Jahlil Okafor Continues To Give 0 Fucks, Caught Speeding

It hasn’t been a pretty holiday weekend for Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor, but then again when has anything related to Philly’s pro basketball team looked pretty recently? But now rather than a minor slip up, Okafor seems closer to a full on Britney melt down.

“Okafor was stopped by police on the Ben Franklin Bridge about three weeks ago for going 108 mph, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Going over 40 mph on the bridge, which spans the Delaware River and connects Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, is considered reckless driving, according to the report.

This is not Okafor’s only run-in this season.

Boston police announced this weekend that a man filed a report claiming that he was the victim in a fight with Okafor outside a nightclub early Thursday morning. That department had said Friday that it wouldn’t investigate the incident unless someone came forward.

And in October, a heckler pointed a gun at Okafor’s head following a verbal exchange at a Philadelphia club, the Inquirer reported.”

Alright alright first things first that as someone who has traveled over the Philadelphia bridges quite frequently nobody really follows the 40 mph thing. But 108?! Damn boy, as Fat Joe once said in ‘what’s luv?’, “slow down baby!”. Plus it’s the end of the month, officers have to fill their quota (duh). I was happy Okafor threw down with that loser in Boston, at least someone in Philly isn’t happy about playing for a loser. As a fan, I want to see some fire (and also some brain cells but passion is dope too). To me it’s either that Okafor is genuinely upset and struggling from transitioning from a powerhouse in Duke to a laughing stock in the Sixers, or the dude just really doesn’t give a fuck and wants nothing to do with this sad team. Hopefully it’s the former, Okafor coming out of college was perceived as a “good kid” (I love that phrase, brings me back to my own college days) with little off the court baggage. All jokes aside I hope the big  fella can figure it out, once this seasons misery is concluded it’s actually time to start building this thing up and start competing going forward. The Sixers are going to have a gaggle of high draft picks and there’s some promising talent coming out this year so there’s still reason for optimism, it’s just a shame that you literally have to endure full seasons of not trying to get there. Once the talent comes, fans will too, Gratzfeed guarantees that and if there is one thing we known it’s that Philly fans will pay whatever money they have to in order to see a winning professional team.

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You can check out the full story right here:

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14248533/jahlil-okafor-philadelphia-76ers-stopped-speeding-ben-franklin-bridge

Gratzfeed Special: Sixers Draft In Review

Ok so it’s Monday and we’ve all had a few days to digest what Sam Hinkie and company have done with their latest attempt to make basketball in Philadelphia relevant again. I was actually driving down the shore during the draft but had my radio turned all the way up for the entire way down, listening intently and trying to learn as much about this years draft as possible. During typical bro talk, the same question often came up, “what do you think about the Sixers?” Well, let’s break it down, shall we?

The Good: The Sixers got a very talented player with tremendous upside who can be an elite big man in the league for years to come. Although Jahlil Okafor was selected third overall, it wasn’t farfetched to argue that he should have gone second or even first. Although he was only a college freshman his arsenal of low post moves resembled a perennial NBA all star. He also proved himself as a winner, being the best player on a Duke team that won the NCAA championship. Additionally, this gives the Sixers some flexibility in regards to their big men. With recent news that Joel Embiid’s foot isn’t healing as expected, they at least now have another potential stud big to pair with Nerlens Noel for however long Embiid is dealing with whatever the hell is wrong with him.

Finally, another positive is that they passed on Latvian mystery man Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis garnered a lot of hype for himself as we got closer and closer to draft night, and maybe for good reason. Although it wasn’t the NBA, he did play, and played well, in a talented league overseas. He has a lot of potential as he’s super tall (maybe even taller than 7 foot) with a deadly outside shot. People have said he could be the next Dirk. So why was passing on Porzingis a good thing? Well, he very well could be a great player in the NBA, but frankly the Sixers weren’t in a position where they needed to take the risk. Even though he could be a scary force, so could Jahlil Okafor, so why wouldn’t you take the guy who you’ve seen first hand dominate consistently in the NCAA and could scout easier over a guy who just really started to gain hype a couple of weeks before the draft. Yeah we saw Porzingis draining three pointers, but it was literally against the air. He’s totally too skinny and still needs to put on a lot of weight, which is much easier said than done. The bottom line is yeah, maybe he is the next Dirk, but maybe he’s the next Darko Milicic or Andrea Bargnani, and quite frankly the 3rd overall pick in a talented pool isn’t where you take that type of risk.

