Just Sayin’…There is Another Way to Do This Journalism Thing

Posted in Blogroll on March 27th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

I didn’t cover as many games this season…maybe 60% of the home games as opposed to around 85% the last three years because of the book…but the one constant is how Anthony Gilbert, Devon Givens and I interact with whatever professional athlete is in front of us fielding questions. This isn’t about a race reaction because we would be the same (and do the same) if no one else was present. You do not have to be a name everyone knows just to aspire to be great now. Raise the bar for yourself. Don’t worry about what everyone else does. What I want to get across to folks is there is another way of blazing a definitive journalistic legacy while remaining objective. Study the thoughts, mannerisms and stats of the players and watch how they respond. When they look you in the eye when answering your questions in front of the entire media throng, there’s a connection. Don’t go into a presser thinking it’s all about you or your story. You can be shrewd without being arrogant. Have a conversation.Try to go above and beyond what is the norm and everyone eventually will follow. We still have a lot to learn but at least we’re growing. Challenge yourselves.

I’ll post two interviews with Dominique Wilkins (it is ridiculous) and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford (took it way back to Jordan/Erving All Star games) next week. You will be moved. In the interim, dig this chat with Anthony Gilbert, ESPN radio’s Devon Givens and I walking through the parking lot after the Sixers well deserved win. Just wanted to give you the reader the mindset behind what we do.

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Friday Fire: Kansas, Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova, etc….Brackets Busted: What is Going On?

Posted in Blogroll on March 26th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

As Syracuse goes down and yet another #1 seed says one love, ponder what it all means. Think about it…Georgetown gets blasted like Agent Smith, I don’t know what the hell is going on with the South, Kansas gets shocked…what’s the deal? Is it the year of the upset, smaller conferences are just that good or are bigger conferences overrated? If Kentucky loses to Cornell…

Interview With New Jersey Nets Guard/Forward Chris Douglas-Roberts

Posted in Blogroll on March 25th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

I walked into the Nets locker room after a recent game and immediately sensed Chris Douglas-Roberts was someone I could engage. CDR was one of the few players still in the locker room…as most players take turns shooting around…and I don’t think I could have received a more peace conversation from anyone else at that moment. The second year guard/forward out of Memphis is a gifted scorer and tremendous athlete. He was averaging 10 points a game but went off for a game high 23 in the Nets 108-97 loss to the Sixers. Off the bench, he seemed determined to make a game impact. The Nets…who won last night vs. Sacramento…have 8 wins on the season and definitely pulling out the stops not to fall one game short of the NBA record for futility…’72-’73 Philadelphia 76’ers…9-72 record. I can attest that CDR is playing hard and I hope you sense the same when reading the following interview.

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Donovan McNabb’s Response to Owners Meetings Statements

Posted in Blogroll on March 24th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

At the owners meetings in Orlando, Eagles brass said they would entertain offers for Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. The Eagles are in an enviable position of having a bevy of quarterback talent, but trading McNabb…arguably the greatest Philadelphia Eagle ever…would signify the end of the most successful run in the organization’s NFL history. Donovan’s camp directed me to the following statement when I contacted them after I came across Ashley Fox’s tweet:

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Warning Signs: What the Postseason Teaches You About Drafting Stars Out of College

Posted in Blogroll, College Basketball on March 24th, 2010 by Okori Wadsworth

Greg Oden. That did not work out too well.

Right now as the NCAA Tournament crests towards the Final Four, and the eventual crowning of a national champion, the draft possibilities of some of the college game’s most intriguing prospects can rise or fall based on what happens from here on in. So I’m giving you the chance to be one step ahead of the game, by knowing what scouts REALLY mean when they talk about players. I’ll even give you an example.

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Lionel Simmons: Quiet Storm (South Philly’s Finest)

Posted in Blogroll on March 23rd, 2010 by Ron Glover

Throughout his four-year career at LaSalle University; Lionel “L-Train” Simmons was the best kept secret in college basketball – tucked away on the tiny campus just above Broad and Olney in Philadelphia. When it was over, Simmons was the third all-time leading scorer in Division I history and the only player to score 3,000 points and grab 1,300 rebounds and on his way to becoming an NBA Lottery pick of the Sacramento Kings.

And he did it all without making a sound…

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A Short Conversation With Columbia University Professor Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

Posted in Blogroll on March 23rd, 2010 by Michael Tillery

As President Obama readies to sign the Health Care Reform Bill any minute now in the East Wing before it heads to the Senate for fixes, the country is in the throes of the most important social legislation in the last half of the century. Here comes the aftermath and with reaction, there will be voices. There’s something impressive with the myriad of talented progressive intellectuals gaining soul across the nation and one of the most promising is Marc Lamont Hill. The political contributor to Fox News…namely the O’Reilly Factor…adds necessary commentary to both younger and older generations alike. I dig this dude because his is a relative voice in a time of social development and the brighter the perspective, the better for change. I caught up with Dr. Hill at the conclusion of Sixers/Magic.

