The calls of “MVP” grow louder for Joel Embiid, but those cries are also drowning out the sound of the ticking clock counting down on the center’s career. Inquirer columnist David Murphy takes a close look at what a terrible waste of incredible talent it would be if Embiid is denied adequate assistance to achieve what he seems to be capable of, namely, an NBA championship.
The fault, Murphy writes, lies not in fate or the fickle nature of one Ben Simmons, but in the organization’s inability to choose well in the search for a proper Embiid lieutenant. Now what is approaching is a final reckoning. Daryl Morey has what is likely the last good opportunity to do right by the big man and make the ideal trade to off-load Simmons and bring in the correct player to complement and support Embiid’s herculean efforts.
Whether that happens is another matter.
At the end of today’s Sports Daily, join us in wishing a happy birthday to a legendary Eagles player.
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
Which players do you think Morey should bring in for Simmons in a trade? Let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Eagles evaluate their season, former team president Joe Banner is looking at struggling wide receiver Jalen Reagor as a player who should be gone.
As Banner notes, you can’t trust Reagor as a punt returner, and he just hasn’t developed into a solid contributor as a receiver. Reagor might benefit from a fresh start as well.
After the season ended, both Howie Roseman and Nick Sirianni expressed their hope for more out of Reagor after two seasons, and we’ll have to see where it leads.
The announcement Tuesday of the new Hall of Fame class (6 p.m. on MLB Network) will be light on suspense, but it should give some indication whether any of the seven former Phillies on the ballot have a chance at future enshrinement. Scott Lauber takes a look at what we will learn from the results, including whether Curt Schilling has chirped his way out of Cooperstown and who might be the next Phillie inducted.
Jimmy Rollins’ Hall of Fame case might be debatable, but he has his share of iconic moments. Matt Breen revisits perhaps Rollins’ signature moment in the 2009 NLCS.
Off the Dribble
The 76ers had quite an eventful weekend, starting with a stunning 102-101 loss to Doc Rivers’ former team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and continuing with the coach making a little news himself. The Sixers blew a 24-point lead Friday to lose in stunning fashion, but they weren’t done there. When Rivers was asked after the game whether coaching played a part in the lost lead, he took exception to the question and appeared to feel disrespected. He asked in return, “Would you ask Pop [Gregg Popovich] that question? No, you wouldn’t. So don’t ask me that question. I’ve earned that.”
As The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey previously noted, playing down to undermanned teams has become a trend for this squad. The Sixers typically have been able to eke out wins, but it came back to bite them this weekend. They did manage to salvage things Sunday with a 115-109 win against the aforementioned Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs.
Next: The Sixers play the New Orleans Pelicans at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
On the Fly
Bad hockey or bad luck?
For the Flyers, it’s been a lot of both so far this season. At the midway point, the Flyers sit at 13-20-8 and are in the midst of an 11-game losing streak.
The biggest reason for their struggles? Injuries. The Flyers are without key players Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, and Joel Farabee and haven’t had a full lineup all season. With the playoffs looking more dream than reality, changes figure to be on the way.
Next: The Flyers host the Dallas Stars tonight at 7 at the Wells Fargo Center (NBCSP).
With the Union’s top striker now gone, the club has revealed who management thinks can replace, or even surpass, those goals he once scored. Dane Mikael Uhre has done well in Europe, but it remains to be seen how well his skills will transfer to Major League Soccer. Jonathan Tannenwald also has a look at an American striker sought by a team in Italy.
Worth a look
Swimming on: Schuyler Bailar was generally celebrated as a transgender swimmer for Harvard and has some thoughts on why Penn’s Lia Thomas is generally not.
A writer’s farewell: The Inquirer’s utility infielder tips his hat.
Villanova bounces: A loss to Georgetown would’ve been the start of a losing streak, but the Wildcats avoided that fate.
Skateboard salvation: For one Afghani immigrant, a skateboard is a ride to a better future.
On this day in Philly sports
Bill Bradley, the free safety who was king of interceptions for the Eagles (he had 11 in one season), was born on Jan. 24, 1947, in Palestine, Texas.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from EJ Smith, Josh Tolentino, Scott Lauber, Matt Breen, Jonathan Tannenwald, Gina Mizell, David Murphy, Joe Juliano, Olivia Reiner, and Keith Pompey.