Philadelphia 76ers Media Day 2013: Photos, Interviews and Takeaways
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
There were your usual unrealistic hopes of players saying that the team would be fighting for a spot in the postseason, but that's the point of media day. Every NBA team is trying to act like this could be the year.
Even with the poor attempts to instill false hope, the words "youth" and "young" were Philadelphia's favorite words as the media day wore on. The 2013-14 season won't be a good one, but the Sixers were successful in giving the fans something to look forward to.
Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams Could Be an Incredible Duo
Philadelphia might have struck gold by grabbing Noel and Carter-Williams in the 2013 draft. Their talent level is the most obvious reason, but the most important one might be their past.
The two played AAU basketball on the same team before their college days, and it seems like the chemistry hasn't gone anywhere.
Nerlens Noel said playing on same team with MCW (his AAU teammate) is "a dream come true on top of a dream come true."— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) September 27, 2013
Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel are cracking each other up during photo shoots. Should be fun once they're able to play together.— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) September 27, 2013
There's something fun about two young players looking forward to playing together again. Put yourself in their shoes. If you got drafted into the NBA with another player (a dream come true, I know), would you like the other player to be a random guy or one of your childhood friends? Playing with a buddy always makes things more fun.
The fact that one is a point guard and the other is an athletic center doesn't hurt either. The Sixers should be able to involve the duo in a number of two-man sets that put each player in a position to succeed.
Barring some kind of reality show type of fight, Noel and Carter-Williams's chemistry could be a sign of great things to come.
Brett Brown Seems to be a Player Favorite
Brown is taking over Philadelphia's head coaching position and it sounds like the players are all for it.
He's bringing in a completely fresh perspective. It also helps that he is coming from a championship-caliber organization in the San Antonio Spurs.
Giving everybody a fair shot and letting them know that it's going to be about working hard for him will be Brown's smartest move. He joined the team late but looks to be gaining everybody's respect.
Players want to compete as hard as they can for somebody they believe in.
#Sixers Noel in Brett Brown: 'I love him. He's a Boston dude like me.'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) September 27, 2013
Brown is off to a good start with this one.
Royce White Has His Own Set of Goals
White's NBA career has pretty much gone downhill since he was drafted in 2012 by the Houston Rockets. White didn't end up seeing the court in Houston, and never seeing eye-to-eye with Rockets Management landed him in Philadelphia.
The majority of his problems have stemmed from his well known anxiety disorder. One of the key factors in his anxiety disorder is his fear of flying. There has been talk about this fear for some time now, but could we have gotten it all wrong?
#Sixers Royce White plans to go with Spain with team for preseason. Calls not wanting to fly a misconception.— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) September 27, 2013
This is going to be one of those we'll believe it when we see it situations. Flying across the United States is one thing, but traveling over an ocean to a European country is a lot more drastic.
Successfully making the trip would be a step in the right direction. It would also help everyone to believe that he can accomplish one of his new goals for the 2013-14 season: Playing in one game.
The goal doesn't sound like a particularly lofty one, but at least White is getting more realistic with what he's trying to do. The next step will be to play in two games, then three and so on from there.
Nobody knows if he'll even get on the plane to Spain. It's still good to hear that he is willing to try, though.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries
We all knew that Noel would be out until at least Christmas, maybe even until the All-Star break as he recovers from a torn left ACL. We also knew that Jason Richardson was still recovering from knee surgery and would hopefully be back sometime in 2014.
It's what we didn't know that ends up hurting a bit.
Something like Arnett Moultrie missing a substantial amount of time after undergoing ankle surgery.
Losing him until 2014 could be good for a couple more losses, but it seriously hurts Moultrie's growth. Especially considering that members of the Sixers believed he would have a good year.
Getting all three of these guys back around the same time will kind of be like starting over half way through the season.
It won't do anything to help Philadelphia win games.
Kwame Brown Is Still Kwame Brown
The man, myth and legend is back for his second season with the Sixers, and it sounds like he's doing more of the same.
Staying hurt and focusing on food.
And Kwame Brown, still wearing No. 54, walked through PCOM with a plate of food. Some things never change.— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) September 27, 2013
The joke known as Kwame Brown has been unprofessional, sloppy and sometimes painful to watch.
He might be all of the above, but remember that the second word of the previous statement was "joke."
It's good to know that this particular joke still carries some humor with it.
There is actually a lot to be excited about and none of it has to do with having a high win total.
This is a young team with exceptional pieces at certain positions. We don't know how guys like Noel and Carter-Williams will develop, we just know it's going to be fun to watch.
The potential to add another guy with White's ability to the mix only sweetens the pot.
Combine all of these elements with a guy like Brett Brown at head coach and you've got an incredibly bright future.
The 2013-14 season will be about basketball. If you enjoy watching players learn and grow together, then you're in for a real treat.
Are they disposable or do the Sixers see them as more building blocks?
The answers will get figured out in training camp and once games get underway, but they are important questions to ask.
For now, though, let's just soak in some of Philadelphia's positive energy about the future. There was more than enough to go around during media day.
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