Looks like Iggy recently had a change of heart. Philly’s long-time swingman stated his intention to stay a Sixer. Truthfully, it’s all words until players sign on the dotted line. At the same time, we halfway wish the Monta Ellis/Andre Igoudala trade actually happened. Philly’s team defense pretty much got them into the playoffs but they couldn’t buy a bucket on the perimeter. Meanwhile, Golden State has all the offense in the world but continually comes up short on the other end. Ellis and Igoudala’s talents as a scorer and a stopper respectively fill in team needs quite well. So what’s the hold up? We can only speculate, but Ellis’s needy scoring habits could come to the detriment of Jrue Holiday’s development. Golden State stands to lose Ellis’s 24 a night but gain important stops with Andre on the wing. He wouldn’t be enough to change the team’s culture but they have to start somewhere with their defensive effort. Ellis isn’t a total fix for Philadelphia’s offensive struggles but adding him could be a big step in the right direction … Moving on, congrats are in order to Bill Russell on getting the replica statue treatment in Boston. Bill’s crucial leadership role as an 11-time NBA championship winner goes without question. Has there ever been a better winner in the history of sports? He was the ultimate teammate, consistently shut down Wilt Chamberlain in crunch time and was everything Dwight Howard wishes he could be. We don’t understand how it took this long … Jamal Crawford is apparently contemplating his own offer from a Turkish club (does he realize they aren’t down with 26-foot pull-ups over there?). But with teams unwilling to offer an opt-out, like Deron Williams received, no NBA player will make the move. It’s basically a standoff: the player doesn’t want to commit and neither does the team … We feel like this argument could go on for weeks, but is Yao Ming a Hall of Famer? … We watched Gunnin’ For That Number One Spot again the other day and the movie briefly touched upon how the media machine’s fueling of star high school prospects is out of control. Coincidentally, we ran into a clip of Austin Rivers at NC Pro-Am dunking all over the place. Yet the video caused us to reflect on the topic at hand. You can’t just turn off the machine once it starts running. At the same time. we can get ahead of ourselves in the search. How else do you explain the fall of players like O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson? Each player received nationwide acclaim before they played a minute of college ball. They’ve yet to live up to lofty expectations and dealt with growing pains along the way, particularly off the court. Their talent levels are obvious but what’s more evident is the work and focus they must address. Has coverage of amateur athletes gone too far, walked the line or is it fine as is? … Joakim Noah will play for France during the European Championships at the end of summer … Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld tweeted that Brandon Jennings dropped 81 points in a Long Beach charity game that included Trevor Ariza, Dorell Wright, Jordan Hamilton and Pooh Jeter … And apparently Elton Brand will co-produce the Tupac biopic “Tupac.” He’s had success in that role in the past. EB was a producer for the Christian Bale movie “Rescue Dawn” from a few years back … We’re out like Noah.
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