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The Starting Five Gus Johnson Interview

Posted in Blogroll on March 22nd, 2010 by Michael Tillery

Gus Johnson and Len Elmore do their thing

Do you remember your first memorable game? A game when the announcer shot strong a play which had you on the edge of your seat and the moment was made pure simply because the broadcaster connected with your spirit so true you thought he was you? He was calling a close game and your favorite team was playing. You will never forget the place. You will never forget the time…the weather outside…your family…almost to the point of smelling…anticipating…the oh so delicious food your Mom was making. The broadcaster sucked you so far in you couldn’t hear your Mom calling…calling you to dinner and despite family rules there is to be no TV while the family ate, your parents let you hear the game and you rocked your chair back just to get a glimpse of the TV around the corner so far…you fell out of your seat and your Mother’s great food went everywhere. Your Mom scolds you with a smile…your Dad cracks up and says to your Mom “That’s your son”. The moment ends up being grand but you know damn well in another time it wouldn’t have turned out so swell. Memories…and it was all because of that supremely talented announcer with his excited but tempered calls all throughout the game that kept you in it…heart pounding, eyes wide, mouth dry. You almost choke on the food you have left when he shouts………………..OHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! (Gus Johnson soundboard)

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Behind Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday, the Sixers Take Care of the Nets

Posted in Blogroll on March 20th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

(Slocum/AP)

Josh Boone, Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams look to a man that's it's not all good.

Josh Boone, Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams look to a man that it's not all good.

The Sixers 108-97 win vs. the Nets was an exercise in therapy. Philadelphia has had stretches in the last month where they would come out 1st half hot and then fade as soon as the second half began. Not in this match up. The Sixers took care of business on their home court and sent the Nets back to Jersey with yet another loss. Thaddeus Young sat this one out with a fractured thumb. There’s a Father-son interview you might appreciate in the recap as well. I’ll add a nice one with Chris Douglas-Roberts later.

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Friday Fire: Two Tickets to Any Event in the World…Where Are You Going?

Posted in Blogroll on March 19th, 2010 by Michael Tillery
The Chi

The Chi

I’d go the Summer Olympics. All the events, all the different people, all the passion. Maybe there’s a Carl Lewis tune going on? How about you? Who would you take?

5 Years Later, Vermont and Bucknell Rejoice Over Upsets

Posted in Blogroll, Charles Barkley on March 18th, 2010 by Sean Mitchell

As the the 2010 NCAA Tournament begins today, it’s a chance for a new star or team that most people around the nation have never heard of to forever etch their name into the lore what has become known as March Madness and have their chance to create their “one shining moment.” For some, it’s also a chance to reflect on the mark they left on the celebrated sporting event. Looking back, all anyone involved with the 2005 Bucknell Bison and Vermont Catamounts could do is smile.

“It is really difficult to point to one part of the whole experience of that game and say that was my favorite part, said Kevin Bettoncourt,” the former guard of Bucknell who is currently an assistant coach to the men’s basketball team at Bentley University in suburban Boston.

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Notes from NBA TV’s Fan Night – Tuesday, March 16, 2010: San Antonio Spurs (88) @ Miami Heat (76)

Posted in Blogroll on March 17th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

(Lynne Sladky / AP Photo)

Fan Night voting will continue on NBA.com from Tuesday, March 16 (8 a.m. ET) – Thursday, March 18 (Midnight ET) as fans select the match-up for Tuesday, Mar. 23. Games include:Charlotte Bobcats @ Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers @ Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets @ New York Knicks, L.A. Clippers @ Dallas Mavericks

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The New York Knicks Trap the Philadelphia 76’ers 94-84

Posted in Blogroll on March 16th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

The Philadelphia 76’ers and the New York Knicks have not had the best of seasons…which seemed only right both teams came into the contest with identical 23-43 records. These are the dog days of the NBA season and when teams have nothing more to play for besides evaluating talent for the upcoming year, fans get the picture. There were only 13,563 in attendance and when the Wachovia Center is that low in capacity, actual conversations can be made out as the teams go up and down the floor. It made for a depressing performance for the home team as the Knicks defeated the Sixers 94-84.

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Reader Question: Philadelphia 76’ers vs. New York Knicks

Posted in Blogroll on March 15th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

We gotta be different…

In the Sixers/Cavs recap, Courtney Migliocco’s question to LeBron James was answered. Courtney was a standout senior on my daughter Taylor’s basketball team and a huge LeBron James fan. You all know I’m all about bridging the fan/athlete gap, so I thought this would be a peace way to get fans and readers involved in our game reports. Tonight I’ll be covering the Sixers and Knicks and since both teams are a little down this time of season, this might be a good time to get your questions answered. I’ll ask one question per game. I can’t promise anything obviously, but if you make it good, I’ll do my best to get it done.

What are Your Thoughts on LaDanian Tomlinson Signing With the New York Jets?

Posted in Blogroll on March 15th, 2010 by Michael Tillery

It’s hard to imagine LT is that far removed from an incredible 2006 season where he rushed for 1,815 yards…113 yards a game average…and a record 28 touchdowns but in the NFL things change very quickly. He’s rushed for just 3,214 in the three years since and his average per rush has dropped steadily over the period. The Chargers for all their lofty league respect, didn’t get to the Super Bowl during his legacy reign but his name will never be forgotten in the game. As Temple3 pointed out in a comment, the Chargers value has exponentially increased during his time there but it’s never personal right? He has been oft injured but cracked double figures in touchdowns each of his 9 seasons. The New York Jets are banking on LT’s experience, professionalism and nose for the end zone will rub off on talented but unproven Shonn Greene. They didn’t want to pay Thomas Jones salary of 5.8 million for the upcoming season, so they let him walk to Kansas City with his 1,402 yards and 14 TD’s.  By releasing the main cog in their NFL leading rushing attack of 2009 are the Jets sending a message to the team or taking a huge risk on cost cutting? I’m sure they see LT catching passes out of the backfield but more importantly, he could be that third down back that adds another wrinkle to Rex Ryan’s pretty much one dimensional offense. Don’t be surprised either way how this affects a team making some mad power moves to move into the NFL elite and stay there under the guise of their young QB, Mark Sanchez.