I had to comment on the Sixers trade that was completed last night, as I finally got a chance to see what went down. All I can say is "Wow!" Billy King has outdone himself with this deal, turning the 76ers into a legitimate contender in the East with the acquisition of Chris Webber. More impressively, he did it without selling the farm, as Corliss Williamson will be the only one missed. Kenny Thomas has been decent, but he clearly was not one of the coach's favorites. Brian Skinner has never caught on, and was really just a deep bench player, the guy who has move down a seat when one of the real players comes out for a rest.
I have never been a huge fan of Webber's, but I could never hate on the bol. He has put up 20 and 10 for a good decade plus (damn, has it been that long?), he is a serious threat in the post and from 15 feet, and he is one of the best passing big men in the game. He provides the Sixers with a talented big man to complement Allen Iverson, something that he has never had in his entire career.
I mean, even the Championship run in 2000, A.I. has always had to play the role of 50 Cent with the G-Unit. Some good role players around him, who can do their jobs well, but no one to share the spotlight, who can guarantee big sales or big numbers. Now, he has a fellow superstar, albeit an older, more fragile version. To continue the rap analogy, it's as if Snoop joined 50's label. You know you ain't gettin' another Doggystyle, but the man can still come up with "Drop It Like It's Hot" at anytime. In other words, he isn't in his prime, but he is still better than 99% of the jokers out there.
The big argument against Webber is his health and his contract. These are valid concerns, but I can't imagine someone arguing against taking the risk. Allen is 29 now, and his body has taken a pounding over the years. The three years left on Webber's contract should nicely coincide with Allen's peak. The $62 million left on Webber's deal could turn into a disaster, if he gets hurt. But, you have to take this risk, and see what happens. They gave up so little in return, especially none of their young talent, while adding a bonafide superstar in a weak Eastern Conference. Plus, keeping things as they were just guaranteed mediocrity, a .500 team that was hoping to be good in the future. What if they weren't? The trade has risk, but so does everything worth doing. (Did I really just say that?)
Best of all, it brings some serious excitement to the team, as people are talking now. I have already received two emails about the trade, from people who have not mentioned the 76ers all year. Good sign, as the building should be full and crazy again, I can stop hearing about the Eagles, and I won't have to discuss the Phillies at all. This is a basketball town, but sometimes we need reminding. It's just another reason to be excited about this city, as real big things are happening in the 2-1-5.
Most importantly, this woman will now be in Philadelphia frequently:
Tyra, if you need someone to show you Philly, y'know, restaurants, bars, stores, or even just someone for a little girl talk, look no further than Pound for Pound. In fact, send an email, and I can put together an e-vite for a Welcome to Philadelphia party. Tons of fun, so holla at your boi. What's Laetitia Casta's email?
For more, check out this column which thinks that this deal has given the Sixers a legitimate chance to win the title. Or read this column that sees Webber as the player Allen Iverson has been dying to have on his team. Oh, and watch tonight's game on TNT, as it could be the beginning of something special.