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76ers Sunday Morning Shootaround: The Pank Edition

In this edition of the Sunday Morning Shootaround, young Mike Levin writes a letter, Swaggy P issues a challenge to Mike Tyson, and the Sixers prepare for a trip across the Atlantic.

Thaddeus Young: The best left-handed passer in Philadelphia.
Thaddeus Young: The best left-handed passer in Philadelphia.

Thank you, Adam Aron, for giving me a reason to talk about 6-year-old Michael Levin's letter to the Sixers and/or a man named Vrnan Maxwall.

There's so much to love about this pair of tweets: For starters, Aron probably doesn't agree with most of what's written on this site, but it's nice to know that he reads Liberty Ballers from time to time. Most importantly, it's just plain fun to over-analyze a handwritten note by a 6-year-old, especially when it's related to a team that we all love.

It's safe to assume that Levin was writing about Vernon Maxwell, the gunner without a conscience who played for the 76ers during the 1995-96 season. But sadly, on the day the note was presumably written, the Sixers lost to the Atlanta Hawks (led by a man named Mookie Blalock) 82-77.

Maxwall/Maxwell actually scored five straight points in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 77, but then the Sixers Sixers'd the final 2:41 and went scoreless for the rest of the game. Blalock, meanwhile, was not knocked out of the pank, and finished with 23-6-4.

Lil' Levin's love letter (alliteration, baby) to Vrnan Maxwall ALMOST absolves him from his series of ill-fated tweets while manning the @SBNationNBA account last Tuesday. ALMOST.


People of Manchester, England: On behalf of all of us here at Liberty Ballers, we would like to apologize for the fact that you have to watch Sixers' preseason basketball this coming October. WE hate to watch exhibition games on this side of the Atlantic, so to peddle that same product to you and actually market it as "professional basketball" is somewhat disingenuous.

You know how excited you all get when Manchester City and Manchester United square off? Consider this the complete opposite of that. On the bright side, you will get to see Kevin Durant dunk on the Sixers for a good portion of the 12 minutes that he'll play that night. And you'll get to learn first-hand why we can't stand Spencer Hawes. By the way, if anyone over there wants to man our Twitter account during the game, just shoot us an email.


Long before he missed nearly 59 percent of his shots in his first (and likely, only) season in Philadelphia, Nick Young took to YouTube to challenge former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to a fight.

Now before you completely dismiss Swaggy P's 2010 boast (complete with a half-decent Tyson impersonation), let's not forget that Tyson was humongous at the time: Young's assertion that Tyson had a "turkey body" wasn't entirely off of the mark. But since then, "Iron Mike" dropped at least 100 pounds, and if the two were to square off today, Tyson would break Young in half.

Young isn't the first non-boxer to call out Tyson, however: Will Smith did the same thing 21 (!!!) years earlier in the song "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" from the underrated DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince album titled "And in This Corner..."

Coincidentally, this was the first full-length album that I ever bought with my own money: 10-year-old me wanted something to play on my new cassette player, but I had to make sure that the album didn't have any profanity. 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" wasn't going to go over well in my house.

(In case you were wondering, the first cassette single that I ever bought was Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain." Again, I was 10 years old at the time.)


ICYMI, the Philadelphia 76ers will be sporting their 1966-67 jerseys as alternates during the 2014-15 season. Between this and the Sam Hinkie news, the Sixers are having one of their best weeks ever. The winner of the "Worst Week Ever" award? Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

(Brief aside: How/why are people still smoking crack cocaine in 2013? Didn't everyone watch "New Jack City" growing up? After watching what happened to Pookie and the people in 'The Carter', "New Jack City" should serve as the best 97-minute "Say No To Drugs" commercial of all time. Except for those scenes with Judd Nelson, of course - he's a terrible actor).


One of these players is a world-class athlete who previously starred in Georgia before bringing his talents to Philadelphia. But while that same man isn't necessarily the best player on his team, he is a pretty good left-handed passer who is poised to have a fantastic season this fall.

The other player is Mike Vick.

Go Eagles!

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