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November 21 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Following Friday’s 90-79 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, the 76ers were given the day off Saturday. Sixers center Spencer Hawes had a full day of activity, however, and he couldn’t have been happier.
Hawes hosted, at the Cherry Hill Armory, members of the National Guard who will soon be deployed to Afghanistan.
The guardsmen will likely leave by the end of the year for 30 days of training at Fort Lewis in Washington state before going to Afghanistan. Their total tour of duty will last about a year.
In an event called “Salute to Our Troops,” Hawes hosted 76 military members and their families. He donated a Thanksgiving basket, which included a turkey, met with military men and women and their families, posed for pictures, and signed autographs.
“It’s just inspiring to be around these people,” Hawes said. “For all the sacrifices they make for our country, it was an honor to get to meet so many great people.”
One could see how inspired Hawes was after talking to a few of the soon-to-be-deployed guardsmen.
“I’m excited to help my country,” said Chris Bixby, 35, of Elk Township.
Added Jose Ayala, 23, of Hammonton: “It’s something I feel needs to be done, and any sacrifice is worth helping the country.”
Hawes was accompanied by Sixers mascot Hip-Hop, who, when he wasn’t flirting with women was making many of the children and adults laugh with his antics.
This was such an important event to Hawes that his mother, Lisa, flew in earlier in the week from Washington state to spend time with him and attend on Saturday.
This is Hawes’ first year with the Sixers after spending his first three seasons with the Sacramento Kings. His mother said that while in Sacramento, Hawes also was part of programs that honored military members.
“He’s very patriotic and supportive toward military members,” Lisa Hawes said. “I’m much prouder of what he has done [with] these situations than of him playing basketball.”
As impressed as Hawes was with all the people he met, the Sixers center also left a favorable impression.”
November 21 Camden Courier-Post columnist Martin Frank:
“Last season, the blame for the Sixers‘ demise fell squarely on the shoulders of former coach Eddie Jordan.
The refrain went something like this: His Princeton offense didn’t work on a team with no outside shooters or inside presence. He had no defensive philosophy. He didn’t get along with his players. He messed up Thaddeus Young’s confidence. And so on.
So who gets the blame for the Sixers‘ plight this season?
The common knowledge was, with Doug Collins replacing Jordan as coach, the Sixers had to be at least a little bit better than their 27-55 mark last season.
After all, they couldn’t be any worse.
Well, we’re finding out through a 3-10 start that, yes, the Sixers can be worse.
But the question is why?
On April 4, 2009, the Sixers were 40-35 and half a game away from getting the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Young was a rising star. Marreese Speights, then a rookie, showed promise. Lou Williams was a lethal scorer off the bench.
And while Andre Iguodala needed someone to be the primary scorer, he was talked about as a possible All-Star.
The Sixers took the heavily favored Orlando Magic to six games in the first round of the playoffs before losing.
So when Jordan was hired after that season, his Princeton offense was supposed to find a way to incorporate Elton Brand, Iguodala and Young into a trio of 20-point scorers as he had in Washington (Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison).”
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