The league was turned upside down for the 57th time this free agency when the last true superstar free agent inked a two-year deal this week. In case you haven’t heard–which must mean you’re living under a rock on the moon, holding the new Freak 1s over your ears–James Ennis III has finally ended all the speculation and signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. Hand them the Larry OB now, Ennis has single-handedly destroyed any semblance of balance in the league. Thanos will be displeased.
At least, that’s how James Ennis III sees it. Ennis told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he re-signed with the 76ers because “it’s a good team and a good chance of winning. The East is going to be wide open.” So far, so true.
“Kawhi is gone.” Also true.
“He went to the west.” Although this lack of specificity won’t land him an internship with Woj, it is technically correct which is the best kind of correct.
“So we are going to walk to the Finals in the East.”
To be honest, this is sort of the energy you want out of your bench mob. You want your role players to have this type of enthusiasm and confidence in their starting counterparts. But you also don’t want dudes averaging 5.3 points per game writing checks that everybody else has to cash, especially if the memo on that check is “LOL GIANNIS WHO?”
Vegas doesn’t buy Ennis’ hype and neither do most experts. Philly added Al Horford and Jason Richardson but lost Jimmy Butler, the player who had the ball in his hands at crunch time last season. Speaking of last season, the Bucks took the series 2-1 and Giannis seemed exceptionally focused during the meetings. And by focused I mean excited to bully Ben Simmons and flyswat their trash-talking, internationally-sourced, non-MVP big man.
If it’s a Milwaukee-Philadelphia Eastern Conference Finals, it will be a great series and I can legitimately see either team coming out on top. But a walk to the finals? When the league MVP is on your side of the bracket? When the guy running your offense refuses to take a jumper outside the paint? When after about his 25th minute played, your best player hobbles around like Lieutenant Dan on his prosthetics? This argument’s got no legs.
Anyways, I hope Ennis keeps that energy, Giannis loves bulletin board material. And in the interest of not just REJECTING an idea without suggesting my own, I have compiled a brief list of where and how the 76ers and Ennis could walk:
–like an Egyptian because Giannis is going to put him in a sarcophagus.
–on the moon since Philly will be making one small step to the ECF not a giant leap to the Finals.
–on eggshells if Giannis hears this and remembers what a pokey little puppy JEIII is.
–er Texas Ranger because maybe Chuck Norris can be signed to be the next missing piece guaranteed to get them over the hump, just like Butler and Harris were last year.
–500 Miles to the new team he’ll likely end up on before the end of next season