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Yes, it’s grainy video season for the Philadelphia 76ers, particularly now that we officially have a full 15-man roster and just posting it all in one tweet without commentary feels like a mic drop. Ben Simmons Doing Stuff (feat. Some Jumpers) was indeed a pretty good (if not exactly revelatory or surprising) opening track to this mixtape, but plenty of heat for the streets still awaits. Here are the next ten vids I think we should be seeing across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all other social media -- but really just Twitter if you guys could, I don’t much check the others, thanks -- from the Sixers this summer.
1. Trey Burke dropping 70 in some super-amateur pickup game
Let’s start with our new guy, who seems like he was born to dominate barely credible summertime competition in hilarious fashion. I don’t care how legit it is, I just want to see the version of Trey Burke that looks like a cross between Allen Iverson and Stephen Curry for long enough to convince myself we’ll see 10 percent of that in the regular season. As long as it’s in, like, an actual gym.
2. James Ennis running wind sprints
Actually, let’s have him do the entire decathlon training bit. As unofficial captain of the Sixers’ Team Fuck Shit Up unit, we need JE3 in peak running, jumping, vaulting and javelin-throwing shape for the regular season. No loose ball, offensive rebound or improperly secured first-row beverage should be safe.
3. Joel Embiid running responsible drills with Al Horford
I don’t really care what responsible drills -- I have no idea what responsible drills people even run in the offseason, presumably because no one cares enough about getting unreasonably excited over lessons on solid screen-setting to post them in the first place. But in this case, the more boring, the better: We want Al to impart maximum veteranity on Joel, so that by the end of the summer, Jo starts finding himself having thoughts like Well if they say the concert starts at 10:00 that means it really starts at 11:00, and then the headliner won’t come on until after midnight, and I didn’t get a great night’s sleep on Tuesday to begin with and besides there’s still leftovers in the fridge I need to get to and oh word is Veronica Mars really on Netflix already?
4. Josh Richardson going out big-timing
J-Rich 2.0 might be able to get us to 75% of Jimmy Butler’s on-court production, but how far does he get us in terms of The Artist Formerly Known as Jimothy’s ‘90s movie-villain strut? Maybe we don’t totally want 100% of that back anyway, but I don’t want to lose all of it either -- that swaggeriness was a big part of the team’s identity, and with JoJo getting stock tips and lectures on the importance of owning at least one salmon-colored Polo from Horford, I expect his chest-puffery to take a hit as well. Harris seems to be too much of a sweetheart, and Simmons might not be ready to take the leap to full heel. Mike Scott obviously helps, but even his drip will need occasional load management.
Bottom line: I’d like to see Josh Richardson step up a little this summer. Nothing truly preposterous, but moderately big-timer biz. Get introduced at a PnB Rock concert. Wear a scarf in the VIP section for some reason. Date not quite a Jenner, but whatever one level removed from Jennerdom is. And most importantly, document it all very extensively over social media. By the team the season starts, I want his smirk game at like a 7-7.5 minimum.
5. Zhaire Smith and Matisse Thybulle finding an inside joke way funnier than it actually is
While JoJo and Al settle into a domestic frontcourt partnership based on comfort and routine, I’d love to see our two Summer League All-Stars bonding over being goofy-ass young bros in public together. You know, making fun of each others’ choice of footwear, going to a nice restaurant and acting overly weirded out by some of the food options, getting really, really invested in that new Danny McBride HBO comedy. Basically just laughing all the time at one another’s BS. Team WHOP shit. The Summer Sixers need never die.
6. Furkan Korkmaz fucking raining threes
I mean from EVERYWHERE. I never totally lost faith in Furkan Korkmaz’s shootiness: A good game to play with folks like Korkmaz is Would This Dude Start Immediately Shooting 40% From Three If They Somehow Ended Up on the Hawks?, and in Furk the Second’s case the answer is quite obviously yes. So there’s still something to work with here, especially since the Sixers are now significantly Hawksier going into next season.
But we need a Pop the Kork heat check first, and without his chosen venue of Summer League to showcase his flamethrowing, we just need a video of him hitting 40 of these suckers in a row. Short corner. Top of the arc. Half-court. Granny-style. Billy Hoyle trying to win his girlfriend a spot on Jeopardy! Let’s make it a McDonald’s commercial, Furkan.
7. Vasilije Micic owning ass for Team Serbia at the FIBA World Cup
We still have Micic on the line in some capacity, right? Hopefully, because we need some reason to get stupid excited about this tournament, and I’m not even sure if the U.S. even totally realizes it’s happening this year. Plus, what even is the summer without at least one ill-conceived “Well, let me just see how much the Andalou Efes jersey would cost…” Google?
8. Joel Embiid flexing in the locker room
Not like, literally flexing, but just kinda showing his godly stuff with his casually jawdropping gym routine. I’d list a bunch of potential examples here but I’d just embarrass myself with my “What the hell does ‘Leg Day’ mean?” level of rudimentary workout knowledge. But yeah, basically we all need to see Joel proving that conditioning concerns stand about as much of a chance of impeding his long-term success as Russell Westbrook getting in the way of one of his dunks. Stunt on them haters, Jo.
9. Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris being buds
I know we all want Proof of Friendship vids between Simmons and Embiid, but I just don’t think it’s going to happen, and I think that’s OK. Totally normal to have mutual respect co-workers -- the kind that you usually end up having super-awkward conversations with at company outings, and who occasionally says stuff at meetings that makes your eyes roll out of their sockets, but who you still see do their job at a high level and think holy shit I could never do that like that, and vice versa. You don’t need to force road-trip relationships with these people in your life, you just need to be able to recognize on some level the value they bring to the table, and do what it takes to keep your work relationship with them above sea level.
But I don’t want Ben to be totally friendless on the team, either. So while Jo is getting schooled in underrated ‘80s cult comedies by Big Al, let’s let Ben and Tobias have a very casual companionship, based on having largely basic rich guy taste in stuff and not really wanting to be bothered by the outside world. Boban can occasionally FaceTime in from Dallas.
10. Brett Brown chilling outdoors with a glass of red
Preferably in cargo shorts, with a pair of sunglasses hanging on his chest, attached to his neck by one of those ropes. It’s going to be a long season, Brett. They’re all going to be long seasons. Take it easy, take it simple while you still can.