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The Rundown: April 22, 2014

Philadelphia 76ers Owner: 19 Win Season “A Success”

Perspective certainly is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s really the only way that the owner of a 19-win NBA team can say – with a straight face – that the season was successful.

Right. Tell that to these people.

Right. Tell that to these people.

And, that’s exactly what Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris said a few days ago.

I think the season has been a huge success for us … All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship. There’s no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I’m really happy with the progress.

When you look at the 76ers’ 2013-2014 season – a league-high 26-game losing streak, with 63 total losses for a team that has nothing but young talent – you would think Harris had lost his mind.

Then, you look at the season’s true intentions, and it’s not that crazy.

After all, they’re in line for a top-5 pick, even if they don’t win the NBA lottery, along with another lottery pick. Throw that in with potential All-Stars in Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel, and they may have a contender in two or three years.

After all, as Harris put it:

We don’t want to be 41-41. We don’t want to be one-and-done. We want this team, this city to be proud of the Sixers. We want to be proud of the Sixers.

Again, it’s counter-intuitive to think that losing – and losing big – would bring about pride in the 76ers franchise. Then again, according to reports, there is a lot of support from the franchise’s fanbase.

After all, I think it was clear that winning enough to either be an 8-seed in the playoffs, or barely miss them, will never be enough for a team to win a championship. Ultimately, the Sixers were tired of mediocrity, so they pulled a venerable 1996 San Antonio Spurs move, and essentially tanked the regular season.

And look how THAT turned out.

And look how THAT turned out.

The question is, can the potential picks turn Harris’ words into prophesy? Or the ramblings of a madman billionaire who has lost touch with reality?


Texas’ Strong: We Will Not Be In A National Championship

From someone who sounded like he was living in fantasyland, to someone who may rub a fanbase the wrong way with a harsh dose of reality:

New Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong isn’t pulling any punches as to the state of the team – one that had lost 4 or more games the past four years, and one without a clear starter at the QB position.

In a state-wide bus tour, Strong made it clear that, while the intention of the program was to turn it around and bring it back to championship prominence, he isn’t expecting that turnaround to happen this year:

We have everything available, and I don’t know why we can’t be successful. There’s no reason for us not to be. Now, I can’t tell you how soon it’s going to be. Don’t hold me to that. Don’t say, “Ooh, coach said next year we’ll be in the national…” We will not be in the national championship game.



These could be the words of a head coach in over his head, or one that wants the massive expectations off of his shoulders – at least for the year. These could even be perceived as the kind of negativity that serve as kryptonite for bringing on the best prospects in the country.

Then again, honesty isn’t the worst thing in the world for a program who hadn’t been in the National Championship picture since 2009. Strong may have his critics, but he won’t presume that he is a miracle worker – after all, there was a reason the Longhorns went 8-5 last season, and it wasn’t just because of Mack Brown.

If anything, this should be a rallying cry for the current team – a rallying cry that doesn’t define them by the decal on the side of their helmets, but the level of commitment to winning in themselves. It should be about the players, and what they want to do in order to win – not resting on the laurels of a football legacy that has, unfortunately, passed them by in recent years.

It’s time to snap these players back to reality, and that’s exactly what Strong was trying to do. Not to put them down – but to build them back up.

Negativity, in this sense, can, and should, serve to motivate.

For Strong’s sake, I hope it works.


49ers Fans Angry … over BART Train Seats?

Let’s face it – sports fans can be among the most irrational groups of people in the world. I should know – I am one.

So, to say that a story like this doesn’t surprise me is an understatement – in the realm of fandom, it’s, sadly enough, par for the course.

The transit authority in the Bay Area bought new cars for the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) – frequently used by Bay Area sports fans, especially those for the San Francisco 49ers. Recent complaints, though, have arose about the design of said cars, that rub said 49ers fans the wrong way.

Rickety railings? Unsafe car foundation? The fact that it’s not hipster enough?

Alas – complaints arose that the seats were painted lime green and blue.

Seattle Seahawks colors.

Seriously. Over THIS.

Seriously. Over THIS.

God, I wish I was making this up.

Look, I hate the Seahawks as much as the next Niners fan – in fact, I couldn’t even watch Seattle’s Super Bowl victory in February, let alone acknowledge it for the next two weeks – but to have a problem with the colors of a BART train?

What, do you think they did this deliberately? Do you think that this was the work of a Seahawks fan, who just so happened to be the upholstery designer for BART – some symbolic “F U” to the people of San Francisco?

How about we just calm down and realize they’re just two generic colors that happen to work together, without drubbing up “conspiracies” about Seahawks fans getting a one-up on their biggest rival city?

Don’t take it from me, though – Ray Ratto of the CSN Bay Area shares these same sentiments.

After all, they have their first ever Super Bowl championship. What else is there to say? (Until the next time the 49ers win a Super Bowl, that is.)

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