This post was originally about All-Star Weekend. I was gonna mention Jrue Holiday, the Skills Challenge, the Celebrity All-Star Game and who is ELITE (Arne Duncan IS elite), and how I'm still bitter about the Nate Robinson/Andre Iguodala dunk contest travesty. We would reminisce. I would name drop Harold Miner - naturally. But this post became so much more. It morphed into something bigger than both you and I. I let my imagination run wild. I was like Jessie Spano after a few caffeine pills. I'm so excited. I'm so excited. I'm so, so scared.
I apologize in advance.
"Because he's at that baseball fantasy camp in Florida."
"Kramer goes to fantasy camp. His whole life is a fantasy camp."
Why do only baseball teams offer fantasy camp? This doesn't seem fair. Why can't a spry 28 year old practice his pooch punts with Sean Landeta, and then split a large pie with Seth Joyner?
"So, Andy Harmon...what's he up to? He still with that same girl? You gonna eat that last slice, Seth?"
And why can't a plucky 25 year old upstart from Bethlehem use a week's vacation to run the pick n' pop with Eric Snow?
"You gotta see me sooner, E. Rick Mahorn was late rotating. Wake up!"
Geez. Relax, Tanner. It's just Sixers Fantasy Camp. And this is only a scrimmage.
"Vonteego, get in for Snow. I've had enough of his mouth."
But really, why aren't we all at Sixers fantasy camp? This is America, isn't it? If Sohil wants to trap with Lou Amundson - then trap, damn it. Trap until your little heart is content, Sohil. So, today, in easily my dumbest post I've ever written, I'm taking you all to Sixers Fantasy Camp.
Here is what went down.
Everyone is very nervous. It's the most Awkward of all the Tensions. Maalik Wayns is asking everyone where Justin F is. Justin then points to Brandon. A crafty move by the blogging veteran. Ben16 introduces himself as "Ben 16." He tells us the "16" stands for the 16th pick in the draft. We nod solemnly. Conspicuous by his absence is Mike B, whose flight got cancelled because of snow. Poor guy can't escape the snowy prison that is the state of Wisconsin.
The first game is Around the World.
One shot, and one chance. There are no check points. We're not playing Super Mario Brothers for Wii here. You miss your ‘chance'? You go back to the beginning. This isn't up for debate. Now - and this isn't a rule as much as a preference - but I like to announce a world city when I make it rain from the outside.
"Rueter...from downtown Copenhagen...kaboom!"
MacCulloch...from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada...kaboom!
Brophy...from Eugene, Oregon...Go Ducks!
It's catching on.
Dana Barros edged Kyle Korver and Hersey "The Hawk" Hawkins. There are no rules against dribbling the full-length of the court and pulling up from 22 feet in transition, and Dana took full advantage.
(Ron Anderson took the mid-range competition, while LB reader and fantasy camper, Nimpheus, shouted "The lost art! The lost art!" over and over).
The game is PIG. This took up the entire day because we had 127 people playing.
You couldn't do the same shot twice in a row. I can't let you bludgeon Mike Levin from the foul line, Jeff Hornacek. It's not Mike's fault that I made his 36% career FT shooting percentage public knowledge. Show some tact, Horny.
And no dunking, Brandon. I'm 5'7". So is Greg Grant. Respect your elders.
It's a Swag Party, and we're all invited. There wasn't a terrible shot that Young couldn't hit. Behind the backboard? Check. Off-balance fade away 18 footer? Check. Through Kwame's legs, off Randy Ayers' head, and nothing but net? Check. A reverse lay-up while blindfolded with one of Jrue's Uggs and duct tape?
Ain't no thing.
And here's a little advanced statistical analysis for you: Nick Young makes every shot he takes 41% of the time.
You can't find that in your spreadsheets. That's Swaggy Math, brah.
