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Raising the cat didn't go so well for Ben Simmons

Raising the cat didn't go so well for Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers fans love to #RaiseTheCat, but raising a couple of cats of his own didn't exactly go so well for Ben Simmons.

If you're a Sixers fan, you're well aware of the #RaiseTheCat movement that took over the Philly basketball world beginning last season. A couple of Sixers fans on Twitter, inspired by photos of Simmons with his two Savannah cats, started the craze of lifting their cats after a Sixers win.

The movement had momentum. The Sixers put it on T-shirts. There was even a #RaiseTheCat camera on the jumbotron at games.

People loved the cats.

Turns out, the cats were a little too... wild.

Savannah cats sure are beautiful animals. They were first bred in the 80s and are ancestors of the wild African serval. But they may be a little too wild. 

The Undefeated's Marc Spears wrote a piece today about Simmons' love of animals and goes in depth about his experience with the cats that inspired a city to get arm workouts in every time the Sixers won.

Turns out, they were a real pain in the butt for Ben's brother to deal with:

"So, we start with one. It’s all good and everything is cool,” the 31-year-old Tribe said. “Then Ben being the 20-year-old that he is, says, ‘He needs a friend. We need to give it a friend.’ So, he gets a male one this time. And this cat is crazy. It doesn’t want to eat. It’s hiding from us. Every time we go near it, it’s scratching. You can’t go near this cat. You give the cat a bowl of fruit and it’s clawing at your hand when you put the fruit down. It’s like a wild animal.

“We had them for about four or five months and I told Ben, ‘We can’t have these cats anymore. This is crazy.’"

Yep. Ben had to get rid of the cats.

But the story doesn't end there. There's a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles type incident to end the cat tale in which Simmons' bro had to take the cat to the airport and it gets out of its cage and bloodies him up pretty good.

So Simmons and Sixers fans have something in common. They appreciate the effort it takes to raise a cat.

Eagles releasing Mychal Kendricks the right thing to do

Eagles releasing Mychal Kendricks the right thing to do

For the past two years, the Eagles kept Mychal Kendricks in a state of limbo. It was about time the team set him free.

The Eagles didn’t release Kendricks on Tuesday simply because it was “the right thing to do” — if there was such a thing in this instance. They did it because the move will save $6 million against the salary cap in 2018. They did it because Corey Nelson is a cheaper alternative. They did it because Kendricks isn’t an ideal fit for Jim Schwartz’s scheme. They did it because, evidently, they couldn’t find a trade partner.

In short, the Eagles released Kendricks because the 27-year-old linebacker wasn’t worth $16-plus million over the next two seasons. That really should be enough.

It was also about time the Eagles put Kendricks out of his misery. He made no secret about being unhappy with his reduced role since Schwartz became defensive coordinator, asking the team to either cut him or move him last offseason. The subject of trade rumors annually since 2015, Kendricks probably hadn’t felt comfortable about his standing with the organization for quite awhile.

At what point are the Eagles holding him hostage?

Good thing the club didn’t oblige Kendricks’ request last year, as he wound up filling in for the injured Jordan Hicks and playing a pivotal part in the Eagles’ Super Bowl run. Some see that as evidence the team made a mistake in letting a six-year veteran with 78 career NFL starts to walk away for nothing.

While it’s true Kendricks came up big in 2017, he wasn’t exactly an impact player for the Eagles, finishing the season with four tackles for loss and two sacks in 18 games, including playoffs. He hasn’t forced a fumble since 2015. He hasn’t recorded an interception since 2013. And rushing the passer, arguably his greatest strength, goes almost completely unutilized in Schwartz’s scheme, which sent Kendricks after opposing quarterbacks just eight times all year, according to Pro Football Focus.

Numbers may not do Kendricks’ campaign justice, but typically more would be expected of somebody who was set to carry a $7.6 million cap figure into ’18.

The Eagles also feel they are in better shape now in terms of depth at the position (see story).

Kendricks’ days appeared to be numbered the moment the club signed Nelson and the free-agent addition declared he would compete for the starting weakside linebacker job. It’s unclear whether the Eagles are putting too much faith in the former Denver Broncos reserve and the host of linebacker prospects already on the roster. Regardless, the team likes its options.

So why force Kendricks to stick around? From the team’s standpoint, it was a lot of money for the level of production, for not being a great scheme fit and given his impending return to the bench. The Eagles were wise to keep him around for one more year, but with other arrangements since made, moving on now doesn’t sting as much.

The fact Kendricks was anything less than thrilled to be back only makes it easier. After handling his displeasure like a pro last season, then helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl championship, granting his release seems like the least the team could do.

Joel Embiid takes shot at Aron Baynes on Twitter

Joel Embiid takes shot at Aron Baynes on Twitter

With the Sixers eliminated, Joel Embiid was asked at his end-of-the-season press conference if he had a prediction for which remaining team would win the NBA championship.

His response was short and simple.

"Nah," he said, "I don't care."

However, Embiid looks like he's still keeping some tabs on the NBA postseason.

And, watching from afar, he's apparently not too impressed with Aron Baynes.

If you recall, during the Eastern Conference semifinals series in which the Sixers fell to the Celtics in five games, Embiid and Baynes had their moments.

Lots of physicality. A few minor scuffles. And this monster dunk by Embiid.

That's probably what the Sixers' big man was referring to when he tweeted Monday night during Game 4 of the Cavaliers-Celtics series.

Could this play have prompted the tweet?

Baynes probably isn't focused on Embiid or Twitter right now in the heat of the Eastern Conference Finals, but maybe he'll be asked about the tweet during media availability sessions before the series goes to Game 5 Wednesday.

The 31-year-old from New Zealand, a role player not known for tons of offense but with a championship ring, can become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. We'll have to see where he plays next season, but let's hope some matchups with Embiid are in the near future.