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Nerlens Noel talks comeback effort, his “4-4-14″ tweet

Apr 8, 2014, 5:02 PM EDT

Nerlens Noel wants to play. Badly. He even tweeted about it.

Not surprisingly, the Sixers are forcing him to take things slow.

For the first time since October Noel spoke with the media on Tuesday (as you can see from the video above). Among the things he said was that he has added 8-10 pounds of weight and has increased his vertical leap by three inches. The Sixers also have been retooling his jump shot, something we are not going to get to see until Summer League.

Here are a few highlights, courtesy Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.

• Regarding 4-4-14 tweet: “It was a goal of mine to be able to come back and be cleared to play by the Sixers by then, but I was not, and that’s that.”

• His wanting to play: “Obviously, I do want to play,” Noel said. “A 19-year-old wants to get out there. I want to show my abilities, just be able to play ball. It has been tough, but it is something I had to do. I definitely look forward to playing. Sam Hinkie is a great GM. He put me in this position to play for Philadelphia. I understand the risk/reward, but I am very eager and because of my competitiveness, I really want to play basketball again.”

  1. brotherlove2012 - Apr 8, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    I hope that just like Blake Griffin, this injury proves to be a blessing in disguise. The main things scouts were afraid of were his size and shot mechanic. If he took th time to fix these, it gives him a nice opprtunity to be more successful. He is not going to have the same impact as Griffin but he has the tools to be a defensive stopper at the Center position and he can shoot it from 15-17′ he could be a very interesting player with the athletism he brings to the floor.

  2. biggestredmiami - Apr 8, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    I understand what it’s like to have an athlete’s mentality, but your team sucks and you shouldn’t sacrifice your future because you are anxious to get back from an injury, especially as a rookie.

  3. sixerstrong - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    I couldn’t get the video to work here, but I followed the link posted and watched it there. He says he improved his vertical by three inches compared to pre-injury. Guy is going to be a monster.

  4. misremembered72 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    3 inches, 3 freaking inches….. my god (if it’s true)

  5. alexb1234 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    let the kid play….if he’s good to go (which seems to be the case) it would help him going into next year to get all the firsts out of the way – first game, point, etc – when no one is paying attention….then he’ll have another 6 months until he plays again to rest his knee. it’ll take the pressure off of him….winning a game or 2 at the end of the year won’t help or hurt the sixers shot at the number 1 pick

    #freenoel

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