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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Leave Mo Alone

Negadelphia lives on, and this time it has nothing to do with the fans. The Sixers win over Phoenix, one of the NBA’s best teams, on Wednesday night somehow only heightened speculation that Larry Brown will replace Maurice Cheeks as the head coach.

Stephen A. Smith did his usual snore-job from his disappearing perch in New York of trying to slap Philadelphia after a big win. His column the day after the win opened by dismissing the win, and claiming to have his hand on the pulse of the team. Today, Daily News Live continued the act when Stan Hochmann and Rich Hoffman scoffed when Michael Barkann suggested the Sixers were a move or two from playoff contention.

An ounce of effort from Smith, Hochmann, and Hoffman, to do something more than regurgitate the opinion of the casual fan would’ve been nice. Since finally dispatching Allen Iverson to Denver, the Sixers are 16-19 through Friday. They were 5-19 with him, including his banishment from the team while still on the roster. (By the way, Denver is 14-19 entering play Friday since Iverson suited up for the Nuggets.)

The Sixers are able to play like a regular basketball team for the first time in a decade. Instead of working around their best player, their discovering that Andre Iguodala can play. Samuel Dalambert looks halfway decent. Willie Greene is recovering his pre-injury potential. Andre Miller is reminding Philadelphia what a point guard can do for a basketball team.

Besides all of that, I can tell from my couch that Ed Snider’s in no mood to pay yet another coach to sit in a luxury box.

I’m the first guy to say the Sixers are blowing their chance to get Greg Oden. But the media needs to bring more to their fixation on Cheeks’ job status than the fact that Brown is bored. Two weeks ago they were convinced Brown was courting Jay Wright because he goes to Villanova.

For the record, neither move even makes sense. Cheeks shouldn’t be penalized because he happened to be the coach when the franchise finally did what needed doing by moving Iverson (and releasing the dead weight known as Chris Webber). We’ve been down the Larry Brown road, and, besides doubting he has a Finals run left in him, the drama he brings isn’t worth it.

Week-in-Review:

· The Eagles’ signing of A.J. Feeley as their back-up is idiotic. I’m tired of the media mantra that “you can’t argue with their success.” Last time I checked, success in the National Football League was measured in Super Bowl victories, of which the Eagles have zero.

They form a plan and are incapable of deviating from it. When they took Feeley back, their thought was that they had already signed Garcia so they were stuck for a year, but would make Feeley the back-up after that. The fact that Garcia proved he was the best of the three QBs, including Donovan McNabb, is clearly irrelavent to them.

It's the front office equivalent of punting on 4th and 15 down by 3 with 2
minutes left in a playoff game where your run defense has been slapped around
all day.

· Ryan Howard has already admitted to being frustrated by not getting a long-term deal from the Phillies. All of Pat Gillick’s impressive work with this team will be destroyed if Howard’s not made happy. I don’t care about the media mantra that “the Phils don’t have to do anything with Howard yet.” Who cares? He’s the best player this city’s seen in any sport in decades. Sign the man.

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