Friday’s Den: Random stuff with weekend here……..

13) 76ers traded Ben Simmons to Brooklyn for James Harden; Philly also sent Seth Curry and Andre Drummond to the Nets, along with two first-round draft picks. Paul Millsaps goes to the 76ers as part of the deal.

Here’s the thing: Seth Curry is married to Doc Rivers’ daughter, which has to make things just a little awkward in the Rivers household this weekend.

As part of the trade, Harden opts into his $47.3M deal for next year. 

12) Think about that: next year, Harden will make $47.3M for playing 82 basketball games.

Secondary question: Does this mean Simmons will actually play now? He hasn’t played a minute yet this season. If the 76ers hadn’t traded him, he would’ve forfeited $24M this season. 

11) After the trade, 76ers dropped from 12-1 to 7-1 to win the NBA title. 

10) NFL announced that next season, they’ll have games in Germany, Mexico, England. 

9) Was listening to a fantasy baseball podcast the other night; they said that Statcast posted that if Marcus Semien had played for Texas last year, he would’ve hit 32 home runs, instead of the 45 he hit for the Blue Jays, that’s what a pitcher’s ballpark they have in Arlington now.

Blue Jays played home games in Dunedin, Buffalo, Toronto last year; Dunedin/Buffalo are great hitters’ parks. 

8) Wonder if ballplayers ever listen to these fantasy podcasts, hearing nerds like myself discuss their stats and projecting how they’ll do in the coming season. 

7) The baseball commissioner hasn’t delayed the start of spring training yet; he did say that the universal DH is a done deal, so that helps fantasy baseball owners make some plans.

If you have JT Realmuto on your team, it is safe to assume that he’ll DH most days he isn’t behind the plate. Yon Gomes will probably be the Cubs’ DH, Robinson Cano the Mets’ DH.

Some teams will use the DH slot to rest starters, give them a day off from the field, but in any event, the universal DH is a positive development.

6) There was a tine, 12-15 years ago, where I spent my summer vacation at Disney’s Wide World of Sports watching the national AAU basketball tournament for 12 hours a day or so- saw ton of really good players, learned some stuff.

When I got back to work, friend of mine asked me what I did on my vacation; got a very strange look when I told her. Hey, everyone likes different stuff.

One day I’m sitting there and the two guys next to me are talking; one was an SEC head coach, the other guy was an assistant at a much smaller D-I school. The head coach wanted to schedule a buy game against the smaller school; he told the assistant to tell his boss: if they came to play the SEC school, then he would help the smaller school get a recruit that would help their team.

Never heard a name mentioned, so don’t know how this all turned out with the recruit, but the smaller school did go play that game.  

5) Southern Conference is an underrated league in college basketball; they’re the #12 league in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. Last seven years, the #1 seed won their conference tournament every time, which is very unusual, especially since the tournament is played at a neutral site.

4) Iowa 110, Maryland 87— Not a lot of defense played here; mentioned yesterday how the Louisville head coaching job will be an interesting hire this spring, so will the Maryland job.

Not sure why they fired Mark Turgeon, but they did. The next coach has a rebuild ahead of him. 

3) Michigan 82, Purdue 58— Purdue is 21-0 when it scores 70+ points, 0-4 when it doesn’t. No idea what to make of the Boilermakers as far as March Madness goes; the four starters other than Jaden Ivey shot a combined 7-20 from the floor. 

2) Right now, 30 states have legalized sports betting, but California isn’t one of them; in 2021, American sportsbooks accepted nearly $60B in bets, generating more than $4.3B in revenue.

California voters will have sports betting on their ballot this fall; very competitive as to which vendors get the lucrative contracts.

1) Very happy to report that Dick Vermeil will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. Coach Vermeil took downtrodden franchises in Philly/St Louis to Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXIV with the Rams. Congratulations coach!!!

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.