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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.

A look at Sixers' championship odds after round 1 win over Heat

A look at Sixers' championship odds after round 1 win over Heat

The Philadelphia 76ers and their fans absolutely relished the round 1 series victory over the Miami Heat. But enjoy it for a day or so and then it's time to look ahead.

The Sixers' round 2 opponent has yet to be determined. If the Celtics defeat the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night, the Sixers would play in Boston on Saturday night at 8:00 pm to kick off the second round. If the Bucks keep the series alive tomorrow, the Sixers' first game of round 2 is TBD.

As JJ Redick said last night, this team has kept achieving its goals and setting new ones. 

"This group won 10 games two years ago, 28 games last year, we were 25-25 with 5 games to go before the All-Star break, so this is new to us as a group," Redick said. "The interesting thing that has happened is we've changed our goals now like four times. It was make the playoffs, it was win 50 games, it was home-court [advantage], then it was third seed. We don't feel any sense of complacency. This group is still hungry. We want more."

So how about an NBA title... this season? Of remarkable note: the Sixers opened up the season at +15000 to win the NBA championship and are now +850. That's wild.

Oddsmakers have the Sixers as the third-favorite, as of this morning, to win the 2018 NBA championship behind the Golden State Warriors (+105) and Houston Rockets (+160), according to both Bovada. Cleveland (+1000) and Toronto (+1100) aren't super far behind.

As for the Sixers' odds to win the East? How about a slight favorite, according to VegasInsider. Philly (8/5) is just a tiny bit ahead of Toronto (17/10) with Cleveland (3/1) being the only other team with a shot better than 20/1.

"We've got more to do," Brett Brown said last night.

An Eagles draft with less despair than usual

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AP

An Eagles draft with less despair than usual

The NFL Draft is an important time for every team, every year. There’s also no denying it’s less consequential for the Eagles in 2018 than any other point in franchise history – or at least feels that way.

That’s obviously not an attitude the front office was taking while preparing for this draft, nor is it the approach decision makers will use when they’re on the clock. There’s always room for improvement, and the Eagles perpetually have one eye on the future.

But outside the secret underground bunkers deep beneath the NovaCare Complex where the Eagles’ draft boards are set, not everybody views this year’s class with the same sense of urgency.

How can you? The Eagles currently own just one pick in the first three rounds, which means they will largely be bystanders during the first and second rounds of the draft. And the one selection they are schedule to make is the 32nd and final pick in the first round, greatly reducing the odds it will be an impact player.

Trades are inevitable as the Eagles try to add more choices – that perhaps more than the names of the players chosen might be the main source of intrigue. Still, there’s only so much the club can hope to accomplish with such limited firepower to start with.

There aren’t many areas a rookie would be expected to come in and produce immediately on this squad, anyway. I’m not sure if you heard, but the Eagles just won the Super Bowl and are set to return starters or regular contributors at every position.

Even from the simple standpoint the Eagles are finally world champions, the pressure is off compared to previous years.

None of which is intended to imply the draft isn’t of immense value to the Eagles since they lack picks, or holes, or because the fanbase is temporarily placated. Clearly, it would be a huge help if the front office hits on No. 32, or any of their five picks between rounds four through seven.

The Eagles can’t possibly depend on that happening, either. The prospects are already a lot more hit or miss by the end of the first round, after you’ve waited four hours. By the fourth, only the true draftniks or serious college football fans will recognize many of the names.

And that’s okay. In fact, it’s better than okay. For the first time since NFL draft coverage became a thing, there’s no need to obsess or despair over what the Eagles are going to do.

Partly because the Eagles can’t do much – partly because they’ve already done what they needed to do.