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The Bad: The Sixers didn’t get D’Angelo Russell. Lets face it, this is the guy who everyone in Philadelphia really wanted, badly. The Sixers need a guard more than a drunk person needs Wawa at 2 am and that’s really, really badly. Despite this need, they did little to address their backcourt situation with their other picks. With their first of 5 second round picks they drafted a big man from overseas only to trade him to the Knicks. Then with their following two picks they drafted two more big men, one being Richaun Holmes, a complete project from Bowling Green who doesn’t figure to matter anytime soon and the other being a big man from Lithuania who also doesn’t seem to have any real relevance. They then took 6’6 small forward J.P. Tokoto, who actually has some promise, but he still isn’t a guard and is a long shot at best. Why not take a flier on a shooter or any type of guard who can improve the backcourt down the road instead of stockpiling big men in an already way too crowded logjam of centers and power forwards? The Sixers were said to have had interest in putting together some of their second round picks and trying to get back into the first round, but they never did which is disappointing. Listen, nobody expects much from second round picks, but still with an extremely deep pool of young frontcourt prospects, taking a few guards for a spin couldn’t have hurt.

The Bottom Line: It’s too early to really have a strong opinion one way or another on this draft. The Sixers didn’t do anything great or special, but at least they didn’t blow it. I think you have to look at this one as the glass half full because there wasn’t anything they could have done about not getting Russell. Emmanuel Mudiay I believe is going to be a stud but he does carry some risk, and with Embiid’s situation the way it is, Okafor makes total sense. This reminds me of the Eagles offseason, people were freaking out when they traded LeSean McCoy…until they signed DeMarco Murray. There was a complete void at wide receiver after not resigning Maclin… until they drafted Nelson Agholar. Right now, the Sixers plan isn’t as crystal clear as it could have been, but it’s also far from the impending train wreck it could have been either after picking a very good big man. We still have to wait and see with Embiid’s foot, that impacts a lot of things. I also still think if he ends up being healthy the Sixers could trade any one of the three big dudes, with Noel actually being the most likely to go, but who knows at this point. It would have been great to get Russell, but Okafor could be a blessing in disguise, he can really be a special player in this league. Now that they have their newest pieces or as everyone likes to say “assets” it’s time for Sam Hinkie to devise a plan accordingly. The Sixers didn’t really “win” this draft, but they didn’t blow their future either, and nowadays as a Philly fan, not blowing it is a “W” in itself.

Grade (as of now): B+

Dario Saric Not Coming To Sixers In 2015-2016

Last year Dario Saric was selected with the 12th overall pick by the Orlando Magic and then immediately shipped to Philly, despite signing a 3 year contract extension with his Turkish team just days before the draft. News has now come in that the Sixers will not buy out Saric’s contract this season and he will stay put for the 2015-2016 season.

“ESPN’s Chad Ford first reported the expected news. He learned this morning through Saric’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, that the 21-year-old will stay in Turkey to play for Anadolu Efes as he did this past season.

Saric signed a three-year contract with the Turkish team days prior to the 2014 NBA draft. Still, he was selected No. 12 overall by Orlando, and later that night traded to the Sixers in exchange for the No. 10 pick and a future draft selection.

The Sixers reportedly had been negotiating with Anadolu Efes to buyout Saric’s current contract, but the price proved too high.”

What does it mean for the Sixers? Well it’s not really a big deal now, but it could be down the road. When they first drafted Saric I listened to Sam Hinkie’s press conference and he was adamant even then that it would be at least two years before they acquired the turkish big man. Well after this season he still has one year remaining on the contract which the Sixers would probably attempt to buyout, but theres a catch. Saric may be inclined to finish out the final year of his contract in Turkey because if he waits the extra year, the rookie salary scale is no longer in effect, and he then has the right to negotiate a new contract as a free agent with the Sixers, which would probably cost a lot more money. That means it’s very possible the Sixers have to wait until the 2017-2018 just for this guy to practice in a Sixers uniform (which are really fucking cool now by the way).

