The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping that the path to title contention starts by being miserable — and sometimes, you need a little inspiration to get through those early, awful stages of a rebuild.
Enter Hall of Famer and Sixers legend Allen Iverson, who made a surprise appearance at practice on Thursday to share some words of wisdom with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the rest of the Philly roster.
Iverson, who led the 76ers to the NBA Finals in 2001, is a big fan of Philly’s young players and the Sixers’ Process in general, as he told reporters (via CSN Philly):
“I think he’s going to be so great and I can’t wait,” Iverson said of Simmons, adding on Embiid, “I knew he was going to be great, and he’ll be greater. He’s going to only get better. He’s going to make the guys around him better as well.”
While the Answer understands if fans were hoping for a little more success by this point, he encouraged the Philly faithful to stay patient. Iverson truly believes that big things are on the horizon for the Sixers.
So what exactly did Iverson have to say to the new class in Philly? Unfortunately, he didn’t bust out a classic "Practice" rant, but some of the young Sixers did reveal Iverson’s tips.
“He said just play hard, compete every night, play like it’s your last game,” Joel Embiid said. […]
“Give it our all every day and not to get sad or hang our heads down,” Jahlil Okafor said. “Any time we do have the opportunity to be around him, to be in presence, it’s always a joy.” […]
“He reminded everybody the city appreciates effort — the city demands effort — and the work that people are putting in will be rewarded,” Brett Brown said. “Any time A.I. talks, especially with our young guys, he commands attention and he deserves it.”
It’s a bit cliche, but when you’ve won 28 of your previous 171 games — and the Sixers are 0-7 to start the season — every reminder to keep your head up is an important one. And when that advice comes from AI, how can you stay upset?