A Sixers Situation
Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Columnist Bob Ford writes about the Eagles, the Phillies, the Sixers and the Flyers.
A Sixers Situation
Bob Ford, Inquirer Sports Columnist
Well, say this for the Sixers. They weren't boring as they went into the offseason. In fact, that's one nutty hospital that Ed Stefanski and the boys are running over there for Mr. Snider.
The Sixers were only moderately interesting as they dragged through a 41-41 campaign, with neither free-agent savior Elton Brand nor coach Maurice Cheeks getting successfully to the right side of the hyphen in the 2008-2009 season.
They saved all the interesting stuff for the very end, when they unfurled an unprofessional effort in Game 6 against Orlando, then came apart in some of their postgame comments and couldn't even hold a team meeting that included, well, the whole team.
After the game, Theo Ratliff, who was an afterthought during the regular season but was employed as a hackster against Orlando, suddenly felt empowered to blast the coaching staff for not having the team ready. Been that way all season long, Ratliff said. Nice having you around again, Theo.
Andre Iguodala said he planned to sit down and give his thoughts to Ed Stefanski, who seemed surprised that Andre believed personnel decisions and the like were in his job description. Asked if coach Tony DiLeo should be back, Iguodala said it was something that had to be discussed. No kidding. He really said that.
Andre Miller, who might be the best player on the floor every night for the team, didn't show for the team meeting the day after the Orlando disaster. He said, through his agent, that he didn't know the meeting was mandatory. That seems unlikely, and a little weak as an excuse for a veteran, but maybe it was just how the free agent began to say goodbye.
It doesn't seem possible that DiLeo will return as coach given the circumstances. It also doesn't seem that certain DiLeo wants the job and you could hardly blame him. Unless the Sixers find a way to unload Sammy Dalembert -- who is a liability now and will be a bigger one upon Brand's return -- this team is a schizophrenic blend of wasted athleticism and lapsed fundamentals.
Stefanski said he will look for a guard in the draft, hopefully one who can be relied upon to serve as the three-point counterbalance the team needs in its one-dimensional halfcourt offense.
This is a team in real turmoil, with very difficult decisions to make. It's never a good sign when a franchise is more interesting off the court than on it.