It’s just frustrating that the Sixers do all this tanking and don’t even have much promise to show for it. Joel Embiid was selected with the 3rd overall pick and now he’s a big injury risk. Saric was then taken 12th overall and we might not even see him for another 2 seasons. It’s time the Sixers take some real prospects that can come in and start to develop and put the wheels for this organization in motion. They have another opportunity to secure a great talent this Thursday night, only time will tell if their choice was a good one and hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later.

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You can check out the full article right here:

http://www.csnphilly.com/basketball-philadelphia-76ers/report-dario-saric-will-not-play-sixers-2015-16

Gratz’s Grumblings: Could Joel Embiid News Be a Smoke Screen?

Sixers fans (the few that actually exist) probably feel like they’ve been punched in the stomach after news broke this past weekend that Joel Embiid’s surgically repaired right foot is healing slower than expected. Nobody really knows what that particularly means other than well….his foot isn’t healing as expected, leaving radio hosts, writers, analysts and sports fans alike only able to speculate about what this might mean for a team whose fan base (again what little base that may be) is running out of patience and faith in the organization and facing extinction nearly as bad as the dinosaurs in Jurassic World.

There’s always a wide spectrum of different thoughts and theories created by fans and media alike, perhaps the most prominent one right now being the possibility of Embiid sitting out another entire season, despite no official word of that being a possibility. While it’s definitely a plausible outcome, could it be possible that the injury might not actually sideline the big man for the second consecutive season? It seems very likely that he won’t be ready for the start of the season, I can concede to that, but what if the Sixers are using this news as a smoke screen, maybe to create mystery about what they’re going to do in the draft?

Prior to the news, it seemed almost universally agreed upon that the Sixers would target a guard, specifically D’Angelo Russell with the 3rd overall pick. Now there’s some speculation about the pick, which could help with its value if they look to trade it or whatever the case may be. For instance, if Towns/ Russell go 1-2, then wouldn’t the pick seem less valuable since their guy was off the board? Now, if that happens and teams think they might need a big man since Embiid’s future is uncertain to say the least, then wouldn’t that would add some value to their pick? I get how this could seem like a stretch, but then why would they announce the news less than 2 weeks before the draft? Let’s be real here this guy is the Sixers prized pick and expected to be a franchise cornerstone for years to come, they probably watch over him like a meshugenah jewish mother and you’re going to tell me that all of a sudden they just found out his foot isn’t healing right? I don’t know, seems a little gefilte fishy to me…

Speaking of smoke screens, I don’t believe (or at least I don’t want to believe) that the Sixers would actually take Kristaps Porzingis with the 3rd pick. Word is that Sam Hinkie loves the Latvian big man, but I don’t think they would actually take him over say Russell/ Mudiay or Okafor. For the record I believe the Sixers should grab whichever best guard is available at 3, whether it be Russell or Mudiay. Russell is obvious but Mudiay would be great too if Russell is gone already, he’s got the size, strength, and maturity it takes to be a great guard in the NBA. He’s cultured and played professionally overseas and got a taste of the physicality and demanding workload the NBA will bring. Yes his shooting needs a lot of improvement, especially his free throw shooting, but his shot is mechanically off which can be coached and fixed by NBA coaching. He’s definitely a risk, but less of a risk then Porzingis and with a center who missed a season already, a Joel Embiid who might not play until who knows when AND already a big man overseas in Saric, the Sixers simply shouldn’t take another risk on a foreign big man.

The bottom line is that there’s a lot of uncertainty in an already murky and mysterious time for the Sixers’ rebuilding plan. If the Embiid news is as grim as people are thinking it could be, it would be simply devastating for Philadelphia’s bastard child of sports teams. But, until we know officially what the damage is, and with another top 3 pick in 10 days, there’s reason to believe it might not be as bleak as it seems.

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