Ex-76er Ish Smith talks Sam Hinkie, ‘The Process,’ Philly fans, how playing in Philly helped his career(VIDEO)


From 2013-2016, the Philadelphia 76ers were basically put together to lose. The rosters that were constructed by then-GM Sam Hinkie were not very good, and the goal was to lose as many games as possible so that the team could get the best possible picks in the NBA Draft.

In the 2015-16 season, the 76ers were very bad. After 18 games that season, Philadelphia was 0-18, and after 31 games, the 76ers were 1-30, which was perfect for Hinkie and “The Process,” which the 76ers’ rebuilding efforts were called during Hinkie’s time as the team’s general manager. 

With the 76ers struggling at point guard during that 2015-16 season, the team made a move as they acquired PG Ish Smith from the New Orleans Pelicans, who played with Philadelphia the previous season before signing with the Pelicans in 2015.

Smith came in and immediately was a factor for the team. In his first game with the 76ers, Smith led Philadelphia to a road win in Phoenix against the Suns, and in Smith’s first six games with the 76ers, Philadelphia went 3-3, which had some fans concerned. According to Smith, Philly fans were getting mad at him for doing what many fans love, which is winning.

“Everybody was heated,” Smith recently told goforitradio. ‘We got rolling because we had lost so many close games, I remember. We had lost so many close games because we had started off rolling, and all of sudden, we had won like four in a row.”

Even though the 76ers were not a very good team and finished the 2015-16 season 10-72, Smith loved the way the fans supported the team.

“One thing I loved about the Philly fans is they still came out,” Smith said.

Philadelphia would get the number one overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, and they would get Ben Simmons, who has paid dividends, including being a two-time All-Star and winning Rookie of the Year.

“The Process” has worked to a degree, Philadelphia has won over 50 games the past two seasons, but they have not won a title. However, their two big stars, who were products of “The Process,” Joel Embiid and Simmons, are still young, so they have time.

In terms of Smith, his career has flourished. He signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Pistons in 2016 before signing a two-year, $12 million contract with the Wizards last offseason. Before the season was suspended, Smith started 19 games for the Wizards and averaged 10.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game. 

Unfortunately for Hinkie, he would not see “The Process” through, as he resigned during the 2015-16 season after the team brought in Jerry Colangelo as Chairman of Basketball Operations. To date, Hinkie has not gotten another job as a team executive in the NBA.

Hate it or love it, the 76ers’ success today, and Smith’s opportunities in the league may not have been possible without “The Process.”

Philadelphia 76ers statement on suspension of NBA season

After Utah Jazz C Rudy Gobert’s positive test for COVID-19(coronavirus), the NBA announced that they had suspended the season on Wednesday. At this point, there is no timetable on when the season will resume.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Philadelphia 76ers put their support behind the league’s decision to suspend the season:

“The Philadelphia 76ers are supportive of the NBA’s decision to suspend the season. The health and well-being of our fans, players, staff members, partners, and communities are of the utmost importance, and we remain in close communication with the NBA, public health, state and local officials in charting a path forward.

“As we navigate the coming weeks, we recognize that our staff members are family and the heartbeat of the organization. As such, we are committed to assisting our arena associates through this period.

“In this time of need, we need to band together and take care of people,” Managing Partner Josh Harris stated. “Our teams, our cities, and the leagues in which we operate are a family, and we are committed to looking out for one another.”

“The 76ers also extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the many talented doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and emergency services personnel who are working tirelessly to address this matter of public health.

“We will provide further updates as soon as possible.”

Shayok scores 26 points in Blue Coats’ win

The Delaware Blue Coats (22-21), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, defeated the Maine Red Claws (28-14), 113-92, on Wednesday afternoon at 76ers Fieldhouse. The Blue Coats swiped 15 steals and held the Red Claws to a season-low 92 points, including just 12 points in the second quarter.

76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok scored 26 points (9-15 fg, 3-6 3fg, 3-3 ft) for the second-consecutive contest, adding seven rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes for the Blue Coats. Delaware’s Jared Brownridge was a game-high plus-38 in tallying 26 points (8-13 fg, 4-9 3fg, 2-2 ft), four assists and a career-high four steals in 23 minutes of action.

