When you’ve led your team to a championship, people gravitate to you and want to hear the secrets to success.

Temple invited South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley to be the commencement speaker Thursday. “You’re only measured by your effort and determination,” she told Temple graduates. “Both of which are within your control.”

We caught up with WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper, the Philly native who’ll soon return to the Chicago Sky to begin their title defense, and she simply says, “I’m just so grateful.

And when the Eagles were seemingly able to do well in drafting Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third round — two rounds after selecting Georgia’s Jordan Davis — GM Howie Roseman told Dean on the phone, “You bring that championship mentality, man. We’ll go win a ring like you just got one.”

Now, let’s see what answers Doc Rivers and Joe Girardi can come up with.

— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport

Which of Philly’s sports teams will be the next to win a championship? sports.daily@inquirer.com

Early Birds

The Eagles interestingly have interviewed Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy for a front office position. Nagy would bring years of experience from organizing one of the top pre-draft events, and the interview comes at a time when there has been turnover on the staff following the draft.

The team didn’t select any defensive backs in the draft and it has yet to sign one in free agency, either, but top cornerback Darius Slay sees emerging talents within the current roster ready to take on more prominent roles.

Next: The Eagles will host a two-day rookie minicamp beginning Friday, with their draft picks expected to see time on the practice field.

Extra Innings

Phillies manager Joe Girardi stated it matter of factly on Wednesday night: “We all know the ball’s changed a little bit. We know that. The ball’s not carrying the same as it did at times last year.” There is some evidence that balls aren’t carrying as they once did — home runs, for one, were way down from April 2021 (1.14 homers per team per game) compared to April 2022 (0.91). But is there more to it? Most likely. The more important question is if this trend continues, did the Phillies pick the wrong year to go all-in on offense?

The Phillies should have two players coming soon who could provide a spark.

Turns out home runs were not a problem for the Phillies on Thursday night. Pitching was another matter. They let a 7-1 lead evaporate in the ninth inning and wound up losing to the Mets, 8-7.

Next: Kyle Gibson (2-1, 2.93 ERA) will start against the Mets’ Max Scherzer (4-0, 2.61) at 7:05 p.m. Friday (NBCSP).

Off the Dribble

The 76ers are expected to be without Joel Embiid in Game 3 of their second-round series against the Miami Heat. The big man was listed as out on the team’s official injury report Thursday evening. But while he has “hurdles” to clear to recover from a concussion and an orbital fracture, Embiid was set to be evaluated overnight.

With Embiid’s availability uncertain, it is now incumbent on his teammates to shift their focus. They can no longer wait for the big man to return and even the series. Instead, they will need to lean on the lessons they learned in two losses without the MVP candidate.

Next: The Sixers will take the court at 7 p.m. Friday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Miami Heat for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals (ESPN).

On the Fly

The 2021-22 season got away from the Flyers in a hurry, as early injuries to Ryan Ellis and Kevin Hayes decimated the roster and a franchise-record 13-game losing streak saw the team fall out of playoff contention by the turn of the year.

What will 2022-23 have in store? General manager Chuck Fletcher and most of the players believe much better things. Giana Han looks at six keys for the Flyers to turn things around and make an dramatic return to playoff contention next season.

Thursday saw the Flyers say goodbye to one player and welcome back another. Former first-round pick Samuel Morin confirmed his retirement due to a series of knee injuries while the Flyers hired former speedster Sami Kapanen to work in their scouting department.

Fleet Street

Carlos Vela and the Union last tangled in the before times of the pandemic in an epic 3-3 draw. Now, the game against LAFC kicks off a truly epic stretch of soccer for the Union that encompasses five matches in 16 days.

Jonathan Tannenwald takes a look at how that’s likely to push manager Jim Curtin out of his comfort zone of rotating the Union roster. As in, Curtin prefers not to do so much, but he’s going to have to anyway.

Also, check out the soccer intrigue elsewhere, especially in games abroad.

What you’re saying about the Sixers

Miami has better personal and bench players. We would be better off with Curry and Drummond instead of Harden. Harden is no longer a star in the NBA. Time to face reality! This series is over. Loyalty and emotion will not produce victory for the Sixers. — Stephen M.

I don’t see how the Sixers can win four of the next five games, with or without Joel. — Jim V.

I still think the Sixers have a chance; the big guy hasn’t even played yet. If he does and isn’t limited by his injury, look out! — James H.

Inquirer Live

The Sixers continue to play in the second-round series against Miami Heat. Join Inquirer sports columnist Mike Sielski and Sixers beat reporters Gina Mizell and Keith Pompey as they discuss the impact of Joel Embiid’s injury and how the series’ move to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4 might help Doc Rivers and Co.

We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Susan Snyder, Jonathan Tannenwald, Jeff McLane, EJ Smith, Josh Tolentino, Scott Lauber, Alex Coffey, Gina Mizell, Giana Han, and Olivia Reiner.