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Coach says Sixers’ Nerlens Noel likely out for season

Oct 21, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT

Nerlens Noel AP

This shouldn’t be a shock, it’s rather a logical extension of the 76ers long-term plans and their rather painful experience with Andrew Bynum last year. But it still is a little jarring to hear it.

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said Monday before the 76ers preseason game that Nerlens Noel likely will miss the entire season, something reported by

Brown said Noel’s progress is “slow” and “everybody (Brown included) doubts he is going to play this year.”

“But he is with us in every way — practice, film, shootaround,” Brown said.

Noel suffered a torn ACL last February during his one season at Kentucky, the severity of that is one of the reasons he slipped from the likely No. 1 pick all the way to No. 6, where the Pelicans picked him up. They promptly traded him to Philadelphia as the centerpiece going north in the Jrue Holiday deal.

Philadelphia was not going to rush him back because their plan is long term — they want to pair him with a high draft pick from this season. They are going bad to get good and they have a lot of picks in the next few drafts to stockpile young players and make their own core.

So why bring Noel back early? Give him the Blake Griffin experience of sitting out your entire rookie year, traveling with the team and observing, learning by watching. Griffin has said he learned a lot that season that helped him in his Rookie of the Year campaign the next season.

Plus, after the experience the Sixers had with Bynum last season it’s better to say he will not be back then have him surprise people and play than to go the other way around and set up expectations.

So don’t expect to see Nerlens Noel this season along the Philly front line, just a lot of Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen.

  1. antistratfordian - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Poor Sixers fans. You’ll always have 2001!

  2. dls612 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Talk about going in a different direction! I thought for sure this was going to be a team that would be among the elite in the east!

    • dls612 - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Not now people! When they first got Bynum! Remember it was just a couple years ago when they played the miami heat in the first round of 2011 playoffs and did fairly well. So from then to now ?

      • redbaronx - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        @dls612- If doing “fairly well” is a nice moral victory…..Philly is a champion! The Wizards played MJ and the Bulls fairly well in their first round back in 96 too….

  3. jaybe05 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    we have 1983 when we long ago.

    • redbaronx - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      Philly will always have 1776…

  4. sixer76 - Oct 21, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    All together now!
    Wiggins!, Wiggins!, Wiggins!

  5. jeff6381 - Oct 21, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    He will be a bust he is basically the 2013 version of Hakeem Warrick or Stromile Swift.

  6. clevelandschronic2 - Oct 21, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    I think its safe to say that the philly medical staff is useless. You trade for bynum knowing he was injured. Now they traded jrue holiday for nerlens noel. Did they not bother to do check his knee before the draft. This doesnt make any one in the philly front office look smart.

    • redbaronx - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:08 AM

      @clevelandschronic2 – I don’t know if there’s anything fundamentally wrong with the med staff in Philly for sure (it’s hard to know what goes on from the outside), but there’s a lot of little things in Philly that are adding up to “we don’t know what we’re doing”. That goes from the ownership mess of the last few years, and going down the line. I agree about Bynum too. Everyone knew about the injury and his work ethic (or lack thereof). Philly has made some bad decisions lately.

      I really feel sorry for Philly fans. Tough blow before the season even starts. The good news is, they’ll be in a very good draft position this year, and this year’s draft is going to be good.

    • bougin89 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      First off, pretty much everyone and their sister knew Noel tore his ACL last year playing for Kentucky.

      Second, they’re tanking. They traded for Noel knowing he wouldn’t be ready for at least the start of the season. This smells much more like being overly cautious, which the sixers can be in their situation. I think it’s smart. Noel has the potential to be a truly elite defender and rebounder. Let the man heal all the way. That trade could end up being great especially if they get Wiggins next year.

  7. undeadjesus - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    This will give him more time to shave off that stupid retro flat-top.

