CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers were back at the practice facility Friday for their first day of school, and while media day is a formality for many, there’s still plenty to take away.
Joel is still Joel
At one point, Amir Johnson had to ask a reporter to repeat a question because Joel Embiid was "talking [expletive]" in his ear. At another point, Markelle Fultz had to keep re-dunking a chicken nugget into dipping sauce, while reading promotional marketing, because Embiid (who didn’t want to wait his turn in the hall) kept interrupting.
At another point, Embiid gave high praise to Elton Brand, by reminding everyone that he dunked on him "really bad" two years ago.
But above all else, Embiid said he wants to be a Sixer for life.
“This is the place I want to be for the rest of my career,” he said.
Boston series still hurts, and that's a good thing
Embiid said he watched every game from the playoffs twice and watched the last game "a lot," mentioning that layup he missed to tie the game. “It was painful,” Embiid said, but it also made him more focused going into the summer.
Robert Covington said players went "overboard" (in a good way) with their summer workouts because of that Boston series (see story).
“It helped in every aspect," he said, "because we got a bitter taste in our mouth and it was a good lesson for us.”
Even Wilson Chandler, who watched the series as a member of the Denver Nuggets last season, said he felt that the Sixers should have beaten Boston in the second round last year.
Fultz having the 'yips' is a bit of a touchy subject
It must’ve been a strange year for the former Sixers rookie — to go from No. 1 pick to reading stories about "The Mystery of Markelle Fultz" and questioning whether you’d ever get back to the player you knew you could be. And then, as you’re trying to get back to that player (and doing three-a-day workouts), your trainer mentions that you had a case of the "yips," while on a podcast, and the talk starts all over again.
Fultz has since said that he spoke with his trainer, Drew Hanlen, about what he described as a "misterm of words," and wants to set the record straight (see story).
“What happened last year was an injury," Fultz said. "Let me get that straight. It was an injury that happened that didn’t allow me to go through the certain paths that I need to shoot the ball.”
And soon, we’ll all get to see.