Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer spoke with the Sixers marketing firm that has been tasked with selling Philly fans optimism in the midst of a miserable season. The “Together We Build” campaign has tried to convince fans that enduring short term on-the-court sacrifices will make future, more competitive Sixers rosters even more sweet. The message hasn’t landed with many fans, as attendance has dropped by more than 3,000 per game compared to last year. Here’s more from around the East:
- Sixers coach Brett Brown said his gut feeling is that Jason Richardson will not play this year, he tells Christopher A. Vito of The Delaware County Daily Times (via Twitter). Richardson has been out all season while recovering from knee surgery, and owns a player option for next year at $6.6MM.
- Magic point guard Ronnie Price has embraced his role as a veteran mentor to younger players in Orlando, he tells John Denton on the team’s site. “I think it is part of my responsibility and part of my respecting the game and respecting the people who mentored me when I was a rookie and a young guy in this league. I would be selfish to not try to mentor some of these guys and share what I’ve learned in this league.” The 30-year-old has another $1.3MM non-guaranteed year left on his contract, but is aware that his playing career could be over soon. “I like my role right now as a player and I still think of myself as a player. What I do as far as talking to guys on and off the court, that just comes naturally to me. I don’t consider myself a player-coach or anything like that; I love the game of basketball so I know that I will always be around the game.”
- In a 5-on-5 post for ESPN, J.A. Adande, Chris Broussard, Israel Gutierrez, Marc Stein, and Ethan Sherwood Strauss weigh in on whether stars for the Heat and Knicks will become free agents this off-season. Their consensus is that LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade will opt out of their player options this off-season.