Marks: Larry Brown’s Forgettable, Sad 2015

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PHILADELPHIA—No one will probably be happier than Larry Brown when the calendar flips to 2016 in a couple of weeks. After all, 2015 has been a year he’d simply rather forget.  It wasn’t a brutal year for Brown just because the 75-year-old fourth-year coach of SMU is still serving a nine-game NCAA-imposed suspension for what’s been termed “academic fraud” and “unethical conduct” while his Mustangs have been banned from post-season play this season. That came months after the American Athletic Conference

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Marks: Miracle Worker Colangelo Has His Biggest Test With Sixers

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PHILADELPHIA – For nearly five decades, Jerry Colangelo has been pro basketball’s version of Annie Sullivan: a miracle worker. No, he never taught a blind and deaf Helen Keller how to “read.” But he did take over the expansion Phoenix Suns in the late 1960s and build them into a legitimate NBA power, twice winning the Western Conference and coming close to a championship with a team that was almost always respectable. That made him an institution in the Valley of the

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Five Things To Watch: Philadelphia 76ers

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Once again, to the dismay of GM Sam Hinkie and the rest of the folks running the Philadelphia 76ers,.the NBA will insist the franchise play all 82 games this season rather than just skip straight to the only part they seem to care about:  the draft lottery. After all, no team has seemed to make less of what goes on between the lines from late October through mid-April than the team that has openly flaunted the rules, believing it is the

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Marks: Hoops Aside, What’s Happening to Sixers is Tragic

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PHILADELPHIA — This cruel joke someone’s been playing on the Philadelphia 76ers these past few years–especially lately–has got to stop. It’s one thing screwing around with the production on the court, resulting in just 71 victories over the past three years while the franchise has been stockpiling draft picks and injured big men. That’s rebuilding basketball, Sam Hinkie style. But what’s happened off the court in the last year alone isn’t just heartbreaking, it is downright tragic. One-by-one, Philadelphia’s most iconic big men have

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Marks: A fond farewell to an NBA legend, Darryl Dawkins

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PHILADELPHIA– Like Peter Pan, Darryl Dawkins never wanted to grow up. And by definition, when you’re 6-11 and listed 251 lbs.—but probably bigger–and strong as an ox, that’s not easy. Everyone always wanted him to stop acting like a kid; to take the game, take himself, more seriously. They could see the raw talent was there—and every once in a while he’d put it on display, but only once in a while. For the most part the big guy from Maynard Evans

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Marks: “Super Stat” Harvey Pollack in the Fight of His Life

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Editor’s note: This story originally was published in February, when our Jon Marks had the chance to spend some time with Ron Pollack, the son of legendary statistician Harvey Pollack, who died Tuesday at the age of 93. PHILADELPHIA – The vigil begins early. Ron Pollack arrives at Hahnemann Hospital at 8 o’clock every morning – just in time for doctor’s rounds – and heads immediately for the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit. He brings his I-Pad and other electronic

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Marks: Surging Hawks, “Spurs of the East,” Can’t Stop Winning

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PHILADELPHIA – There are worse things to be called. So, yes, it’s okay to use the “S” word when you’re talking about the Atlanta Hawks, a team virtually no one has noticed most of this season, and whose dearth of national TV appearances has already been covered on this site. They don’t mind being referred to as the “Spurs of the East.’’ Heck, who wouldn’t? While LeBron’s return to Cleveland , Carmelo and the Knicks’ fall from grace to embarrassment, along with the

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Marks: Pop Still Spurring on Brown as Losses Mount in Philly

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PHILADELPHIA – Oh, to be a bullfrog along the Schuylkill River on Monday, listening in while Gregg Popovich and Brett Brown walked and talked a few hours before Pop’s world champion Spurs – minus Tim Duncan and Tony Parker – kept Brown’s 76ers winless with a 109-103 victory. “He made me walk with him for an hour and a half today,’’ laughed an unusually amiable Popovich of his longtime assistant and good friend, who’s having a bit of a rough go

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