Which Sixer would make the best villain in a 'Creed' sequel: Embiid or T.J.?

Which Sixer would make the best villain in a 'Creed' sequel: Embiid or T.J.?

The Philadelphia 76ers organized a team building and conditioning workout at the famed Front Street Boxing Gym last week.

You fans of the Rocky franchise and the most recent installment, Creed, may remember the location from its appearance in the 2015 film starring Sly Stallone and Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.

With the Sixers sharing a number of photos and videos from the workout, it got me wondering: which 76ers player would make the best villain in a sequel?

To me, there are two serious contenders for the title.

Joel Embiid and T.J. McConnell for a variety of reasons. 

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Height: 7-foot-7 (in the film, maybe not exactly the same in real life but VERY close)

Weight: 255 lbs

Reach: 7'5''

Muscles: A lot


Embiid is built like Ivan Drago and clearly has the physique to be a punishing fighter. The man is flat-out intimidating. Plus he's from Cameroon and has that sweet accent, so you could use that in some sort of storyline where he's fighting for his continent's pride or something.

"We all from Africa," he frequently says throughout the film. And given the tense political climate in the film with much of the world despising America's leadership, JoJo represents the rare talent and personality that can bring the world together again. We could all afford to do some "changing."

Embiid is the clear favorite as a movie villain who appears sans a shirt and pummels another guy. I'd also shell out $10 to see Embiid in a dance scene at Johnny Brenda's any day of the week. But...

Never count out the scrappy underdog. That's what the theme of Rocky is all about anyway, right?

*starts humming 'Eye of the Tiger'* -- Full gallery on

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Height: 6'2''

Weight: 200 lbs

Reach: 6'2''

Muscles: Not as much


Enter T.J. McConnell. Nobody ever gave him a chance but here he is, making it in the League/film by being the most blue-collar fighter we've seen since Rocky Balboa himself. Maybe you could come up with some storyline where McConnell is the son Paulie Pennino never knew he had but he somehow convinces Rocky to train him. Then you have the unlikely storyline of Apollo's son vs. Pennino's son fighting for Rocky's love and affection? Plus, he's got incredibly small hands which makes catching chickens very difficult. And maybe he has a secret weapon in a Croatian best friend who you don't see for the first half of the movie because he's overseas and can't get the right visa or something and people start to question whether TJ's Croatian friend even exists. But, much to the chagrin of sports talk radio in Philly, this guy ends up coming over and brings some secret magical fighting technique and some bad facial hair trimmers that really help him against the steely Creed.

I don't know. There's a reason I'm a blogger and not a movie writer.

Check out this sweet clip the Sixers shared from the session though:

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

Dodgers fan wearing Chase Utley jersey catches Justin Turner home run ball for 2nd year in a row

Dodgers fans had a reason to be ecstatic on Sunday night after Justin Turner hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Cubs, 4-1, and give Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the NLCS.

But not as ecstatic as one fan in particular.

Keith Hupp, a retired police officer and lifelong Dodgers fan, was waiting under the home run ball in the center-field stands and snagged it with his son's glove. He was also wearing a Dodgers Chase Utley jersey.

He even made the catch with his non-preferred hand.

“I’m a lefty,” Hupp said to J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register. “I’ve dislocated my right shoulder so many times, I had to resort to my son’s glove on my left hand. So the last five or six home run balls I’ve caught, I’ve caught with my left hand.”

And the craziest part about this story is that it wasn't the first time it had happened. Hupp caught Turner's sixth-inning solo homer in Game 3 of last year's NLCS against the Cubs in almost the same place, the center-field stands at Dodger Stadium.

Although he has 24 home run balls in his collection, Hupp won't be keeping last night's game-winner. After making the catch, he gave the ball to a security guard, and was escorted underneath the stadium to meet Turner and make a trade with him. 

In a postgame interview with, Turner said Hupp couldn't decide what he wanted for the ball right away. They exchanged information and agreed that Hupp will get back to Turner in a few days when he decides what he wants.

Twitter had some good responses to Hupp's memorable home run catch:

Hassan Whiteside responds, doesn't back down from Joel Embiid rivalry

Hassan Whiteside responds, doesn't back down from Joel Embiid rivalry

Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside battled on the court on Friday night and then on social media following the Sixers' victory over the Miami Heat to finish off the preseason.

Embiid seemingly got the better of Whiteside, sending Philadelphia fans into a frenzy when he told Whiteside his "+/- was ass."

It appears as if Whiteside is taking it all in stride and actually has a pretty good level of respect for Embiid. The Miami big man was asked about the trash talk after practice over the weekend.

"It's funny to me," Whiteside said according to the Sun Sentinel. "I'm going to talk trash back if somebody talks trash to me. Maybe when I was younger, I would have been a little more angrier, I would have been a little madder.

"But, you know, that's the kind of guy he is. He makes jokes. He's a good player, so it's all fun to me. I can go all day with it."

Embiid has shown glimpses that he has the potential to be one of the greats of the NBA game on the court, while he's already one of the best at entertaining off of it. Whiteside will clearly have his hands full but he knows a little trash talk on social gets fans excited.

"Yeah, man, you know fans love it, man. Fans get into it. I love it, too," he said. "Because I know the next time we play him, he's going to give it his all, he's going to go as hard as he can. And as a competitor, that's what you want. You want your opponent to play at his maximum speed."

Playing at maximum speed is something Sixers fans hope and pray they get to see out of Embiid this season on a more regular basis. The trash talking is bonus fun.

"It's not him talking about somebody's family," Whiteside said. "It's not nothing crazy. It's just basketball. He called me softee. Come on, man. He knows that's not true. I'll be on his team's scouting report."

The Heat and the Sixers meet again on Feb. 2. Let's just hope both Embiid and Whiteside are out on the court to go another few rounds off of it afterward.