I can see it now. The sun is high in the sky on a bright, clear day and everyone is snapping photos as the bust is revealed when Michael Lombardi is inducted into the bad take Hall of Fame. His latest contribution to his candidacy involves the Sixers' current "one-man army," Joel Embiid.
A quick history lesson on Lombardi is a short ride in the DeLorean back to 2017 when he infamously called Doug Pedersen one of the least qualified people to coach a team "than anyone I've ever seen." We all know how that turned out.
What makes Lombardi's attempt to drag Embiid about his conditioning so weak is that it's a clear reflection of the lazy narratives so many national writers and pundits latch onto about Philadelphia sports teams. Although Joel "Shirley Temple" Embiid has not taken his diet seriously enough in the past and faced a lot of criticism about his conditioning, from me included, his play against Boston has been strong.
Conditioning is a distant reason, if one at all, for his late-game struggles in Game 3, when he went 1 for 9 in the second half. Turnovers; passing out of double teams; spacing; fading away on his jumpers - yes. Playing poorly because he's out of gas late in the game? No.
We all know the Philly area is a special place. It has a way of molding you. People from here can survive and thrive where others might not because we come from a place where you experience real life.
In the middle of the Sixers gasping for air as Boston smothers their postseason chances, a real, true Philadelphia story is unfolding on the opposing bench. Roman Catholic grad Brad Wanamaker is playing backup point guard minutes for the Celtics as the embodiment of that Philly grit, simply by playing on an NBA court.
The North Philly native was a 29-year-old rookie with Boston last season after playing for seven seasons in Europe. The odds were long, but a role has developed for Wanamaker as he now helps contribute to the part of the villain in the latest chapter of not only one of Philadelphia's most storied rivalries, but the NBA's, as well.
He's even shooting off gems like this on social media at the expense of his hometown team.
Happy to be on the right side of this play tonight 🤦🏾♂️😂😂 https://t.co/i6Jc5Dll2P— Brad Wanamaker (@phillybul_22) August 22, 2020
Just like a helpless Al Horford in that video, Wanamaker had a front-row seat for Kemba Walker's patented stepback in 2011 when he was playing for Pitt. Wanamaker's Panthers were just one of the teams Walker and the UConn Huskies left in their wake as they blazed through the Big East and NCAA tournament en route to a national title.
Stakes are high
Flyers Fever has everyone rocking their orange and black and quietly buzzing about as if a socially distanced march down Broad Street could be in the cards. The pride emanating from Flyers nation is justified as the squad is into the second round for the first time in eight years, the goalie is showing Hart fans have begged for and they're doing it all with a friendly pat on the head.
A matchup with our northern neighbors from New York has escalated the intensity as Monday's series opener against the Islanders pulls into view. DraftKings has the Flyers and Islanders with the fifth-best and sixth-best odds, respectively, to win the Stanley Cup. This series could be a coin toss.
Undaunted, Kevin Hayes' favorite pizza place, Angelo's Pizzeria, has decided to put its pride on the line against Baci Trattoria & Pizzeria in Montrose, New York. The two mouthwatering pizza places have made a wager on the series where the loser has to work the entire day in the opposing team's gear and post a nice photo to social media all decked out.
(Photo from baci_trattoria on Instagram)
Angelo's owner Danny DiGiampietro is a huge Flyers fan and often posts videos of himself on his Instagram story playing as the Orange and Black in NHL20.
I wonder if there's a way where the loser has to send customers of the winning pizza shop some free food. I'll work on those details and get back to you. No reason we can't benefit too.
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