Norvel Pelle, on assignment from the 76ers, nearly registered a double-double with 12 points (5-7 fg, 1-2 ft), eight rebounds and three blocked shots in 21 minutes for the Blue Coats. Zhaire Smith, also on assignment from Philadelphia, added 10 points (3-6 fg, 2-3 3fg, 1-1 ft) and a pair of assists in a game-high 37 minutes.

The Blue Coats led 53-44 at halftime and outscored Maine 52-31 in the second and third quarters combined. Delaware, which led by as many as 34 points in the victory, totaled 24 points on the fast break.

Yante Maten paced the Red Claws with a double-double performance of 23 points (9-18 fg, 1-5 3fg, 3-5 ft) and 12 rebounds, adding four steals in 30 minutes of work. Boston Celtics two-way contract player Tacko Fall secured a double-double of his own with 12 points (6-12 fg) and 14 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench for the Red Claws. Justin Bibbs posted 17 points (8-13 fg, 1-3 3fg) in 33 minutes as a starter for Maine.

The Blue Coats host the Long Island Nets on Saturday at 7 p.m. at 76ers Fieldhouse.

Zhaire Smih scores G League career-high 24 points in Blue Coats’ loss

The Delaware Blue Coats (21-21), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, fell to the Lakeland Magic (24-17), 129-116, on Sunday afternoon at 76ers Fieldhouse. Zhaire Smith, on assignment from the 76ers, posted a G League career-high 24 points (10-12 fg, 2-3 3fg, 1-2 ft) with two rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes for the Blue Coats.

Jared Brownridge scored 19 of his team-high 27 points (9-17 fg, 7-13 3fg, 1-1 ft) in the first half for Delaware. Today’s performance was Brownridge’s fourth game of the season–and his 10th overall dating back to last season–with seven 3-point field goals made.

76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok tallied 26 points (11-21 fg, 3-7 3fg, 1-1 ft), eight rebounds and a season-high-tying seven assists in a team-high 37 minutes for the Blue Coats.

The Blue Coats trailed 65-63 at halftime, and were outscored 30-19 in the third quarter. Lakeland began the second half with an 11-0 run. The visitors converted 17 of their 20 free-throw attempts (.850) in the contest.

Lakeland’s Josh Magette posted a career-high 38 points (10-18 fg, 7-13 3fg, 7-7 ft) in a double-double performance that also included 11 assists in 36 minutes of action. Philadelphia native Amile Jefferson notched his sixth consecutive double-double with 31 points (11-18 fg, 7-8 ft) and 16 rebounds in 37 minutes for the Magic. Hassani Gravett (14 points) was a game-high plus-23 in a game-high 38 minutes.

The Blue Coats return to action on Wednesday at 11 a.m. against the Maine Red Claws at 76ers Fieldhouse.

Shayok scores 25 points, Koumadje grabs 24 rebounds in Blue Coats’ win

The Delaware Blue Coats (20-18), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, defeated the Windy City Bulls (16-23), 122-99, on Saturday night at 76ers Fieldhouse. Christ Koumadje notched the 15th double-double of his rookie season with 13 points (6-12 fg, 1-2 ft) and a season-high 24 rebounds in 30 minutes to help the Blue Coats even the season series.

Koumadje’s 24 rebounds match the total for the most rebounds by a player in a single game in the G League this season (Eric Mika, Stockton Kings). Koumadje previously recorded 20 rebounds in an 18 point, 20 rebound and 12 block triple-double at Erie on Feb. 1. The 7-foot-4 center added three blocked shots to bring his season total to a league-leading 124 rejections.

Seven Blue Coats players scored in double figures for the eighth time this season.

76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok led the way with 25 points (9-16 fg, 4-7 3fg, 2-2 ft), four rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes of action. Jared Brownridge and Justin Robinson combined for 40 points off the Delaware bench. Brownridge netted 21 points (7-10 fg, 5-8 3fg, 1-1 ft) with four rebounds in 22 minutes, while Robinson tallied 19 points (8-11 fg, 1-2 3fg, 1-1 ft), three rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes.

The Blue Coats led 52-40 at halftime and by as many as 26 points late in the fourth quarter. The team improves to 13-4 overall when leading at the break and 18-3 when leading at the start of the fourth quarter. Delaware outrebounded Windy City 52-40 and has now hauled in 50 rebounds or more on 22 occasions.