  8. sgtr0c - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    The four commentors above me have just started following basketball yesterday and should go back to baseball. The Sixers are moving forward with decisions to make their team better instead of a 7-8 seed playoff team. As a Sixers fan, this year will be brutal, but soooo much better then a another almost payoff spot. I will take whatever slop they dish out, I know they are doing it for a purpose. Do not believe me, just goolge, “Sixers 2013 preseason, ProBasketballTalk”. You will see the countless stories about the subject. I prefer that Noel sits out this season, no reason to rush anything. Go Sixers, be at peace, and be ready for next season.

    • bougin89 - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      I really wanted the Bucks to do this. Tank and go all out young. Even if it meant a season of brutal basketball. At least you guys have reason for hope for two maybe 3 seasons down the road unlike us in WI.

  9. bowwserr - Oct 21, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    What if these guys caught fire for too long and wound up getting too high a record? Would the front office resort to asking them to throw games?

    • redbaronx - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:15 AM

      @bowwserr – I don’t think there’s any realistic chance of Philly catching fire this season.

      A) I’d be surprised if Philly wins more than 22 games this season.
      B) Philly was already tanking the season before this injury (see the lack of a coaching selection, lack of roster movement)

      While you will never see the front office “asking” players to throw a game, management is doing whatever they can to get themselves in a good draft position this season by basically conceding that they’re not in the market for Free Agents, and leaving the coaching selection to the last minute. The coach they select for this year is probably a one and done interim coach.

      I don’t see that the front office has much choice, and I think what they’re doing is the right thing to do (full rebuild mode). My only problem with this is the loss of Iggy last year for Bynum, and now they’ve got nothing for it.

      • tcclark - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        The coach they got is an expert in player development and was given a guaranteed multi-year contract. He will be here a little while. There are very few things he could do to get fired. The worst thing he could do is win and with this team he’d have to be the greatest coach in history to win and you just can’t fire the greatest coach in history.

      • redbaronx - Oct 23, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        @tcclark – Wow. You’re already imagining him into the greatest coach in history? lol. Don’t put the cart before the horse. And don’t be surprised if he doesn’t last a year….Philly is going to be in the lottery this year.

      • tcclark - Oct 23, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        Reading Comprehension isn’t a strong suit for you is it? I said he’d have to be the greatest coach in history to win with this team. I don’t expect him to win with this team (meaning I don’t think he’s the greatest coach in history), but he’s not supposed to win with this team. For what reason do you fire a guy who is supposed to lose? What could he possibly do wrong? If the Sixers wanted a figure head coach they would have just stuck with Michael Curry. The players liked him and he only had a year left on his deal anyway so they wouldn’t even have to fire him. Why hire a coach to a guaranteed deal just to fire him after one season where you WANTED to lose. It doesn’t make any sense.

      • redbaronx - Oct 23, 2013 at 11:51 PM

        Like I said….you were imagining it. My comprehension is better than yours as obviously I understood you, but you didn’t understand me. I didn’t say you said he was the greatest coach in history. By saying you were ‘imagining’ this future, I meant that you have a vivid imagination that stretches reality. That pure hypothetical you posed is just beyond even fantasy.

      • tcclark - Oct 24, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        I didn’t imagine anything. To imagine is to create a mental image of something in your head or to assume or suppose (the definition I imagined you were using in your previous comment). Regardless of the definition, I did neither. I simply provided the only plausible explanation for what would be a seemingly impossible task. I stated this impossible hypothetical to show you that there is very little he could do to get fired, which was the main idea of my post. The fact that you focused your attention on my “imagining” of a hypothetical instead of the main idea of the comment was another reason why I questioned your reading comprehension.

      • redbaronx - Oct 24, 2013 at 10:19 PM

        @tcclark – Putting up a hypothetical that’s so far fetched is imagining or just being foolish for the sake of being foolish. It’s called fantasy. HOF coach……winning team….all of this will happen in Philly this year right? Please come back to reality! You can’t have this both ways. Either you have an active imagination, or you’re engaging in a foolish hypothetical that will never happen. One or the other.

