friend turned to him and said at a draft party, "another wing??!!"

But hey, we've got us a top 5 rebounder though. Hawesome! Optimism, Doug, optimism.

Portland just beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Our loss against them doesn't look too bad.

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eddies' heady's reply to Dwight on Jan 3 at 22:45
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Eh, it still looks bad to me considering how chaotic they played and unusually careless they were with the ball. Just gave away so many possessions. Had as many turnovers as assists. Still didn't hurt as bad as the Utah game though.

The Jazz have yet to lose a home game, as they are beating Milwaukee tonight.

As for the Blazers, we probably should have lost by a lot more considering how poorly we played. We were fortunate to hit such a barrage of 3's at the end.

Brandon Jennings line tonight, 4-19(0-7 from 3)

I went to Illinois State when Doug Collins did, and moved to the area right when he joined the Sixers. Since I didn't have a favorite team at that point, it was a natural for me to become a Sixers fan and I've been loyal ever since. They've been an incredibly rewarding team to follow - with a few years as an exception.

For me, there are 2 A's on this team. Holiday and Turner
I give Iguodala, Thad, and Brand B+'s
I'd give Hawes a solid B
Meeks, Vucevic are solid C ... with Lou Williams a C-

My all time favorite SIxers were Andrew Toney, Bobby Jones, Barkley and Mo Cheeks as players - Billy Cunningham and Doug Collins as coaches..

My least favorite SIxers player was Willie Green and Eddie Jordan my least favorite coach.

Doug Collins was both my favorite a

Interesting post Statman. I grew up in the Philly area and thus became a Sixer fan. Here's my player favoritism:

A: Hawes, Brand, Turner, Vucevic
B: Holiday
C: Iggy, Thad, Speights
D: LouWill
F: Meeks

I give Meeks an F because D's description doesn't fit for me. I don't even "grudgingly accept" when he succeeds, nor do I become angry when he fails. I actually relish it when he fails, and get annoyed when he succeeds. Yes, I'm a hater. But it's because I firmly believe it's best for the team that Meeks fail. Any 3-pointer that Meeks hits is short-term gain for long-term pain. Every 3-pointer he makes just prolongs Collins' misguided placement of Meeks in the starting lineup, when I honestly feel he belongs in the D-league. The harder Meeks fails right now, the quicker he will be removed from the starting lineup, and the earlier we will finally end this terrible experiment that almost always results in the Sixers starting the game in a hole that we spend most of the rest of the game climbing out of.

Well, last season including the playoffs, they were down when the starting lineup (w/ Meeks) came out of the game 24 times. They had the lead after their first rotation 35 times, and their cumulative +/- in their first quarter runs was +85. (This is only counting the staring lineup w/ Iguodala in it).

This year, they've been worse. Up twice, down twice, but the cumulative +/- is -16.

That unit to start the third quarter this season has been positive in 3 of the four games, and cumulative +/- is +35.

Last year, to start the third quarter they were a combined +59.

I think this whole dragging the team down thing is mostly in your head.

Fair enough. I remembered a bunch of games in I believe February where the Sixers stunk the start the game and the bench (Lou, Turner, Thad) came in and grabbed back the lead, but I guess it wasn't a majority over the course of the season. Regardless I still think they will be much improved when Meeks is removed from the lineup. Time will tell I guess.

I think it is interesting how our views of players evolve over time. So here is my progression.

Jrue AAA-
Iguodala AAA-B+BB+
Brand AB-CB-
Thad AAB+
Speights AACC
Lou B-B+B-B+
ET A-B
Hawes C-C+
Voose B

IVERSON AABB-
Barkley AABC+
Miller CB+B-
So for most players I start high and they fade. But some begrudgingly earn my respect.

You downgraded Jrue after four games? He started just as bad last year, worse actually because the scoring wasn't there.

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Tk76 reply to Brian on Jan 4 at 1:50
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More that the honeymoon is ending and he is becoming a real player that they rely on every night. The first couple of years was all about enjoying the breakout games and focusing on potential.

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Tk76 reply to Brian on Jan 4 at 2:21
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More that the honeymoon is ending and he is becoming a real player that they rely on every night. The first couple of years was all about enjoying the breakout games and focusing on potential.

I think everyone is a C for me except for Jrue, who I'd give a B. I loved watching Thad his rookie year, but now he's just another athletic young player. Maybe I'd give Brackins a B-, his minutes are always amusing.