Jaron Blossomgame secured a double-double for the visiting Bulls with 26 points (11-18 fg, 1-2 3fg, 2-2 ft) and 11 rebounds in a game-high 37 minutes of work. Justin Simon added 21 points (9-23 fg, 2-7 3fg, 1-2 ft), seven rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes for Windy City.

The Blue Coats will embark on a three-game road trip that begins on Monday night at 7 p.m. ET against the Capital City Go-Go. The team then visits the Long Island Nets and Raptors 905 before returning home for a meeting with the Lakeland Magic next Sunday at 2 p.m. ET at 76ers Fieldhouse.

Zhaire Smith scores 17 points in Blue Coats’ loss

The Delaware Blue Coats (19-16), the NBA G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, fell to the Canton Charge (23-13), 131-115, on Friday night at 76ers Fieldhouse in the team’s first game in eight days. All five Blue Coats starters scored at least 10 points in the contest, with seven total players reaching double figures for the second-straight game.

Justin Robinson led Delaware with 22 points (5-14 fg, 4-8 3fg, 5-5 ft), four rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. Robinson has now scored 20 points or more in three of the team’s last four games. Haywood Highsmith neared a double-double for the Blue Coats with 18 points (7-12 fg, 3-4 3fg, 1-1 ft) and nine rebounds in a team-high 34 minutes of work. Highsmith posted 10 points and six rebounds in the fourth quarter.

Zhaire Smith, on assignment from the 76ers, recorded 14 of his 17 points (7-12 fg, 2-6 3fg, 1-1 ft) in the first half for the home team. Smith added three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 18 minutes of action. 76ers two-way contract player Marial Shayok tallied 16 points (6-19 fg, 1-8 3fg, 2-2 ft), six rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes as a Blue Coats starter.

The Blue Coats trailed 67-58 at halftime and were outscored 34-23 by Canton in the third quarter.

Cleveland Cavaliers two-way contract player Dean Wade paced the visiting Charge with a double-double performance that included a season-high 27 points (11-16 fg, 4-7 3fg, 1-1 ft) and a game-high 16 rebounds over 36 minutes. Sir’Dominic Pointer scored 17 of his career-high 25 points (10-15 fg, 5-8 3fg) in the first half for the visitors, adding five rebounds and four blocked shots in 27 minutes overall. Sheldon Mac was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line and totaled 23 points (4-9 fg, 9-9 ft), five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes off the Charge bench. Canton converted 15 of its 16 free-throw attempts in the game.

The Blue Coats hit the road for two games in Oshkosh, Wisconsin next week against the Eastern Conference-leading Wisconsin Herd. Tipoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. ET on both Tuesday and Thursday. Delaware returns to 76ers Fieldhouse next Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. ET against the Windy City Bulls.

Suns sign Jonah Bolden to 10-day contract

The Phoenix Suns today signed forward Jonah Bolden to a 10-day contract. He will join the team and be available to play in tonight’s game vs. Golden State.

Bolden, in his second NBA season, played 48 games including 10 starts with the Philadelphia 76ers over the last two seasons, averaging 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds. He played in 10 playoff games during the 76ers’ run to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2019.

The 6-8, 225-pound forward was the 36th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2017 NBA Draft after playing one season at UCLA and one season with KK FMP in Serbia. A 24-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, Bolden helped Maccabi Tel Aviv to the 2018 Israeli Premier League Championship before joining the 76ers and making his NBA debut.

The Suns’ roster now stands at 17 players.

76ers sign C Norvel Pelle to NBA contract

Philadelphia 76ers have signed C Norvel Pelle to a standard NBA contract, the team announced today.

Pelle was previously signed to a two-way contract, spending time with both the 76ers and their G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats.

In his rookie season, Pelle has appeared in 14 NBA games, averaging 2.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 11.1 minutes per game. He leads all rookies in blocks per game and ranks 11th with 21 total blocks in 156 minutes. Pelle has posted at least one rejection in 10 of his 14 career games, including a career-high four swats in his NBA debut on Nov. 29 at New York. He’s tallied six points on two occasions; Dec. 13 vs. New Orleans and Jan. 9 vs. Boston, blocking three shots in each of those games.

