We do too, Nerlens, we do too.
Philadelphia is focused on the 2014 NBA Draft, in which the Sixers look to have two lottery picks in one of the most heavily armed drafts in recent history. With all the attention on the draft, Nerlens Noel has taken a backseat so far. After sitting out all of last season, recovering from a torn ACL, Nerlens Noel is 100 percent recovered and ready to make a mark on the NBA during his rookie season. With all the attention on the draft, people might be forgetting the ungodly potential that Noel has. He has the capability to be one of the best centers in the league in a few seasons. Noel might be getting a little ahead of himself, but the rookie already sees the big picture. Noel wants the Sixers in the playoffs, as he told Bleacher Report in an interview (via CBS Philly):
“It would mean a lot for me to be a part of something in Philadelphia to take them back to the promised land and get right back to the playoffs along with great players around me,” Noel told Bleacher Report. “I want to give Philly a reason to be happy because during the Allen Iverson days, it was one of the best cities to be in. That’s what I’m really focused on—working my butt off to get to the playoffs.”
This city would love nothing more than to return to those Allen Iverson days. Where the arena actually had people in it and the city of Philadelphia embraced the Sixers, instead of being embarrassed of them. Hearing Noel say these things makes me want to see him on the court immediately. There’s no doubt that Noel is going to be surrounded by some superb talent, if the draft goes accordingly. This will all be uncovered on Tuesday night, as the draft lottery takes place.
In the interview with Bleacher Report, Noel also said he will be participating in the Sixers Summer League this season. Catching a glimpse of that flat top in action this summer is going to be special.
For now, it’s great to hear Noel saying all the right things. He’s yet to appear on the court, but he’s shown a hard working attitude and appears to love Philadelphia and the Sixers. Nerlens Noel is full of untapped potential, but he was a consensus No. 1 overall selection in 2013 before his injury for a reason — this kid can ball. Team him up with Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker and the Sixers go from a team focused on tanking to one of the hottest young teams in the NBA.
The playoffs may still be a few seasons away, but the future is bright in Philadelphia with Nerlens Noel manning the front court. All praise for the man with the best hair in the NBA.