Noce turkey! - Noceone
In the spirit of the holiday, the writers at Liberty Ballers share what they're thankful for when it comes to the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to sources close to Liberty Ballers, today is Thanksgiving. Previous iterations of this franchise wouldn't allow us to be thankful for much but for some reason (or narcotics) the writers at Liberty Ballers are in at least a somewhat cheery mood about this team. Without further ado, I present to you the Liberty Ballers Thanksgiving. No soman! You have to wait for everybody to have mashed potatoes before you go for seconds!
I am thankful for an ownership group that cares about winning and that cares about winning a championship. After going through a decade of mistakes where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, it is nice to see the Sixers now have a Front Office that strives to embrace analytics and the concept of you exist to win championships. They may or may not succeed, but they are doing their best to put the Sixers in the best situation to win, and for that, I am much thankful.
First and foremost: my family, faith, friends, and Kwame Brown. I consider myself really fortunate to be part of the best Sixers blog on the internet. It's truly an honor. Thanks to the guys here (Michael Levin, Derek, Tanner, Dave) for bringing me on board. It's really great to have joined the site with all the other amazing writers added (Justin, Roy, Rich, Kami, M Baumann).
Another big thanks goes out to the AWESOME community here at LB. There's just so many great members that participate here (along with the Liberty Ballers Twitter and Facebook too) and that's what truly makes this site a great one. Without you guys, we'd be nothing. Last but not least, thanks so much for the awkward tension. I don't know where I'd be without it.
Aside from his ever-changing hairstyle, Andrew Bynum hasn't given Sixers' fans much to be excited about since his introductory press conference back in August. Conversely, the man Bynum shared the stage with that day - Jason Richardson - has been a pleasant surprise whom we all should be thankful for.
Not only is Richardson a fantastic long-range threat, but he's a much-needed veteran presence on a team where the average age is a shade over 26 years old. At 31, Richardson doesn't have the swag of Nick Young or the athleticism of Dorell Wright, but his contributions are far too valuable to be overlooked.
Perhaps it's my negative side, but I'm having a hard time finding things to be thankful. What looked like a couple of week injury with Bynum now turning into potentially (probably, depending on who you ask) not playing a game takes away a lot of what I would be thankful for. With Bynum and Jrue's growth, Eastern Conference Finals (legitimate, not D-Rose injured appearances) may have been a realistic goal. True relevance was on the horizon. Regardless of how they'll playing now, that's off the table without Bynum. They become a regular season story.
Still, I'm thankful for how Jrue has played. His passing has looked stellar. He's attacking the basket, he's getting to the line, and he's creating space for himself. His on the ball defense is suffocating at times. After his stalled development last year, he's showing you everything you wanted to see so far this year, and it's rare that things work out that way, at least in 76er land.
I'm also thankful for the community Liberty Ballers has. I don't think I'm a homer when I say I think Liberty Ballers has some of the best Philadelphia basketball writers, whether that be main stream newspaper reporters or bloggers. Mostly, I'm thankful for there to be basketball. After how depressing the lockout was last year at this time, to be depressed over Andrew Bynum's knees...I'll take that, all things considered.
Every ounce of me wishes I’d be able to say "I’m thankful for this team heading towards a championship with the acquisition of Andrew Bynum". With him bowling-so-hard, I unfortunately can’t bring that up at family dinner quite yet. Do I still hold out hope that he’ll play at the end of the season and re-sign for a max deal? Absolutely. And on that day he first suits up, I’ll go to Spike’s bowling party and be thankful then.
But until I’m medically cleared to be thankful for Bynum, I’ll go with what everybody probably would guess I’d be thankful for…. Swaggy P! Whether it’s the, for lack of a better word, swag he brings to the team or the astronomical shoe game, Nick Young gets me all jazzed up and aroused whenever he hits the floor. Factor in his coming to Philly meant the end of the Lou Williams BOSS era, I might just volunteer to become Nick’s personal groupie. "Yes Nick, I’ve made sure all your aroma therapy candles are arranged in the shape of harp. I used Nerds Ropes as the strings". SWAGGY!
I'm thankful for spreading the floor. Last year, the Sixers had a bunch of guys who were decent outside shooters, but no dead-eye, knock-em-down types like Jason Richardson. His addition, plus those of Nick Young (even if he's cooler than being cool most of the time) and Dorell Wright (even if he's been nailed to the bench) give the Sixers options in situations where they desperately need a bucket. And maybe deliver us from the evil of "clear out for the short guy" being the only viable crunch-time option.
I'm emphatically thankful for shooters. Previous iterations of Sixers squads managed to squeak by in Mediocracy without any modicum of shooting talent and I only knew of this tangible skill intangibly. Basketball, as it turns out, was meant to have people putting a ball through a hoop from a distance. I will continue to watch this with the happy curiosity of someone who only just discovered boxer briefs.
Also thankful for you hooligans, even the dumb ones. Especially the dumb ones.
Happy Thanksgiving, loves!