Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Winter of My Sammy Discontent

While driving back from New York this evening I turned the radio on to get a Sixers score. The 610 WIP host who came on was in the middle of a fiery rant about the embarrassing way in which the Sixers lost to the lowly Oklahoma City Bombers, I mean Thunder, a lowly team without it's two best players(Kevin Durant and Jeff Green).

I got home and checked the box score. Several things stand out. Iguodala and Lou Williams were awful. We lost by fifteen points, Thad Young played thirty-nine minutes, and was somehow +3(when he was on the floor the Sixers scored three more points than the Thunder) at the end of the game. How is that even possible? And Sam Dalembert played seventeen minutes, had three rebounds, one block, and zero points. What is going on with him? And with this team?

I have read several articles recently about Sammy, and even heard Theo Ratliff on 610 talking to Ike Reese late one night. A large segment of the interview centered on Sammy, and some of Theo's quotes included "He's just a different type of personality" and "Sam's a unique guy", quotes which translate into real talk as "Sam is weird" and "Sam is a headcase". Normally I would immediately write a post titled "Rat Bastard" condemning Theo Ratliff, his mother, and his entire family, and sleep a deep satisfying sleep. But the thing is, Theo Ratliff was being diplomatic. He repeatedly told Ike Reese how Sammy should be an All-Star in this league, how he tells that to Sammy all the time, etc.

Combined with several stories about Sammy's post-practice habit of practicing his three-point shooting, his trade demands, and his invisible play of late, and I'm worried about our boy. What's more, I'm angry. I think it's time for some tough love.

Sammy, we've supported you since day one, when nobody even knew you existed. We've defended you beyond all reason. And we deserve better. We deserve a blog devoted to a man who practices his low-post moves BEFORE he practices three-pointers(fact: Sammy has never made an NBA three-pointer in a game). Are you fucking kidding me?!?! Develop a jump hook! Practice your turnaround jumper!! Work on your left hand!! Christ, work on your RIGHT hand!!! Stop pouting. Stop demanding trades. Stop handing in D- work like tonight.

We thought you were a head-case in a good, healthy, charming way, not in a selfish absurd way. Please make all the haters eat their words. Prove to the world you are a flake off the court but never on it. Please, I beg you, make the name Dalembert synonymous with rags-to-riches Haitian excellence, with jaw-dropping athletic ability and work ethic. As it stands, everywhere but here on these pages, Dalembert is synonymous with "terrible contract" and "underachieving headcase". The final judgement rests solely in your hands. Do the right thing Sammy, for you, for us.

This was written in anger and frustration and is my opinion and my opinion only.


  1. It's hard not to be incredibly frustrated with both the Sixers and Sammy. His unpredictable playing time boggled my mind most. Does he only get 17 minutes bc he is sucking in the course of the game or does he suck in the course of the game bc he only gets 17 minutes? Sammy is a microcosm of our team: fun, young and athletic? Check. Incredibly inconsistent, frustrating and mediocre? Double check. This team is going nowhere this year but a dick teasing two wins in the first round of the playoffs against a better team. Sounds familiar.

  2. What I want to know is what are Tony DiLeo, Jim Lynam and Jeff Ruland communicating to Sammy...and, Thad, and Resse for that matter? What are they telling those guys to work on so that their talent and potential can be realized? What coach is hanging out with Sammy after practice while he is shooting 3s saying, why don't we try this? or why don't we try that? Are the players in this league so untouchable that the coaches are afraid to have these types of conversations with them...even when they are rookies, 2nd year guys, or crazy haitians (maybe I understand that one)? Or is it that our coaching staff doesn't know what to say and/or what to do and/or how to do it?

    I know it sounds corny, but it seems like our problem boils down to a lack of leadership (we will have the same conversation about the birds in about 8 months now that 20 is gone). We don't get it from any from the players. Andre Miller has carried this team through a lot of games (most of which we've lost by <5 points), but he is not a leader. Iggy is not yet sure who he is on the court and is not a leader. Most importantly, I don't see leadership coming from the coaching staff. At every timeout I watch Tony look lost and scared while Dei Lynam's dad whispers some shit that hasn't ever worked into his ear. I feel the whole thing slipping away. Without some type of guidance, these youths (and crazy haitians alike) are just going to be another set of players that get good when they go to a different team. Its frustrating and depressing.

  3. What you just wrote describes like 26 teams in the NBA.
    Sammy D can request as many trades as he wants but the bottom line is that he is completely untradeable.

  4. What kind of defeatest shit is that? Fuck that, I will not accpet that as an excuse. I am not looking for a World or an Eastern Conference Championship. I am not even that concerned with making it to the second round of the playoffs. I am looking for growth and excitment. This team is going in the wrong direction.

  5. What the Tony DiLeo?

    Ah, Sammy, what are we going to do with you?

    When his percentage of goal tends goes way down, you know there is cause for concern.

  6. The bottom line is that the only move for the Sixers is to bring Allen back and install him as a player coach.
    At least then we would be interesting while being mediocre

  7. Unlike the Sixers, Sam has actually been pretty consistent. He has consistently been terrible. Let's be honest, Sam will always suck, athletic ability be damned.

    The idea that we are waiting for him to still figure it out, after this long in the league is crazy.

    When Sam was drafted:

    -George Bush had been President for 6 months.
    -The Sixers were defending Eastern Conference Champions.
    -Ryan Howard was still three years away from showing up in Philly.
    -Jim Thome was a Cleveland Indian.
    -Andy Reid looked into the soul of a UCLA wide receiver named Freddie Mitchell, and quickly understood how dominant he would become.

    Sam, and his oddity, his unique personality, his off-seasons spent getting Microsoft Network certified, make him interesting. They don't make him a good player.

  8. Anonymous, the same could be said about Burrell, and he brought us glory.

    Tim, if Allen were player coach, we'd never have "practice!" AND he would encourage the Sixies to resort to such antics as these:

  9. Or these:

    Keep in mind, they are an impressionable young group, and Haitian head-cases are especially susceptible.

    I still love you, Sammy. I'm just lookin' out for you.

  10. Giul,

    All staff and readership, please note the sponsor.

  11. The Sixers are who we thought they were:

  12. This is terrible and great. I wish I was creative:

  13. Another thing A.I. would encourage the Sixers to do: