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OTLR Recap: June 5th 2016 Special Guest Matt Hopkins

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TSJ101 Sports Radio: OTLR

June 5th marked a special edition of OTLR.  We had special guest Matt Hopkins from PHLSportsNation.com talking Philadelphia 76ers.  We also ended the show with a heart-felt tribute to the late, great Muhammad Ali.  In case you missed the action, let me, Kellie Kellz, break it down for you.  I’ll let you know what went down between myself and my co-hosts, the Birdman, the Don of Sports, and Rashan the Don.

We started the show with talk of the NBA finals, each offering our insight on the Golden State Warriors victory in the first game of the series.  The Don of Sports got us started.  Although the Cleveland Cavaliers took a loss in game one, Don was quick to defend LeBron James and the boys, pointing out where they went wrong and what they can do to not make the same mistakes again.  The Birdman was doubtful.

I, of course, have my home team bias.  Despite my disappointment, I defended my squad and said the team needs to show more urgency, especially from the bench.  Rashan the Don came in and said that the finals were officially over and that Cleveland had no chance to come back.  This quickly turned into a great debate with Don and myself on the side of the Cavs and Birdman and Rashan on the side of Stephen Curry and the Warriors.

Don started showing his passion for basketball, which I always enjoy listening to, and always engages us in very heated debate.  The back and forth got so heated, I was ready for it to come to blows, luckily, we were saved by a caller.

Our caller joined in speaking about the NBA finals, and came in on the side of Birdman and Rashan due to bias against Cleveland.  The caller is both a Knicks and Steelers fan, so it was to be expected.  The caller predicts Golden State in 7.

The debate continued after the first commercial break as we went on debating Steph Curry versus King James.  Don and I both proclaim that the Cavaliers will win the series in six.  The only way we could settle the debate was to create a gentleman’s (or ladies!) bet.  Don and I will receive dinner on the dime of Birdman and Rashan when the Cavs win the series.  On the unlikely even that Don and I lose, we will buy dinner for those other guys.

Before we got to our special guest, we discussed the rumors going around the NBA regarding trades.  Most of the talk centers around the 76ers and Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Jeff Teague, and Derrick Rose.

We returned for the second half OTLR with our special guest, the talented writer and Philadelphia 76ers expert, Matt Hopkins of PHLSportsNation.com.  Matt answered all of our questions and gave us some great insight on the Sixers.  Be sure to listen to the interview because my typing limit can’t handle all the insight he had to share with us.

Birdman first questioned him regarding the trade rumors involving Okafor and Noel.  Matt guaranteed one of them will be gone before the end of the draft.  Rashan chimed in asking which of the big men brought the most trade value.  Matt stated that the home office values Noel and that Okafor could bring more trade value and makes the most sense to trade.  Rashan followed up by asking if the front office should continue with the Hinkie plan or go out and sign free agents.  Matt believes that with the talent available to the Sixers that staying the course of the Hinkie plan is expected.

I asked a draft question, if the Okafor or Noel trade gets the Sixers a second top draft pick, what player should we expect to see with the second top pick.  Ben Simmons is widely regarded as the top draft pick, and Matt thinks if they receive a second top five pick they should look at Jamal Murray from Kentucky.

Birdman asked about Dario Saric and if it is guaranteed if he will come over to the NBA this year.  Matt says that behind the scenes he’s hearing that he will come over and join the Sixers even though waiting a year would make more financial sense.  Birdman followed up by asking about the health of Joel Embiid.  Matt believes that Embiid’s health is a reason why they are seriously considering trading one of the other big men and that Embiid is healthy and will be ready to go for the season.

Rashan asked if Brett Brown should be concerned about his job if the record doesn’t improve next year.  Matt feels that Brett Brown has done great given the circumstances of the team and that he can’t really be held responsible at this point with the rebuilding efforts of the Sixers and doesn’t believe any better coach would even consider taking the job.

I asked about the salary cap increase and if it will help or hurt the team.  Matt thinks short-term it might be a deterrent considering the Sixers have tried to keep cap space but now all teams will have increased funds.  He believes long-term it will help with the great young players progressing to a higher level it will help them afford the bigger name players.

Birdman asks what Matt would do if he was the GM.  Matt states first order of business would be drafting Ben Simmons and build a team around him.  He goes on to state he would  trade Okafor to Phoenix for Brandon Knight and the fourth pick in the upcoming draft.  Then he’d draft Jamal Murray with the number four pick.  For free agency, he says he’d want to wait and see what options are available and realistic.

Birdman closed out the interview by asking if the Sixers had any chance to make an offer to Kevin Durant.  Matt said they can call but not to expect him to pick up the phone.  He also asked what the record will be next year.  Matt stated we could see 25 wins next season.  As I mentioned be sure to listen to the show on demand to hear all the insight Matt Hopkins had to offer.

We finished the show with an emotional tribute to the Greatest boxer of all time, the legendary Muhammad Ali.  We shared our reactions to his passing, reflected on his greatest, not just as a boxer, but also as a man, talked of his legacy, and shared our favorite Ali quotes.  No matter how you feel about the sport of boxing, no one can deny that Muhammad Ali was known by everyone, loved by many, and served as an inspiration to people from all walks of life.  We at OTLR send our prayers and condolences to the family, friends, and fans.  Muhammad Ali will be missed by all of us.

To listen to the show on demand, click play on the media player at the top of this story.  Never miss an episode of OTLR by subscribing to TSJ101 Sports Radio on blogtalkradio.com, TuneIn, Stitcher, or iTunes.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

-Muhammad Ali

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