Happy Monday folks.
I want to wish a belated Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. Hopefully, everyone had a great weekend and practiced social distancing. If you’re like me, life without the 76ers and the NBA has been boring. But, hey, you can come here once a week to get some Sixers and NBA news.
You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers. Thank you for reading.
— Keith Pompey (email@example.com)
Sixers general manager Elton Brand was asked Tuesday about the possibility of replacing former senior vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley, who was hired away to be the general manager of the Chicago Bulls recently.
“So we’re always looking, I’m looking for ways to improve our organization,” Brand said. “If we can get better and make a hire, we will certainly do that. Haven’t made that determination yet.”
If they do decide to replace Eversley, the Sixers shouldn’t look too far.
Like Eversley, Sixers scout Rod Baker has an eye for talent. He’s the one behind the Sixers signing then undrafted rookie free agent point guard T.J. McConnell in 2014. While Eversley gets the credit, Baker was the first team employee on the Matisse Thybulle bandwagon. The team eventually traded up to select the guard with the 20th pick in last summer’s draft.
In addition to having an eye for talent, Baker is well respected around the league. His relationships would benefit the Sixers on the executive level. And those relationships aren’t just in the NBA; he’s also well-known and respected on the college, high school and grassroots levels. Baker has more contacts than anyone in the Sixers’ front office.
The former longtime coach also would bring another basketball mind to help balance out an administrative-driven front office that relies heavily on analytics.
The North Philly native is a former standout at Roman Catholic, and he still has plenty of ties to the city. Baker, 68, knows what makes Philadelphians tick. He knows what it’s like to be a Sixers fan. He’s also familiar with the Sixers’ storied history.
The Sixers haven’t had anyone with those types of local ties in the front office since Tony DiLeo’s tenure as general manager concluded following the 2012-13 season.
He’s a no-brainer to add to the Sixers front office.
Michael Jordan’s leadership style was on full display Sunday night in episodes seven and eight of The Last Dance.
To say the Hall of Famer was tough on his Chicago Bulls teammates would be an understatement. Jordan used to pick on Scott Burrell. He got into a fight with Steve Kerr, and Jud Buechler said teammates were scared of Jordan.
“Look, winning has a price," Jordan said during the seventh episode of the 10-part documentary on Jordan’s career and the Bulls’ 1997-98 season. “So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged.”
Jordan added that he earned that right because the teammates who came after him didn’t endure all the things he did. So once they joined the Bulls, they lived at a certain standard of how he played the game.
“And I wasn't going to take anything less,” Jordan said. “Now if that means I had to go in there and get in your ass a little bit, then I did that.
"You ask all my teammates. The one thing about Michael Jordan was he never asked me to do something that he didn’t f---ing do.”
Answer: Thanks for asking this great question, Dana. I think the NBA will postpone the draft to at least August or September, assuming play resumes this summer. Under the current format, it would be impossible to hold the draft during its scheduled month of June if the teams are expected to resume this season in July at the earliest. Think about it: There are a lot of trades on draft night. But players can’t be traded at this point. Unless a player, including Saddiq Bey, is guaranteed to be a first-round pick, he should head back to college before the June 5 deadline to withdraw from the draft. In the past some underclassmen improved their draft status through strong workouts at the NBA combine and team workouts. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, they haven’t had the opportunity to showcase those skills. So I would go back to college unless I was a can’t-miss first-rounder.