Over the past two seasons, Pelle has appeared in 43 G League games (32 starts) for the Blue Coats, averaging 11.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in 22.8 minutes per contest. His .703 field-goal percentage in 2018-19 led the G League. Pelle was one of five G League players with at least 100 blocks last season and was named to the 2018-19 G League All-Defensive Team, finishing third in voting for Defensive Player of the Year. 

Pelle participated in 76ers training camp prior to the start of the 2018-19 season and represented the team at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in both 2018 and 2019.

A native of Antigua and Barbuda, Pelle began his professional career in 2013 with the Blue Coats, which chose him with the No. 6 overall pick in the NBA Development League draft. 

In a related move, the team has waived Jonah Bolden.

Statement from the Philadelphia 76ers on the death of Kobe Bryant

Here is a statement from the Philadelphia 76ers on the death of Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, Gianna.

Bryant was 41.

76ers’ statement:

“The Philadelphia 76ers organization mourns the losses of NBA icon Kobe Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and all of those who passed away tragically today in an accident in California.

“Bryant, one of the most decorated players in NBA history and a global ambassador for the game, made an everlasting mark on our league. His determination, passion to win and fierce competitiveness fueled the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships and inspired millions of people around the world. 

“Bryant’s journey to icon status in the world of basketball included deep ties to the Philadelphia region, where he starred at Lower Merion High School from 1992-96. As he honed his craft in Philadelphia, Bryant established a reputation as a player with once-in-a-lifetime poise, grit, heart and an unwavering love of the game.

“While his imprint on the game of basketball will be etched in the history books forever, Bryant will also be remembered for his love of his family, commitment to community through his philanthropic work, and for being an innovative leader in business.  

“The 76ers organization sends its sincerest condolences to Vanessa Bryant and the Bryant family during this incredibly difficult time. We also send our condolences to Jeanie Buss, the Los Angeles Lakers organization and Kobe Bryant fans everywhere.”

Brand: ‘Joel(Embiid) has quickly established himself as one of our game’s most dominant players’

The NBA announced today that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was named an Eastern Conference starter for the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago. It’s Embiid’s third consecutive All-Star Game selection after being named a starter in each of the past two seasons. He’s the first 76ers player to be named a starter in three straight All-Star Games since Hall of Famer Allen Iverson started seven straight from 2000-06. Embiid is also the eighth player in franchise history to be named an All-Star starter three times, matching Wilt Chamberlain with his third selection.

“Congratulations to Joel on being named an All-Star starter for the third consecutive season,” said Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand. “Through his continued hard work and intense desire to win, Joel has quickly established himself as one of our game’s most dominant players and a cornerstone of our franchise. His combination of power and finesse is truly special, as is the unique connection he’s made to our fans in Philadelphia. This is well-deserved, and we look forward to Joel representing the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago during All-Star Weekend.

In his fourth NBA season, Embiid holds averages of 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. He and fellow All-Star starter Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only two players in the league averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds and one block per game. Embiid has posted a team-best 24 double-doubles (sixth in East) in his 31 games, while his 21 games with 20 points and 10 rebounds are tied for the second-most in the NBA, behind only Antetokounmpo.

Embiid is one of four Eastern Conference players, and one of seven league-wide, averaging at least eight free-throw attempts per game, making at least 10 free throws on nine occasions. In five of those 10 free-throw games, Embiid has scored 30-plus points, something he’s done a team-leading eight times this season. On Dec. 12, Embiid joined Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes (twice) as the only 76ers ever to post at least 38 points, 16 rebounds and six assists against the Celtics.

Defensively, Embiid ranks sixth in the East with an individual defensive rating of 99.5. He’s one of eight-players league-wide with a mark below 100. Embiid, Antetokounmpo and Detroit’s Andre Drummond are the only three Eastern Conference players averaging at least 1.0 blocks and 12.0 rebounds per contest.

On Nov. 15 at Oklahoma City, Embiid’s 166th career game, Embiid surpassed 4,000 points, becoming the second-fastest 76er to reach the mark, behind only Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain. The Cameroon native would later collect his 2,000th career rebound in his 174th game, becoming the fastest NBA player to reach the mark since Tim Duncan in 1999. The only 76er ever to post 2,000 career rebounds faster than Embiid was Hall of Famer George McGinnis in 1977.

In the Eastern Conference frontcourt, Embiid finished third in fan voting and second in both player and media voting.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current NBA players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each.

After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.