Sunday, May 3, 2015

Educating Jrue, And Some Others

Jrue Holiday will begin his NBA education with a shared 76ers-New Jersey Nets entry in the Orlando Pro Summer League.

Educating Jrue, And Some Others

This is just me, but I like the idea of the 76ers taking some young players to the Orlando Pro Summer League rather than to Las Vegas. I've never quite grasped the value of playing summer games in the sprawling midst of all the casinos. Last time I checked, Jrue Holiday--the Sixers' first-round draft choice--just turned 19. I'm not suggesting the Magic Kingdom is necessarily the place to be, but I like the concept of playing the games in the Magic's RDV Complex in front of league personnel and reporters but not the public. It sounds like a far better teaching venue.

Both the Sixers and the Nets will have coaching personnel on the bench. I'm not certain the designated Sixers representative has been completely decided, but it's likely to be Aaron McKie, with head coach Eddie Jordan, lead assistant Mike O'Koren and president/general manager Ed Stefanski watching from a distance.

Second-year big man Marreese Speights is on the roster, along with Temple's Dionte Christmas, who was not selected in Thursday night's NBA draft. Stefanski delivered the invitation to Christmas at about 1 a.m. Friday morning.

Free agents include former Penn Charter and Notre Dame star Rob Kurz, NBA Developmental League 2007-08 Rookie Of The Year Blake Ahearn, D-Leaguer Gary Forbes and Marcus Slaughter, who has logged time in Germany and France. Holiday is the Sixers' point guard of the future; Ahearn, with 15 games of experience with San Antonio and Mimai, will challenge him in practices.

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The Sixers will practice July 3-4-5 in Orlando, then begin a five-game schedule July 6 against Indiana. Utah, Orlando, Oklahoma City and Boston are the other entries.

Holiday and Speights, by the way, will also participate in Tim Grgrich's skills camp later this summer.


About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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