Danny Pommells

Bryan Colangelo's exit gives Sixers opportunity to recalibrate

Bryan Colangelo's exit gives Sixers opportunity to recalibrate

What in the name of Sam Hinkie is going on here? Bryan. Colangelo.

The man who was supposed to help LeBron James land in Philly has instead landed on the unemployment line (more on Colangelo's resignation). All over some tweets. We talkin' about tweets … not a game … not free agency … we talkin’ about tweets. But how are Sixers fans supposed to feel about being caught in a social media version of the "Crossface Crippler?" 

The 76ers won 52 games this season. Fifty-two! The best record for this organization in 17 seasons! “The Process” has yielded two cornerstone, franchise pieces. Establishing a foundation firmer than the starch in Colangelo’s collar. Yet, all the entire NBA is talking about is how the 76ers were held hostage by an internet bully for nine days.

Colangelo was a two-time NBA Executive of the Year, which makes me think he had enough savvy and relationships with agents and front office members around the league to orchestrate what it would take to sell James on Philly and build around the best player of this generation. This scandal strips Colangelo of all of the rapport he has built in those arenas, which a handful of personal calls saying, “I didn’t do it!” couldn't ever repair.

Sixers fans should feel betrayed, frustrated, confused and overwhelmed. But, don’t lose sight of the goal. The Larry O’Brien Trophy is still squarely in our crosshairs. Now is no time to be distracted. There’s a chance this could work out in our favor; in a 'Homer Simpson almost destroys the power plant, but still gets the donut sort of way. 

So, how does this wind up benefiting Sixers fans and the organization as a whole? It gives the front office a chance to recalibrate. Flat out, it was awkward the way Colangelo arrived and Hinkie exited. Although Colangelo had the chops for the position and his father, Jerry, recused himself from the search, it still reeked of nepotism the way his dad arrived to help reshape the organization in 2015 and his son, who was out of an NBA front office for three years, soon joined him among the Sixers' brass five months later. That era is now over and a new unencumbered one can begin. One without heirs. No 13-page resignation letters casting doubt. No overtures to transparency without the substance to back it up. 

If the Sixers want to win the Eastern Conference, they need to be better than Boston which, when healthy, has more weapons than a good Schwarzenegger flick. They need to be better than whatever team James plays on. A name who may be able to enact those ideals? Michael Zarren. The Sixers flirted with the Celtics' assistant general manager back in 2012 before hiring Hinkie. He has much to do with Boston’s success in the draft, loves analytics, is a salary cap expert and Harvard Law grad. He could be the missing piece. The Sixers need to collar the right executive. Pun intended.

More on Colangelo's resignation

•​ Josh Harris doesn't rule out possible Sam Hinkie return

• Harris reveals results of investigation

• Colangelo releases bizarre statement on his resignation

• I believed Colangelo, too — and he still had to go

• Did Sixers fall behind in draft prep during investigation

No crying in baseball, but there sure is in football

No crying in baseball, but there sure is in football

There may not be any crying in baseball but that old adage sure as heck does not apply to football. Or more specifically, to Eagles fans. Since about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, the floodgates have been released in the Delaware Valley and tears have been flowing like a river.

Grown men in particular, not exactly prone to displaying their emotions or expressing their feelings, are suddenly Dick Vermeil at a wedding. That's what 57 years for some and a lifetime for others will do to you.

We have three examples for you. All quite touching in their own way and for their own reasons. Each one tying back to family.

Ray Didinger defines the words "objective journalist." He's as respected for his unbiased analysis as any person in his field. And even though he grew up a die-hard Eagles fan who spent his summer vacations in Hershey at Eagles training camp, even though he attended the 1960 NFL Championship Game with his father and grandfather at Franklin Field, once Ray became a journalist, he put his fandom aside.

But even an Eagles Super Bowl win can even get to the most grizzled, stoic, down-the-middle veteran. Here's Ray on our Eagles Postgame Live set after Super Bowl LII.

Next up, we have NBC Sports Philadelphia host Danny Pommells. This was from our Mission LII Pregame coverage before the Birds beat the Patriots later that evening. Here's Danny discussing who he'd like to see the Eagles win for and his father.  

Lastly, we step away from the analysts and hosts to bring you the raw emotion of a player who has has been overlooked and underappreciated since coming out of high school: Eagles center Jason Kelce.

These clips are examples of why sports matter. It's about the bonds and relationships that are formed between father and son, mother and daughter, siblings and friends. That was raw emotion that few other experiences can bring about. Sunday night may have been part one; the sequel will be Thursday's parade to end all parades.

Get your tissues ready.

Baker League movie chronicles history of Philly summer hoops scene

Baker League movie chronicles history of Philly summer hoops scene

Growing up in Philly, you only need to walk by a basketball court and you will probably see or hear something about the storied hoops history in the City of Brotherly Love. 

On May 22, many of the people who helped build that tradition were all in one place, laughing uninhibitedly, reliving old stories and relishing in the camaraderie born from hard-fought battles on the hardwood. 

The Baker League movie gives the viewer a capsule in the time of an era when local NBA, semi-pro, college and select high school players helped mold their own games in a crucible of summertime roundball battles that simultaneously shaped and defined what Philadelphia basketball is all about.

After starring in the same backcourt at Northeast High in the 1950s, Sonny Hill and James "Tee" Parham helped found the Charles Baker Memorial League in 1960. The Baker League began at 25th and Diamond Streets before moving to Bright Hope Baptist Church until its final home at McGonigle Hall at Temple University. 

It was surreal seeing and shaking hands with some of the names and faces in attendance at the movie premiere. La Salle legend Lionel Simmons was just one of the former players who reflected on his unparalleled experience with the Baker League. The "L-Train" put it simply, saying that there were no "nights off." 

Players showed up with something to prove because this was the epicenter of earning your name among the Philly basketball elite. The games were tough and tightly contested. Seeing Earl Monroe show up at halftime and go for 50 points was not uncommon. Neither was the presence of Wilt Chamberlain, or later on, 76ers like Charles Barkley and Maurice Cheeks.  

It may be a popular saying now, but the Baker League movie premiere proved ball is life for many of the people who put Philly basketball on the map.

It debuts on CSN on Thursday at 9 p.m. and also will air Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (TCN), Friday June 9 at 6:30 p.m. (CSN) and Saturday June 10 at 6 p.m. (TCN).