Back To School


The Sixers, bless their hearts, will be spending part of Thursday afternoon at Haverford Middle school, rewarding the kids after student Chipper Rossino won an essay contest about what him the biggest fan of the team. The coaches and players will be assisting the teachers with the lesson plan for the day, and will be joining the kids during sixth period classes, based on the subjects they found the most interesting when they were in school.

And that would be coach Maurice Cheeks acting as ''the principal.''

''I wanted to be an architect,'' Cheeks said. ''If there's a class close to that, maybe art, I'd like to go there.''

And where might he forsee some of his players going?

''I'm still getting to know Elton Brand, but he might go to a psychology class, if there is one,'' Cheeks said. ''Andre Iguodala likes to analyze things, so he'd probably try history.''

The multi-lingual Samuel Dalembert said he'd opt for ''French or math. I like both.''

And Reggie Evans?

''P.E.,'' Evans said, laughing.

That would be phys ed. Why not?

Buddy, Can You Spare A Job?:

Let me get this straight: The NBA is playing preseason games overseas. Commissioner David Stern--and I continue to believe he's the best commissioner in sports--says the league will play a regular-season game in Europe before 2012, and hopes to eventually expand to include franchises in Europe. The league is in partnership to design and manage about 12 arenas in major Chinese cities.

But the league is cutting 80 jobs in the U.S.

Cutting 80 jobs?

I understand that economic times are tough, but with all the revenue generated via TV, streaming video, sponsorships, marketing, etc., couldn't somebody, somewhere, find enough money to save the unfortunate 80?

C'mon, can't somebody be a hero?

Can You Expand On That?

Remember when president/general manager Ed Stefanski said the Sixers could improve their three-point shooting internally? Don't look now, but Thaddeus Young has clearly extended his range. In four preseason games, he's a solid 7-for-14 from beyond the arc. In Tuesday night's victory in New York, Young also showed a pump-fake drive to the rim and a crossover move. That's why, at least to this point, he's their most improved player.

Smile When You Say That: The New Jersey Nets are one of the teams currently overseas, in France, housed at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe. Or, according to blogging pal Dave D'Alessandro in Newark, N.J., what they refer to as the Paris Hilton.

Time Flies: Stepehn Jackson, at 30, is suddenly the elder statesman of the Golden State Warriors. But Andris Biedrins, starting his fifth season, is the longest tenured player on the roster.

Times Change: The Phoenix Suns, with coach Mike D'Antoni having moved to New York, are entering a brave new world. Point guard Steve Nash just runs the plays out of traditional sets rather than the freestyle fast break the fans grew to love. New coach Terry Porter calls them. And at the moments when the Suns do push the ball, Nash told the Arizona Republic that he was somewhat uncomfortable. ''It's almost like, 'Are we allowed to do this, Dad?'' Nash said.

He Said It: New Milwaukee Bucks exec John Hammond, on the Eastern Conference: "Probably the biggest off-season signing was Elton Brand . . . Before, you looked at (the Sixers) and say 'Are they a playoff team? Well, maybe.' Now, you'd say they're a lock to be a playoff team.''