76ers

Sixers PA announcer Matt Cord on the origin of his pronunciations and his biggest fans

Sixers PA announcer Matt Cord on the origin of his pronunciations and his biggest fans

If you’re a Philly fan in a Sixers jersey walking down South Street, you may have been subject to an impromptu version of the Sixers' starting lineup intros.

“I’ll do the BEEEEENNNNN Simmons and they’ll look at me, like that guy's weird,” public address announcer Matt Cord joked.

Now in his 22nd season, Cord is always working on his craft, even if that means soliciting the reaction of fans strolling to their neighborhood bar. 

How he enunciates and emphasizes players' names is constantly evolving, as are the physical movements he delivers them with, sometimes resulting in an inadvertent whack to those that dare cross behind his perch.  

For Cord, the starting lineup introductions are his performance, and the mic is his stage.

It wasn’t until about a handful of years ago that Cord started incorporating physical gestures into his routine. Out of necessity due to a neck accident, a stationary mic was switched out for one that Cord could move around with more freely, giving new life to his performance.

Recently, Stephen Curry approved.

“I totally knew he was watching everything, but I didn’t know anyone had taped it,” Cord said. “Now everywhere I go, people say that to me, ‘Hey! I saw that video Steph posted!'”

But, since Joel Embiid was out, there was one thing Curry missed.

“He missed my Process,” Cord said.

***

It’s true. There’s nothing quite like when Cord introduces the Sixers' "crown jewel" at Wells Fargo Center — especially if you sit behind the scorer’s table.

“When I do Joel ... from Kansas ... No. 21… JO-el, The Process EMMBEEEEEEEAD ... I turn around for ‘The Process,’ for whoever is sitting behind me.”

Take a look for yourself.

But, it wasn’t always this way.

In the summer of 2016, Cord ran into Embiid at a music festival.

“I go up to Joel and say, ‘Hey man, you’re going to start next year, and I’m working on your name and I need something else.'”

“Call me Hans, that’s my middle name,” Cord remembers Embiid saying.

“So then, the very first game, I see him in the back (at the arena), and I’m like Joel HANS Embiid, and he’s like, ‘No, no, no. I’ve changed it to ‘The Process.’ He was joking around, and he said he legally changed his name to The Process, so you have to call me The Process.”

Cord, worried Embiid could get in trouble, decided against it.

“I didn’t do it the first game … and he kind of looked at me a couple times in the game when he scored.”

And now, the rest is history.

***

Embiid isn’t the only player who has influenced Cord’s introductions.

“Years ago, (Allen) Iverson came up to me and said, ‘Make me 6-2.’"

And so, Cord obliged.

“And finally … a 6-2 guard…

“The next game, I did it again. And the next game, Eric Snow (formers Sixers point guard) came up to me and said, 'Can you make me 6-4?' And I’m like no, stop this, I’m going to get in trouble, everyone’s going to be seven feet by the end of this!”

Lucky for Cord, that same game, Iverson re-thought his request.

“He came up to me and said I think we better go back to six-foot.”

***

If you catch Cord at the arena, there’s one thing you’ll always see him doing: Smiling.

“Honestly, since I’ve been here, and I know you can’t have a bad game as a PA announcer, but he’s just always smiling,” T.J. McConnell said. “And just the way he announces so enthusiastically, he comes up with these things like Three-J (when McConnell shoots a three), and even stuff he said when I was a rookie with Ish Smith, like a 'dish from Ish.'”

Well actually, Cord doesn’t come up with all of those sayings. But, he did come up with Three-J.

Longtime statistician Ron Pollack has offered up sayings like, "Dish from Ish," "Feed from Embiid," and "Embiid indeed!" It’s a joint effort.

***

For players like JJ Rrrrrrrrrredick and Allennnnnn Iiiiiii-versooooonnnn, both say that when fans come up to them in the streets, they say their name like Cord says their name.

“That’s the coolest thing ever,” Cord smiles.

But what means more to him than anything else is his biggest fan, his almost 16-year-old niece, Lily, who has Down syndrome.