      • tcclark - Oct 25, 2013 at 6:40 AM

        I never said they were going to be a winning team. This is clearly one of the worst rosters we’ve seen in history. They WANT to lose. All I said was the only way Brett Brown could do a bad job was to win. Since that is such a far-fetched idea, I’m saying he can’t get fired. It has nothing to do with having an active imagination or being foolish. I’m stating the fact that he could do almost nothing to get himself fired since the object of the game is to lose. Calling him “the greatest coach of all-time” was what we call a “joke” because I don’t think even Red Auerbach or John Wooden could coach this team to a winning record. If I had said “this team would win when pigs fly” would that mean that I have an active imagination thinking that pigs can fly, or am I engaging in a foolish hypothetical that will never happen? I would say that I’m making a joke about how bad the team is.

        Again, the main idea of the comment was that Brett Brown will not get fired. When the object of the game is to lose for this team what could he possibly do to get fired. Sam Hinkie does not want this team to win so there’s no pressure on Brown in that department (which is why 99% of coaches get fired).

      • redbaronx - Oct 29, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        @tcclark – I’m going to jump to your last paragraph on this one. True there’s no pressure on Brown, but remember that a lot of coaches that go into those type of scenarios get fired in any case. It becomes a locker room issue sometimes where the coach needs to be fired if for no other reason then player morale or to appease the fan base.

      • tcclark - Oct 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        First, I think it’s tough to say “those type of scenarios.” The Sixers are expected to be historically bad. Vegas just gave them the lowest over/under in HISTORY. Sam Hinkie is putting out the worst team in the NBA by far and he knows it. He knows how this works out. We all know how this works out. The Sixers are going to be terrible and at least half the players won’t be back next year. They won’t have to worry about player morale or fix the locker room and since the fans are actually kinda happy they’re going to be so bad there won’t be a need to appease the fan base. Sixers fans understand what’s going on. We all know this isn’t the coach’s fault. Like I’ve said before, if Sam Hinkie wanted a figure head coach he would’ve just kept Michael Curry. The players liked him, he only had one year on his contract, and they could’ve cut ties and created a new culture next year with the young players from the draft class. Hinkie obviously didn’t want to do that because he speant several months interviewing every candidate possible and finally chose Brett Brown giving him a guaranteed contract for 4 years. He’s not going anywhere. Hinkie wants a guy who will grow with the team and the franchise. Brett Brown is the perfect Hinkie guy. I say the only way he leaves is if an amazing candidate (like Phil Jackson amazing) says he wants to coach the Sixers and I think we both know that won’t happen.

      • redbaronx - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:21 AM

        @tcclark – So far Philly are playing with a lot of heart. Good for them if Brown and the team does well. I’m cringing at the supposedly “improved” Wizards who are now 0-3.

        Wanna trade coaches?

      • tcclark - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:46 AM

        Sure. We’ll give you Brett Brown for Randy Wittman and an unprotected 1st

    • eugenesaxe1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      You don’t ask players to throw games. You tell the coach to sit the best players so you can “evaluate” your bench through extensive court time.

  10. superkid72 - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Sixers have a high school roster! No one cares about them!

  11. willardj - Oct 21, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    All part of the Riggin for Wiggins Operation. Next step will be trading Evan Turner before the deadline.

  12. holleywood9 - Oct 21, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Can we all make as big a deal out of this as Derrick rose?

  13. kvanhorn87 - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    This has all been well orchestrated. He could play but why should he. Young guy with possibly bright future. A full year only helps him in the long run. Now if only the Pelicans could stink this year. #1 and #6 picks this year along with Noel next year. Just how the Bulls and the Thunder built their teams. Cleared the books for the most part so in 2 years they can be attractive to free agents. So far they have done nothing wrong. Went Boom or bust on Bynum and I think they were happy whatever direction it went.

  14. misremembered72 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    my heart says noooo but my head says this is obviously the right decision.

    bulk up young blood and work on that offensive offensive game (not a mistake)

  15. 00maltliquor - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    WOOW! It’s gonna take well over a year and a half for him to get right?? Trade him now while he has value, he ain’t gonna be sheit and gonna be habitually injured his whole career. Bet that.

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