Ending 2016 with an 8-24 record, the Philadelphia 76ers are the joint worst team in the NBA. They have won five games at home all season long (a tally matched by the Miami Heat, incidentally) and only three games on the road. The only team that could make a good case for their being worse is the Brooklyn Nets, who are also 8-24 with a dreadful 1-16 road record.
About Andrew Sanders
Andrew was something of a latecomer to the game of basketball, having given up rugby after leaving high school. Joining Edinburgh’s fabled Pentland Tigers, he quickly moved on to the East Lothian Peregrines in the Scottish national league before moving to Belfast where he played with Queens and then with Belfast Star. After a year in the superleague, he moved back to Scotland and played with the Scottish Rocks in the BBL. He “retired” (the McDermott rule for using the word “retire” instead of “stopped playing” does require you to have been paid to play, so technically he retired) and moved to Seattle where he began life as an academic, which currently sees him working at University College Dublin. He is a legitimate non-frontrunning Miami Heat fan, having taken up following the team in 2001.
The Independence Day move of Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors was the biggest free-agent move since the last one. Ok, so it was a bigger deal than most of them. A perennial MVP contender moving to a team that blew a 3-1 lead in the most recent NBA finals, their inability to achieve the elusive fourth victory costing them back-to-back titles.
The signs were there after the Sino-European games, after the Hibernia team played in the FIBA EuroCup and, particularly, after the senior men’s team competed in the European Small Nations this past summer in Moldova: The Irish Senior Men’s Basketball team is back and now it has a new head coach, former George Washington University Assistant Pete Strickland. Strickland will hold the position for two seasons (2016/17 and 2017/18), culminating in participation in the FIBA Small Nations European Championships in 2018.
The 2017 NBA All-Star Game was given to the city of Charlotte in North Carolina, the home of the Charlotte Hornets franchise, on 22 June 2015. Just over a year later, in a statement made on Thursday, the NBA decided to move the game and all the events that go with it, with New Orleans currently (at the time of writing) the favorite to host the festivities.
The 2016 NBA free agent class is headlined by a handful of players coveted, at some point in the recent past, by every franchise in the league.
Belfast Star’s Keelan Cairns and his former team-mate Paul Dick, most recently of Killester, both feature in coach Colin O’Reilly’s squad for the European Small Nations Championship, scheduled for this summer in Moldova.
In the end, kick-in-the-nuts-gate ended up hurting the Warriors more than the Thunder. The distraction of whether or not Draymond Green would be suspended for a deliberate/accidental volley of Steven Adams’s nether regions, somewhat tempered by a video that appeared on social media showing Green throw out a flailing and potentially maiming leg on several plays over the course of his career, proved to have little impact on OKC who were again driven by a strong second quarter – which they won 42-27 – to win 118-94.
The end result has been somewhat overshadowed by accusations leveled at Draymond Green and his intentions when his lower leg met Steven Adams’s lower abdomen, but make no mistake, this was a spanking.
The Golden State Warriors, fresh off the shock of losing their tenth game of the 2015-2016 NBA season contrived to drop yet another game to the Portland Trailblazers. Fortunately for Warriors fans, from the oldest of old school Philadelphia/San Francisco breed, to the Run-TMC era, to the Baron Davis generation, to the billionaire silicon valley tech-heads to Stephen Dawson, the defending champions were already two games to the good and went on to win the next two, closing out one of the season’s most surprise packages 4-1.