Sixers' frustrations, thin-skinned players, and a hate-the-face are the focus of the latest Rob's Rants. Enjoy.
Full disclosure, I've done my fair share of blocking on Twitter. Inappropriate language, appropriating something false, trolling, overall jackassery is grounds in my eyes for a block. What I don't block for is a disagreement on a sports take of mine. That's what I do for a living, and it would be quite boring if we all agreed on everything. Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby, as you can see below, took to Twitter to announce he's going to block fans and media members alike who criticize him.
Darby has since deleted two of those three tweets.
And while I'm sure many that crossed the line were worthy of getting "Mutombo-ed," I'm not really sure announcing it is the best course of action, especially after getting toasted for most of the Giants game. The appearance he is concerned or devoting his time to anything other than getting better on the field is not a great look. All the troll or "halfway fan" wants is a rise from him and he gave it to them. Athletes are human, and negative comments hurt us all, but Darby needs to avoid going public with this kind of nonsense.
What the Fultz is going on here?
The Sixers have lost seven of eight. That includes home defeats at the hands of the Suns and Kings — two of the NBA's worst teams. They are a turnover waiting to happen. Did I mention they're not getting nearly enough from their high-priced free agents?
Also, despite being very willing, they have not been able to consistently knock down a three-point shot. Ben Simmons is allergic to any shot beyond the paint. And not to bury the lede, Joel Embiid could miss up to four total games now after his 49-minute, triple-overtime, Herculean effort in a gut-wrenching loss Friday to the Thunder. So things are not so rosy in Sixer-land right now. Help is needed.
Which leads us to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Remember him? Markelle Fultz. The same guy who hasn't played since the fourth game of the season. The same dude who the hyper-cautious Sixers thought was healthy enough to play through his shoulder issue? The same cat who shot the ball better than 41 percent from three in his lone year in college while also being able to finish at the basket and has a great handle. The guy the Sixers traded the third overall pick and either the Lakers 2018 or Kings 2019 first-round pick for. In other words, they gave up a lot.
Fultz apparently injured the shoulder at some point prior to the regular season. Then to compensate, he developed an ugly shooting form which led to bad results. The organization said nothing was wrong structurally, he can play through it. Fultz's camp thought otherwise and eventually, he was shut down. That was Oct. 23. We sit here nearing Christmas and the New Year and all we've gotten are these vague updates about how the soreness has subsided but no real idea when he'll get back on the floor. Even by Sixers standards, this one has been bizarre and frustrating. But the bottom line is, this team desperately needs what Fultz brings to the table. He can create his own shot, he can knock down a three, and most importantly, he can provide another scoring option when Embiid is not on the floor. It's time he starts playing and delivering for a team that needs a life preserver right now.
Hate the face
Is there anyone in sports that combines arrogance, smugness, entitlement, and a face that makes you want to go through the TV more than Lane Kiffin? Few come to mind that encompasses all of those wonderful traits but the Laner has them all in spades. To his credit, he turned around the Florida Atlantic program in his first year there, winning Conference USA and a bowl game. And he's had success as an offensive coordinator, but listening to him for an extended period of time and knowing some of the stuff he's pulled in his various coaching stops, it's no wonder he's not just burned bridges but also taken a flame-torch to them. FAU's next.
On that note, happy holidays to one and all.