Tonight, Lowry had another stellar line, 22-10-9, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 19 shots. Bynum had 21 and 22 with 3 blocks. A suggestion to LA - keep Bynum, see if you can get a point guard with that trade exception, or Artest. They can easily still win a championship this year. Some other notable lines - Favors had 6 and 7, 5 blocks and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. Cousins had 4 and 8 (6 offensive) on 5 shots, 2 steals and one block in 22 minutes, in his first game back from his suspension for maybe having asked to be traded. He leads the league in offensive rebound rate. In Cleveland, Irving had 20 and 6 assists on 10 shots; Tristan Thompson, 16, 9 and 2 blocks. Bismack, 8 and 5, 2 blocks and 4 fouls in 21 minutes.

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Dwight on Jan 4 at 1:05
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The Sixers need a shot blocker. I hope they get John Henson of UNC in the 2012 draft.

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Turtle Bay reply to Dwight on Jan 4 at 1:33
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Me too. Unlikely though.

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Dwight reply to Dwight on Jan 4 at 1:54
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Another guy I really like is Festus Ezeli out of Vandy.

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eddies' heady's reply to Dwight on Jan 4 at 11:00
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I kind of like Henson but worry about his really small frame. I think Fab Melo will be a good shot blocker and like him but not sure where he's projected. Though if I had my choice of bigs that may be available mid to late round, Cody Zeller has the best footwork and all around game of any I've seen. The kid is already a beast and has really active hands on defense. Unbelieveable he's that young but yet so polished already. Doubt he'll come out but he sure could energize EB's spot.

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Dwight on Jan 4 at 2:54
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Wow. I was just looking over the 2008 NBA draft (the one where we got Marreese Speights at 17). Here is the list of big men we drafted him over:

Roy Hibbert
Javale McGee
J.J. Hickson
Serge Ibaka
DeAndre Jordan
Omer Asik
Semih Erden


Damn, imagine if we had someone like Ibaka, McGee, or Jordan swatting shots on defense.

Yes that was an error, but most of our picks have been pretty good. Can't hit 'em all. I'm sure some of those teams are saying "look at guys like Jrue Holiday and Ty Lawson picked after our garbage selection"

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tk76 reply to Dwight on Jan 4 at 10:04
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That just goes to show how bad I am about the draft. Of those players I really waned Speights. Although I was also interested in Jordan and Ibaka for their potential.

I believe the only thing I wanted in that draft was for the Sixers to avoid picking Anthony Randolph. Was never excited about Speights. Obviously, I wanted them to trade up, but that never happens.

Who would've thought the Sixers will lead the league in offensive efficiency 10 days into the season. Under the law of averages i guess we should expect an ugly game tonight vs the Hornets.

A rare post on the human aspects of the game. Nice piece, Statman!

I'm from Taiwan. So it's definitely not about geographic proximity.

Allen Iverson was the reason that got me interested in the 76ers. For me, he'll always represent what this teams means to me--that fighting spirit of an underdog. (regardless of his ego issues and what he did after leaving town)

Rooting for the Sixers sort of became a habit after AI. I remember hating on Billy King so much during those down years, yet couldn't help but cheer for the new recruits for every little step they make. Even Willie Green seemed promising prior to his injury. That fact that he got a big extension right before the injury only added to the tragicness of the whole situation.

Why did you start rooting for the Sixers? Why are you still rooting for them (if you can articulate an actual reason)?

1. I guess I'm so used to the team not having a superstar, that it feels weird to have 3 all the sudden. I'll definitely lose a lot of interest in the Sixers, but eventually I'll get over it. Having said that, I'd much prefer the current group of young guys to succeed.

2. Iguodala--A
unconditional support no matter where he is.

Young, Turner--B
their strengths gloss over the weaknesses for me.

Brand--B-
I like him, but he regressing too fast.

L-Will--C+
he's gradually earned my respect.

the Rest of the Team--C
that includes Hawes.

3. Nope. They all have a shot of winning me over, although it's much easier for some than for others.

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HW reply to HW on Jan 4 at 5:59
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"Why did you start rooting for the Sixers? Why are you still rooting for them (if you can articulate an actual reason)?"

*forgot to delete this part*

A+ = Lou Williams
A- = Iggy
B+ =
B- =
C+ = Brand, Hawes (stock is quickly rising, though), Meeks, Thad (used to be an "A" before EJ jacked with his shot), Speights
C- = Turner (See potential so hopefully this will change, but very poor play so far)
D =
F = Jrue Holiday

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J reply to J on Jan 4 at 8:20
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...Forgot to mention

A+ = Dougie Collins


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