Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Sporting Life

Philadelphia 76ers Will Play Entire 2013-14 Season Overseas

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PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers have made what might be their boldest move yet in an offseason filled with bold innovations. Yesterday General Manager Sam Hinkie announced that the 76ers will play in the Beko Turkish Basketball League for the entire 2013-14 season.

“We had been weighing the analytic advantages of sending our second-round pick Arsalan Kazemi overseas for the upcoming season,” Mr. Hinkie told reporters. “The more we looked at the data, the more we realized that we could maximize our upside by sending the entire team overseas.

“Our new players, many of whom are undervalued, would get a chance to work on their games somewhere else for a year. They would also have a chance to learn each other’s names and to develop team chemistry. In addition, we would have more time to assess where we are as a team and, perhaps, to hire a coach, not to mention finding a mascot. That’s a win-win-win.”

Team reaction to the move was largely favorable. Sixth overall pick, Nerlens Noel, who is rehabbing a torn ACL, said, “I wasn’t going to play next season anyway, so it ain’t no thang whether I don’t play in Asia or I don’t play here.”

Error-prone point guard Michael Carter-Williams, the eleventh pick in the draft, was also big on the idea.

“I hear they ain’t so fussy about counting turnovers in Turkey,” he said. “I can improve my assists-to-turnovers ratio as soon as I get off the plane.”

The only negative reaction came from seldom-seem, let alone used, second-year power forward Royce White, whom the Sixers obtained from the Houston Rockets in June. Mr. White, who suffers from gran mal panic attacks that prevent him from flying, was on a bus somewhere between Houston and Philadelphia, and could not be reached by mobile phone, which avoids using because “them damn things cause cancer.”

Mr. White’s agent, who has never met him personally, released a statement saying: My client may sue to block this move, which, he feels, is exclusionary and designed to take advantage of his well-known aversion to air travel.”

In related news, former Sixer Andrew Bynum, who missed the entire 2012-13 season before bolting Philadelphia to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, said he would have re-signed with Philadelphia if he had known the team was considering the move to Europe.

“I’d love to play me some ball in Spain,” said Mr. Bynum. “I visited there for dance therapy while I was rehabbing my knee last season.”  

 

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