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NBA – Not Believable Anymore

Consumers Corner # 35


By Jim Murphy

I know many Philadelphia basketball friends are thrilled by the 76ers’ recent success on the court. They’re in the second round of the Eastern Division playoffs!

I myself absolutely love the players and coach Brett Brown – and the team ball he preaches.

But it’s the way they’ve gotten into the NBA playoffs that I can’t stand.

For about four years, the 76ers management purposely did everything it could to lose, so it could assemble high draft prospects. (The teams with the worst records have the best chances of getting the top draft choices.)

In what other business could you do your worst and benefit from it?

Not many that I that I know of. The NBA should be ashamed.

For many of its teams, the race now is to the bottom. Lose big, and you might win big later.

What ever happened to the idea that the end does not justify the means?

Guess they didn’t teach that course to Sam Hinkie, the “genius” who came up with this “process.”

Hinkie is hinky, in my opinion, a word defined as nervous or acting suspiciously. And I am glad he is not with the 76ers any longer.

I hope the National Basketball Association (or Not Believable Anymore) finds a way to stop teams from intentionally losing to get great draft choices.

Fortunately, you don’t see teams doing this in the National Football League or Major League Baseball. But their rosters are much larger, so tanking wouldn’t be as easy or effective. But with just a few stars in basketball, you can turn around a franchise pretty quickly. You only need five or more good players.

Interestingly, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller points out that deliberately flopping isn’t the only way to rebuild a team. He says six other teams won between 29 and 39 games in 2012-13, the year before Hinkie started tearing up the roster. This year, Detroit is the only one of those teams not to make the playoffs.

At the end of February, Sports Illustrated noted tanking was getting out of hand – “the bottom nine teams in the league were a combined 3-22 since the All-Star break” – with little incentive to win. It’s a joke.

Sure, the 76ers look great right now, and Sam Hinkie supposedly is getting all kinds of looks from other NBA teams.

I hope the NBA steps in and actually stops rewarding tanking.

Otherwise, what I call cheaters like Sam Hinkie win. And teams trying to get an edge by carefully selecting hidden talent and the not-obvious stars will lose out.

Sorry, I can’t stomach Sam Hinkie or cheating. But in Philly right now, I think I’m in the minority.



Beware of these surfaces
when traveling by air

Quick: which of these do you think is dirtiest?

— An airline lavatory flush button

— An airport check-in screen

— An airplane chair armrest

The answer: The check-in screen is the dirtiest – by far

 These tests were done for the website Insurancequotes.com over the holiday season.

Researchers conducted 18 tests of six surfaces from three major U.S. airports and airline flights. They measured the average number of viable bacteria and fungal cells per square inch – or colony-forming units or CFUs.

The down n’ dirty numbers:

 — The self-check-in screen averaged 253,857 CFU – with one screen recording over 1 million CFU!

— Other leaders at the airport: airline gate bench armrest with 21,630 FCU and a water fountain button at 19,181 CFU.

The germiest surfaces on an aircraft were: the lavatory flush button (95,145 CFU), tray table (11,595 CFU) and seat belt buckle, 1,116 CFU.

Compare those to a household kitchen sink (21,000 CFU), a bathroom doorknob (203 CFU) or a toilet seat (172 CFU).

Best advice: Bring along your hand sanitizer to combat these millions of germs.

And be absolutely certain to use it if you touch the self-check-in kiosk at the airport. That’s the germ jackpot.

BONUS TIP: If you are staying in a hotel room, clean the remote and the light switches as soon as you get into your room! They’re usually the dirtiest parts.




Percent of Americans who have not heard of the Holocaust, or are not sure they have.

Source: USA Today


1 million

Number of U.S. children who had their identities stolen in 2017, says a Javelin Strategy and Research study. Most of those thefts were performed by fraudsters who knew the child.

Source: Gizmodo


$30 billion

The size of the supplement business in the U.S. Even though there is little evidence that the 90,000 vitamin and dietary supplements do anything to improve our health, 52 percent of Americans take at least one, and 10 percent four or more.

Source: Ars Technica



While taking 15 Chinese high-school students on a tour from South Street to Welcome Park one summer day in 2015, I suddenly heard them talking excitedly to their translator. Their question: “Why does Philadelphia have so many churches?”

My answer: Because William Penn believed in freedom of religion. So people who wanted to practice their religion flocked here from all over the world. And you can see that with your own eyes. Within a short distance of the Liberty Bell are 14 historic houses of worship, says beyondthelibertybell.org.

In the 1790s, a French visitor noted that there were 33 places of worship here. Contrast that with Boston, which had just one!


Photo Credits

“Basketball” flickr photo by Plastikmaniac_Flickr https://flickr.com/photos/plastikmaniac/5517048090 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license.


Jim Murphy is a direct marketing copywriter who has run his own consulting business since 2004. For nine years, he wrote and edited “Choices,” an award-winning credit union magazine with a circulation of 80,000. Now a certified member and vice president of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, Jim also writes historical articles for the Queen Village Neighbors Association magazine.

Any comments made are Jim’s opinion, and not necessarily those of the Old Pine Community Center.





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