“She is fantastic, she imitates me. She can do Embiid. She can do Iverson,” Cord said as he pulled out his cell phone.

“Here she is doing Bobi, down by the beach.”

Watch out Matty, Lily might be coming for your job.

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Oddsmakers set the betting odds on Sixers-Raptors series

Oddsmakers set the betting odds on Sixers-Raptors series

If the oddsmakers are right, we could be in for an exciting and long series between the Toronto Raptors and the Sixers. 

With both teams disposing of their first-round opponents in convincing fashion in the fifth game, the odds are set for a clash of Eastern Conference titans that could go the distance.

According to DraftKings, the Raptors are -200 favorites to win the series, meaning a $200 bet would return a total of $300. They have the Sixers listed at +150, meaning a $100 bet would return $250.

There are also odds available on DraftKings on the correct series score. The Raptors winning in seven games is the most likely outcome at +300. The second most likely outcome of the series is a Raptors win in five games, at +400, followed by a Sixers win in six, at +450.

The Sixers are now 20/1 to win the title, so a $100 bet would return a total of $2,100 for you to celebrate with as the Sixers parade down Broad Street.

Now, there are a few things to consider. First of all, there’s homecourt advantage. The Raptors have it and they were 32-9 at home this season. Typically, you’d then look at the head-to-head matchup for clues, but in this case, it feels irrelevant. 

The Raptors won the season series 3-1, but a deeper look would remind you that the Sixers' victory came against a Raptors team without their best player, Kawhi Leonard, and the three Raptors wins came against the Sixers before their trade for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.

Finally, it’s important to note that the Sixers have never, ever beaten Leonard, dating back 13 meetings over the last eight years.

So, if you like the Raptors, it seems logical to make the bet on DraftKings now before Game One, where they’re favored by five points, and if you like the Sixers, it would make sense to wait and make your wager on FanDuel. While the series odds are not out yet on FanDuel, the Sixers are 26/1 to win the title on there as opposed to 20/1 on DraftKings. You might be able to get slightly better odds on the Sixers on there once the series odds are posted.

Either way, we expect a physical, fiery series between two teams who made upgrades for this kind of opportunity to advance in the playoffs.

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Sixers-Raptors second-round NBA playoff series starts with Game 1 Saturday

Sixers-Raptors second-round NBA playoff series starts with Game 1 Saturday

We already knew the opponent and now we know when the series will begin.

After dispatching of the Brooklyn Nets in five games, the Sixers will take on the Raptors for Game 1 in Toronto on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. or 8 on TNT. 

The Sixers will play at 7:30 p.m. if the Spurs-Nuggets series goes to a Game 7 (Spurs-Nuggets would be at 10). If there's no Game 7 in that Spurs-Nuggets series, the Sixers will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Down 3-2, the Spurs host the Nuggets in Game 6 on Thursday night at 8 p.m., so we'll know after that game what time the Sixers' game on Saturday will begin. 

Here are the schedule details released by the league:

• Game 1, at Raptors — Saturday, April 27, TBD, TNT
• Game 2, at Raptors — Monday, April 29, TBD, TNT
• Game 3, vs. Raptors — Thursday, May 2, 8 p.m., ESPN
• Game 4, vs. Raptors — Sunday, May 5, 3:30 p.m., ABC
• *Game 5, at Raptors — Tuesday, May 7, TBD, TNT
• *Game 6, vs. Raptors — Thursday, May 9, TBD, ESPN
• *Game 7, at Raptors — Sunday, May 12, TBD, TNT

*if necessary

Scotiabank Arena has been a house of horrors for the Sixers. They’ve lost 13 straight there. Their last win came on Nov. 10, 2012, with Lavoy Allen in the starting lineup. Kawhi Leonard has also never lost to the Sixers in his NBA career, going a perfect 13-0. It's fair to note that a lot of that damage was done during The Process and that Toronto has yet to see "Sixers 3.0" this season.

Games 1 and 2 will be at the Scotiabank Arena, before coming to the Wells Fargo Center for Games 3 and 4. Games 5 and 7 would be at Scotiabank Arena and Game 6 would be at the Wells Fargo Center, if necessary. 

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