The700Level

No excuse for how Sixers handled draft night trade of Mikal Bridges

No excuse for how Sixers handled draft night trade of Mikal Bridges

To be perfectly honest, I can’t tell you a whole lot about Mikal Bridges, other than he’s a Villanova product and two-time national champion. I can’t tell you a thing about Zhaire Smith. And an unprotected first-round pick in 2021 is so far away, it could really be anything, or change hands three more times until then.

I don’t know if the Sixers were winners or losers at the NBA draft after trading Bridges to Phoenix for Smith and the Miami pick. Nobody knows that. We all have our opinions, but we don’t know.

The only thing anybody can say for certain is the organization should be embarrassed, no matter how this plays out on a basketball court.

The Sixers should be embarrassed, but not because the front office took a risk or made an unpopular decision. Love it or hate it, the trade was made with a clear vision, and it took courage for Brett Brown the interim general manager to give his OK, realizing it wasn’t necessarily the best move for Brett Brown the head coach in the immediate. Fortune sometimes favors the bold.

No, the Sixers should be embarrassed for pulling a bait-and-switch on Bridges, a 21-year-old kid and Philadelphia hero, while he was on live TV talking about how ecstatic his mom was he would be playing pro basketball in his hometown. Draft night trades are the norm in the NBA, so why would an NBA team put a young man and his family in that position less than 30 minutes after the selection was made?

Especially when, all the while, Brown was still fielding offers for Bridges.

“The phones were active and we knocked back an incredible deal where we would lose him,” Brown said after the conclusion of the first round. “We didn’t rate it to be a godfather type of deal, something that would impact the franchise to the level that it would have to in order to trade Mikal, who we valued very much.

“Then Phoenix came in and offered a 2021 unprotected [first-round pick], plus our 1B in Zhaire, who we valued very highly, and you’re in a position that you’re on the clock and you have a decision to make.”

The Sixers should be embarrassed by the latest in an increasingly long line of public relations blunders. If this were the only example of the organization’s ineptitude, it would be unfortunate, but forgivable. Instead, it was par for the course.

This is the same organization that took its sweet time ousting Bryan Colangelo amid a bizarre social media scandal mere weeks ago; that never convincingly explained the mysterious circumstances that led to Markelle Fultz sitting out most of his rookie season; that has frequently and publicly feuded with Joel Embiid over playing time; that was previously caught hiding major Embiid injury information from fans; that has a medical team constantly under fire for its inability to quickly and accurately diagnose injuries; that just endured years of bad PR for tanking, until it finally reached a point where the league allegedly stepped in and had to force Sam Hinkie out. Did we miss anything? Probably.

No, I don’t think we’re making too much about a press conference. Too often for far too long, the Sixers have come off as dysfunctional in far too many arenas, and it can't be endearing to the likes of LeBron James, other top-tier free agents and available veteran players or even the organization's own stars.

At least one person in the building seemed to understand how sensitive a situation this was.

“I live in this city with you all,” said Brown. “I watch Villanova. I love (Bridges’) mom. I love his college coach. There’s a human side of this that’s really kind of hard to explain.

“The emotion of what we have all been through has been painful, but what’s best for the organization and how do you win a championship? And since I’ve looked at you all, I haven’t pivoted out of that once. So, the torment of trying to do my job in the very limited role in the moment I have as general manager versus the role that I have as head coach of this program, it’s a toggle, and this is where we arrived.”

Too bad Brown apparently didn’t have a chance to convey that to members of the Sixers' staff before they prematurely started the victory parade.

“All of those emotions and all of those facts happened in a 20-, 25-minute window,” Brown said.

A 20-, 25-minute window is all the Sixers need to make an awkward situation worse. Brown, the fans and, most of all, Bridges and his family all deserved better on Thursday night.

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Jordan Matthews on Buffalo baby: ‘Nothing to do there except each other’

Jordan Matthews on Buffalo baby: ‘Nothing to do there except each other’

Last year in Buffalo, Jordan Matthews had the least productive season of his four years in the NFL. 

At least he was scoring off the field. 

Matthews, who signed Wednesday to rejoin the Eagles, spoke to reporters in the afternoon and filled them in on his busy life in the last 13 months. He got married last June and had a baby boy named Josiah in August. 

He can thank Buffalo for the little one.

When I was in Buffalo, there was like nothing to do there, except … have fun with your wife. She got pregnant. So we always say we got a Buffalo baby. Ain’t nothing to do there, except each other.

OK then.

Matthews and his wife, Cheyna, welcomed little Josiah to their family last month. Matthews said Josiah has his wife’s eyes and is beautiful. 

But Matthews has a strange effect on his son. 

“Every time I hold him too, he poops,” Matthews said. “They call me Poop Daddy. They’re holding him all day. The second I come home they’re like, ‘daddy come on.’ The second I hold him, he’s like (makes weird sound). They always hand him to me whenever he has to use the bathroom.”

Some overshares from Jordan Matthews today.

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Did the Flyers drop hint of getting a mascot?

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Philadelphia Flyers Twitter account

Did the Flyers drop hint of getting a mascot?

Man, talk about raining on Phang's parade.

The snake just hatched and it looks like the Union's mascot could have his thunder stolen by the Flyers.

The team sent out a fun tweet Wednesday with vague hints of a new mascot being added to the family.

This would be great news. Who doesn't like mascots? As my good friend and amazing colleague Amy Fadool always says, "If you don't like the Phillie Phanatic, you hate fun."

That furry green fella puts people in the seats and makes us laugh (well, not @todougherty ... seriously, he doesn't like him).

So bring on the fun of a Flyers mascot.

Right?

As you might expect, Twitter was abuzz after the Flyers' tweet.

Some have joked that, if the Flyers do get a mascot, it should be former goalie and wildly entertaining Ilya Bryzgalov.

That would actually be great. 

Here are some other social media reactions:


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