1st Place: Nick Young
2nd Place: Vernon "Mad Max" Maxwell
3rd Place: Lou Williams
4th Place: Trevor Ruffin
33rd Place: yosoysean (Eliminated on a Boss running leaner)
57th Place: Derek Bodner (Eliminated on an elbow jumper by Kenny Thomas)
60th Place: Ira Bowman
64th Place: Tom Moore (Eliminated on a left-handed sky hook by Efthimios Rentzias)
92nd Place: Willie Green
93rd Place: Mike Levin (Eliminated on a turnaround jumper by Alan Henderson)
101st Place: Spencer Hawes
102nd Place: jefu. (Eliminated on an underhand free throw by Matt Geiger. Then accused Geiger of trolling).
127th Place: Roy Burton. Poor Roy had to follow Swaggy. Tough draw for Roy.
Derek, Brandon, and everyone else who is taller than 5'7" attend Big Man Camp. I take the morning off and play some blackjack. I'm on vacation after all. Game film is watched. Tyrone Hill and Clarence Weatherspoon compliment Dweebs on his drop step. They exchange recipes.
There are a lot of shoot arounds; plenty of long jumpers taken. Few turnovers. Rich Hoffman rebounds for Sharone Wright.
"Nice release, Sharone. Good elevation. At a baby."
No Sixer is impressed with Jordan Sams' basketball etiquette. When your buddy makes a shot, a normal person gives him the ball back. That's common decency. Our Godfather, Jordan, doesn't extend this same courtesy. After Shavlik Randolph knocks down a baseline jumper, Jordan grabs the rebound, races down the other end of court and airmails it. He hits Shawn Bradley in the head.
"Jordo, what's wrong with you?" asks Shavlik. "Were you raised by wolves?"
The game is 21.
You break the ice behind the three-point line. When you score, you shoot a three pointer. This isn't a free throw contest sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Nobody came to Sixers Fantasy Camp to watch you shoot foul shots. Besides, it seems a bit unrealistic to emphasize free throws at Sixers Fantasy Camp.
Moses Malone cleaned up. (He also impressed at the scarcely attended Mikan Drill contest Monday afternoon). Moses, who, at 57, may very well be the Sixers' best active front court player at this moment, had little trouble boxing out the entire LB community. Camper, J. Michael Woodson, had a high Liberty Ballers score of 3, before Jumaine Jones tapped him back to zero.
"Not cool, Jumaine," mumbled J. Michael.
Another camper, Nyunole, spent his Thursday morning pouring lemon-lime Gatorade out on to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine hardwood floor.
"For Armen. The Hammer."
He spent his Thursday afternoon cleaning up his mess.
1st Place: Moses Malone (21 points)
2nd Place: Amal McCaskill (17 points)
3rd Place: Derrick Coleman (16 points)
84th Place: Eddie Jordan (1 point)
Tie for 85th Place: The entire LB Community (0 points)
After a Hot Shots contest that was surprisingly won by Brian Skinner, camp broke into heated game play. Sadly, Jamal Mashburn and I didn't pass our physicals, so I joined Marc Zumoff in the booth.
I am joined here by Dave.
"Glad to be here, partner."
2 on 2 Tournament
Roy and Willie Burton (The Brothers Burton) captured the 2 v. 2 title with an emphatic 11-4 victory over Tanner and Nick Young in the tournament finals. Tanner and Young, who wore matching retro Reebok Pumps for the occasion, kept their shoe game tight, but their defense was looser than the bodies in Scott Eyre's elbow.
Willie Burton scored 11 points for the champions.
1 on 1 Tournament
Bruce Bowen snuck by Reggie Evans in the finals, 2-1. The game was scheduled to be played to 11, but the sixty minute time limit expired first. Unfortunately for Evans, Gorilla Monsoon wasn't here at Sixers Fantasy Camp to extend the match. It was an impressive run by Bowen, who defeated Mac Naismith (11-0), LaSalle Thompson (11-8), Zendon Hamilton (11-7), and Doug Overton (11-9) along the way.
Other Notable First Round Action
Willie Green defeated soconnor76, 11-0.
Nikola Vučević defeated Justin F, 11-0.
Raja Bell defeated Bradfather, 11-0.
Marc Jackson defeated Jake Pavorsky, 11-0.
Speedy Claxton defeated Spike Eskin, 11-0.
Charles Shackleford defeated iladelphia, 11-0.
Orestes Meeks defeated Mike Levin, 15-13 (OT).
See ya next year, campers.