76ers

NBA Notes: Cavaliers' Isaiah Thomas to miss start of season, maybe much longer

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AP Images

NBA Notes: Cavaliers' Isaiah Thomas to miss start of season, maybe much longer

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Isaiah Thomas beamed as he held up his new No. 3 Cavs jersey for the first time.

There's no telling when he'll wear it in a game.

Stunned by Boston's decision to trade him to Cleveland as part of a package for Kyrie Irving, Thomas chose not to share much information Thursday about a hip injury that ended his inspirational playoff run last season and will sideline him for the start of this season -- and probably a lot longer.

At his introductory news conference, Thomas quickly deferred specific questions about his hip to new Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman, who said the team has a rehab plan in place for the All-Star point guard.

"We're not going to rush it at all," said Altman, who quickly grew tired of questions about Thomas' health. "The goal is to bring him back at some point this year and be healthy and compete and get back to IT status. That's our goal and our responsibility to him. We're not going to comment on the injury and we're not going to comment on a timetable" (see full story).

NBA: Group seeking Seattle team says it would build 2 arenas
SEATTLE -- An investment group that wants to build a sports arena for professional basketball and possibly hockey has offered to also rebuild KeyArena, the former home of Seattle's departed NBA franchise.

The move Thursday by the group led by investor Chris Hansen is the latest in the long-running debate over building a new arena. Hansen wants to privately build a facility in an area that's home to venues for the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners.

The City Council has so far refused to grant him use of a city street necessary for construction of the project.

Hansen's group says it would rebuild KeyArena after building the other facility, preserving it as a concert venue.

The council will review a proposal next week by another group for a privately financed renovation of city-owned KeyArena. Plans for the remodel would bring the building up to standards that could attract an NHL or NBA franchise once completed.

NBA: No contest plea entered in pie attack on Johnson
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A man accused of hitting Kevin Johnson in the face with a coconut cream pie when he was mayor of Sacramento, California, has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disturbing the peace.

The Sacramento Bee reports that activist Sean Thompson was sentenced Thursday to two days' time already served in jail after prosecutors agreed to the lesser charge.

Thompson had been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.

The pie attack occurred at a charity event a year ago. Johnson, a former NBA star, responded by punching Thompson.

Prosecutors initially charged Thompson with felony assault, but a judge declared a mistrial after jurors could not reach a verdict.

Johnson is no longer mayor.

Former Sixers guard named HOF finalist

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USA Today Images

Former Sixers guard named HOF finalist

Former Sixers player and head coach Maurice Cheeks on Saturday was named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Other candidates include Grant Hill, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and former Sixer Chris Webber.

Cheeks, a four-time All-Star point guard and member of the 1982-83 championship team, spent 10 seasons with the Sixers before stints with the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and New Jersey Nets. He averaged 12.2 points, 7.3 assists and 2.3 steals a night in 853 career games. Cheeks ranks in the top-five in NBA history in both assists (7,392) and steals (2,310). He was also voted to the NBA All-Defensive team five times.

Currently an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cheeks was the Sixers' head coach from 2005-2008, but was fired after a slow start to the 2008-09 season. He was also the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons. He has a 305-315 career record and has made the postseason three times in nine seasons.

Sixers show they're ready to take over the world

Sixers show they're ready to take over the world

LOS ANGELES — The Sixers made their mark among the NBA’s top young talent on a global scale.

Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Ben Simmons (Australia) and Dario Saric (Croatia) all started for Team World Friday in the Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game. They helped kick off All-Star weekend with a 155-124 victory over Team USA. 

Simmons recorded a double-double, which is becoming clockwork for the point guard (22 in the regular season, six triple-doubles). He posted 11 points off a perfect 5 for 5 from the field and 1 for 1 from the line. Simmons added 13 assists, six boards and four steals. 

This game was, in a way, a double statement for Simmons. It was an an opportunity to make a case for Rookie of the Year, with fellow contender Donovan Mitchell competing on Team USA. Mitchell notched seven points (3 for 10 from the field, 1 for 6 from three), seven assists, two rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

The Rising Stars contest also was a chance for Simmons to start an early bid for the 2019 All-Star team. He was popular among the fan votes but was not selected as one of four replacements required because of injuries. 

Simmons projects he will be playing in the All-Star Game “hopefully next year.” When it came down to why he was not on this season’s list, Simmons replied, “I think just votes.” 

Saric continued his offensive momentum with 18 points, including 4 for 7 shooting from three. He has scored in double digits in his last 35 games leading into the All-Star break. Saric also grabbed three rebounds and dished five assists. 

“I’ve always got the wish or dream in my life one day to be part of something big like this, even if it’s the Rising Stars game,” Saric said of participating in All-Star weekend. “I think it makes my family proud, my friends from my hometown, or all the people who were around me during my [growth as] a basketball player.”

Embiid logged the least playing time of the Sixers’ trio as he prepares to compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge Saturday and start in the All-Star Game Sunday. He missed the Sixers’ last game on Wednesday because of right ankle soreness. Embiid scored five points and two rebounds in less than nine minutes. 

“On Sunday, I expect to go harder,” Embiid said (see story). “I’m going for that MVP. Guys better make sure they find me because I’m looking to have a good game.”

Not listed on the box score: Embiid and Simmons going 2 for 2 as roving reporters. Check out their journalistic skills when they got the mic Friday to interview each other (see video).