Philadelphia Sixers

Sixers' Josh Richardson has a unique defensive challenge ahead

Sixers' Josh Richardson has a unique defensive challenge ahead

There are plenty of new things in store for Josh Richardson as one of the newest members of the 76ers, but there is one in particular that’s going to take some getting used to.

At 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Richardson will be the smallest guy in the Sixers' starting lineup this upcoming season.

“I have never been that, ever in my life,” Richardson said with a laugh at the Sixers Summer Shore Tour in Wildwood, New Jersey. “It will be interesting looking up to my teammates, talking in huddles and stuff.”

On a serious note, Richardson is looking forward to the challenge on defense. Richardson guarded point guards quite a bit during his four years with the Miami Heat and has confidence he’ll be able to guard smaller guards.

“I know that I’ll be the shortest starter here and I don’t mind guarding all of the guys that like to get in the paint and use their speed a lot,” Richardson said.

One thing is for certain: Richardson is ready for the season to get started, especially after the NBA schedule release.

“I’m just excited," Richardson said. "I saw we open with Boston and I know there’s a little rivalry history there, so it’s going to be fun to be a part of that.”

And as for his former team?

“I always have Miami circled to go back there and compete against my brothers down there," Richardson said, "but I’m just ready, excited to compete every game.”

Richardson has kept in touch with Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Mike Scott throughout the offseason. He met Shake Milton for the first time, working out at the Sixers' training facility on Saturday morning.

The former Tennessee Volunteer has been getting his own work in this summer.

“Health, I think health is a big part, just being able to be out there for as many games as I can is going to be huge, and being able to make shots,” Richardson said of his offseason goals. “I think being a shot maker is going to be big for us.”

Looking back at the trade, despite there being a shock factor in the moments following, he couldn’t be more eager for this new opportunity. Richardson said his excitement occurred "almost instantly."

“After I started looking at the pictures of our lineup, it turned into straight excitement, like as soon as it happened,” Richardson said. “As long as we all gel, as long as we all have the same goal in mind, I think we’ll have a strong season.”

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Sixers bring in former All-Star center Roy Hibbert ... but not to play

Sixers bring in former All-Star center Roy Hibbert ... but not to play

The Sixers are bringing in a former All-Star center … but not to play.

The team is hiring nine-year NBA veteran Roy Hibbert as a player development associate, a team source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Shams Charania of the Athletic and Stadium reported it first.

Hibbert, who announced his retirement a little over a year ago, is just 32 years old and played his final NBA game in April of 2017. He was a two-time All-Star for the Indiana Pacers and a Second Team All-Defensive pick in 2013-14. Hibbert is actually six months younger than Al Horford, the team’s new starting power forward that was just signed to a four-year deal. 

The team has overhauled the coaching staff quite a bit. Brett Brown lost top assistants Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns) and Billy Lange (Saint Joseph’s) to head coaching gigs. The Sixers also lost Lindsey Harding, the team’s first female assistant, to the Sacramento Kings this offseason. 

Hibbert will join Ime Udoka, Joseph Blair, Cameron Hodges and Andrew Jones III as newcomers to the coaching staff. Udoka and Blair will serve as assistants on Brown’s bench while Hodges and Jones will be part of the team’s player development staff.

Given Hibbert’s position in the league, it seems likely that he’ll spend time working with Joel Embiid. Hibbert was considered one of the top big men in the league at one point. It could be helpful to have a guy with Hibbert’s résumé that’s still young enough to relate to the Sixers’ young All-Star center.

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Sixers to host Milwaukee Bucks on juicy Christmas Day matchup

Sixers to host Milwaukee Bucks on juicy Christmas Day matchup

We’re still many shopping days away, but the NBA has a holiday gift for Sixers fans.

The Milwaukee Bucks will be coming to the Wells Fargo Center on Christmas Day, per ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

For the third straight year, the Sixers will play on Dec. 25. After playing the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, they’ll finally play hosts. Before taking on the Knicks, they hadn’t played on Christmas since Allen Iverson and company lost to the Lakers in 2001. Overall, the Sixers have a 17-14 record on the holiday.

The matchup is certainly a juicy one. The Bucks feature the league’s reining MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo and had the best record in the NBA last season. These teams are largely considered to be the two favorites in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee took two of the three games in the matchup last season, but the two contests at the end of the season were exciting.

Both teams have seen some roster shuffling — the Sixers overhauled, while the Bucks tweaked. Outside of the battle of Los Angeles between the Lakers and Clippers, this could prove to be the finest matchup on what has become a marquee day on the NBA calendar.

The New Orleans Pelicans will go to Denver to take on the Nuggets while the defending champion Toronto Raptors will host the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Houston Rockets will also visit the Golden State Warriors in their new arena, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

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