The700Level

The Big3 has big problems aside from Allen Iverson's trash excuse

The Big3 has big problems aside from Allen Iverson's trash excuse

Attending the Big3 League games in Philadelphia on Sunday was pretty fun.

But there was plenty about the event that felt lacking. Fans clearly weren’t watching an NBA product but they also weren’t watching something as flashy and fun as the And1 Mixtape Tour.

And that was kind of the problem. What is the Big3 League trying to be?

Rashad McCants was balling. Al Harrington was a beast on the block. Rashard Lewis had some swagger. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s quickness and super-smooth release were fun to watch.

But the somewhat inconsequential three-on-three games seemed to be lacking something in format. What were these teams playing for? Nobody seemed to know. Or care.

One of the more enjoyable moments for me as a fan came when NBA legend Gary Payton was up and animated from his coaching perch on the sidelines. He was clearly jawing with Stephen Jackson who quickly proceeded to hit a four-point shot directly in front of Payton and did some fantastic posing. It was a fun moment. But fans needed way more of it.

The basketball, for the most part, was pretty fun. But the Big3 League needed more entertainment.

Why aren’t the coaches mic’d up? Why don’t they add a little more fake beef to all of the matchups. I wanted to see Charles Oakley and The Glove get into a little shoving match, even if it was totally scripted BS a la the WWE.

I could barely hear what Julius Erving and Allen Iverson said to the crowd when they took the mic but it was clearly working to excite people.

I was half joking at the time, but a female fan from the crowd coming on court to hit a four-point shot for a $200 prize was one of the more exciting plays of the evening.

And all of this is said without even getting to the Iverson debacle.

I’m not as much disappointed that Iverson didn’t play. I was more insulted. This is glorified pickup ball and Iverson can’t go out there and dribble around, do a crossover once or twice, and hurl up a four-pointer or two?

The fact A.I. used a half-assed excuse without providing any detail is the real kicker. Did anyone really buy the excuse that a doctor told Iverson not to play??? I certainly didn't.

The fans may not get to see A.I. play, which is fine, but they at least deserve a legit reason after shelling out good money for a ticket for the primary reason of seeing Iverson play one more time.

There were plenty of fun “remember this guy” moments at the Big3. But fans didn’t pay good money to remember that Lou Amundson played for the Sixers and that Reggie Evans was a heck of a rebounder. They certainly won’t pay good money for the Big3 again unless something changes. Just don’t expect that to be A.I.

The Roots rocked, peak Pederson, and marvelous Merrill

The Roots rocked, peak Pederson, and marvelous Merrill

The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl.

Again, that's really fun to type. And there was so much fun to be had on Sunday when the Birds beat up on the Vikings to win the NFC Championship.

In the spirit of truly having a blast watching yesterday's game and partying on Broad Street after, here's some of the killer content the Eagles shared on their social media. Their social team was as red hot as Nick Foles. Tough to beat good access. This stuff is just fun to relive.

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Doug Pederson's postgame speech. The look on his face after he says it! Goosebumps.

The Roots! Many fans at home were bummed that the FOX telecast did not show The Roots halftime performance. Thankfully, you can watch it in full below. It ends with a fantastic rendition of the Eagles' fight song.

The Merrill Reese Cam. Needs no description.

Nick Foles just one more thing Chip Kelly got wrong

Nick Foles just one more thing Chip Kelly got wrong

Imagine having ever doubted Nick Foles. Well, OK, that puts you in a group with roughly 99 percent of the general public. But imagine having ever traded Foles away, thinking he wasn’t good enough to get the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

There are a select few talent evaluators on the face of this earth who have gone so far as to actually get rid of Foles, and just one man who swapped him for another quarterback. Take a bow, Chip Kelly. Your brief tenure as coach of the Eagles and even briefer stint as personnel czar only continue to look worse with time.

It’s not news Kelly was a failure as an NFL head coach or that his one year as the Eagles’ general manager was disastrous. Fans had to relive one mistake after another as vice president of football operations Howie Roseman spent the last two years undoing the damage, move by move.

Yet, little else was thought of Kelly’s call to send Foles packing, until now. To the contrary, it was one of the few decisions where the disgraced coach appeared justified. It took Foles less than one season to flame out with the Rams and wind up a journeyman backup. Anybody who thought it might be a bad idea at the time had no room to talk.

Now that Foles has done his part to guide the Eagles to a conference championship, it’s time to revisit that decision. And at the time Kelly traded Foles, he had a 14-4 record in his previous 18 starts. He had set an NFL record with a 27-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2013 (since broken by Tom Brady). He walked off the field with the lead in a wild-card playoff game.

Maybe Foles was a victim of playing behind a patchwork offensive line in 2014 when he turned the ball over 13 times in eight games and suffered a season-ending injury. Maybe he seemed like a flash in the pan with the Rams because there was no talent around him in an offense that finished no better than 21st in the league from 2007 to 2016.

Maybe Foles has been pretty good all along, and Kelly and all the doubters were simply wrong. Actually, that’s a fact.

Not only did Kelly send Foles packing, he dealt him for Sam Bradford, who, ironically, was sitting on the opposite sideline in the NFC Championship Game. Bradford may, in fact, be more talented but was coming off consecutive ACL tears and hadn’t played competitive football in nearly two years. Bradford, who was on the Vikings’ sideline because he got hurt again.

It wasn’t even Foles for Bradford straight-up. Kelly agreed to send second- and fourth-round draft picks in the deal, too, getting only a fifth in return. Like almost all of his moves, this has not aged well.

Kelly traded a potential franchise quarterback, a guy who had won him a lot of games, who looked like he could win in the postseason. A perfectly safe, reliable option, if not exactly oozing greatness — all for a glorified lottery ticket.

Bradford was fine. If he could stay healthy, he would probably prove, like Foles, he never had a shot while playing for those awful Rams teams.

But was Bradford worth the gamble? Opinions were mixed at the time, but that’s because, like Kelly, there were a lot of folks who were ready to give up on Foles. Three years later, it was just one more needless, horrendous decision.

Fortunately, the universe has a way of correcting itself sometimes. Or maybe that’s just Roseman hard at work, the other enormous mistake in Kelly’s NFL tenure that went largely glossed over. Whatever. The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl, with Foles at the helm, and Kelly is back to coaching college football — which is the way it always should’ve been.