Thursday afternoon kicked off the first day of the AND1 Summer Remix Tournament, a 12 team, elimination tournament where the winner takes home $100,000, and as the event MC frequently said, "the loser goes home with a wet jersey".
The inaugural game featured Philly's Finest, a motley group of players with few connections to Philadelphia, up against Bingo's All-Stars, a three time "Hoops In The Sun" champion. Leading head coach Bingo Cole's squad? Former Sixer of 17 games, Kenny Satterfield. The 32 year-old spent part of the 2002-03 NBA season with Philadelphia, before bouncing around the globe in hopes of continuing his NBA career.
Satterfield was a true game changer for the All-Stars, knocking down several three's in a row to open the gap, and sent the faux-Philly team packing.
But the City Of Brotherly Love had a chance to redeem itself with their second entrant, the Philly All-Stars, the likely the favorite to win the whole tournament. The eight man squad featured six former Temple players: Mark Tyndale (referred to by the MC as "black Shane Battier"), Craig Williams ("young Bill Cartwright"), Dionte Christmas (who was given no cool nickname but was repeatedly yelled at to 'Open the packages!'"), Micheal Eric ("young DeAndre Jordan"), and Dustin Salisbery ("The Legend"). Rounding out the squad was NBA veterans and Philly high school legends Hakim Warrick and Ronald "Flip" Murray.
With strong performances across the board from the All-Stars, they were able to rather handily take down their opponents, Division 1.
For Christmas and Eric, their focus isn't necessarily on the tournament, despite the large prize.
After spending 2012 with the Canton Charge in the D-League, Eric accepted a Summer League invite from the Sixers in June. He performed modestly in five games, averaging nearly six points a game, and just over 3 rebounds. The 25 year-old received a "couple" overseas offers after the completion of Summer League, but his focus is clearly on the NBA. When asked if he'd go back to the D-League again, he responded, "It's a good experience, but for me to turn down overseas, I'd like to stay in the NBA." He hopes to sign a contract a few weeks prior to the beginning of training camp.
In Vegas, Dionte Christmas had a strong showing for the Phoenix Suns, averaging over 10 points a game while shooting 46.3% from the floor. He spent the prior summer with the Boston Celtics Summer League squad, but was not given a contract. "I played well last summer" he said, "well enough to earn me a guaranteed contract, and I think I played well enough this summer to get a contract." Christmas says he has been in contact with the Suns "every day", and believes he'll know his future in the NBA "in the next 48 hours". He has garnered interest from three to four teams.
Another former Temple guard hoping to break into the league is Khalif Wyatt, who played with Christmas during his Senior season in 2009. The two workout together everyday at PCOM, Christmas says."He's playing well. He's gotten a lot better, and he's really matured and grown since I first saw him."
Wyatt has not communicated any details about a future in the NBA, specifically with the Sixers, to Christmas, but he seems confident the two parties will work something out.
"He really likes it there, the team seems to really like him. I don't see why he wouldn't be with the Sixers this year."
Christmas, Eric, and the rest of the Philly All-Stars will be back in action on Friday at 2 PM, at the Liacouras Center.
You can find more info about the tournament, which runs until Sunday, here.