Nerlens Noel's tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers is officially off and running.
As the rookie met with the media, the Sixers provided us with a look of the future—Noel and new general manager Sam Hinkie side-by-side, just like no one imagined.
Before the media could go into ACL and draft-slide mode, Noel began to praise the man responsible for bringing him and former AAU teammate, Michael Carter-Williams, to Philly. Per Brian Seltzer of 97.5 The Fanatic, Noel went as far as to call him a genius.
Noel stopped short of giving Hinkie a hug, but at least things between the GM and injured neophyte appear copacetic.
Naturally, the topic of conversation eventually shifted from Hinkie and Noel's working relationship to the latter's player stock.
Originally projected as the top overall pick of the draft, Noel fell to sixth. Said drop hasn't discouraged the high-top sporting Noel. He made it clear he was going to use the fall as motivation, something the Sixers ensured wasn't lost on us.
Simply living up to expectations isn't his goal either. He wants to continue to "keep pushing" so he can become more of a "complete player."
And should you be wondering if the pressure of rehab and being sold as the franchise savior is going to rattle Noel, the answer is no. He plans to embrace it, all for the sake of becoming a "great player."
Speaking of his rehab, Seltzer says Noel put himself at the 4.5 month mark of his recovery time. He's apparently able to run up and down the court while shooting layups.
All the rehabilitation in the world won't make much of a difference if the Sixers don't have a coach though. Right now, Philly doesn't have one.
Some remain miffed by the absence of a head honcho, but not Hinkie. He says the coaching vacancy is more of a choice, and that there is interest in the position, according Christopher A. Vito of the Delaware County Daily Times.
Hinkie inevitably expanded upon his evaluation, explaining that their coaching quest is a critical process, per Tom Moore of phillyburbs.com.
In order to ascertain the right fit, Moore writes that Hinkie intends follow a meticulous approach, one that is not to be rushed.
But enough about all these immaterial subjects like Noel's knee and Philadelphia's gaping hole on the sidelines. Everyone wants to know about the real man of the hour—Royce White.
Oh, and because we're obligated to talk about Noel too (crazy, right?), Moore tells us that he plans to wear No. 4.
Don't take his word for it either. The Sixers posted a picture of Noel smiling whilst holding his new jersey, making it so we could avoid any and all confusion over what number he would be repping.
Congratulations are now in order for Nerlens. Not only is he a member of the Sixers family, he's already (almost) suited up as many times as Andrew Bynum did last season.