Tony Wroten Tweets Again “Done Being The Laughing Stock”

Jan 5, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten (8) reacts to scoring a basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the closing minutes of the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers defeated the Cavaliers 95-92. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Wroten Tweets Again “Done Being The Laughing Stock”

The rebuilding is over. Its over for Philadelphia 76er guard Tony Wroten at any rate. He could not contain his frustration any longer… so at 9:42 PM on August 25, 2015, he let another memorable tweet fly to his nearly 45,000 twitter followers:

I, for one, can’t blame him.  The team has done everything asked of it.  But its hard to build a house when the building is disassembled in the off-season, only to be rebuilt once more.  As you know, following Tony Wroten on twitter can have it’s rewards.   He was one of the first to congratulate Pierre Jackson to the team.

He was also one of the first to wish teammate Joel Embiid a speedy recovery following his second successful foot surgery.

And this has been during the time he has been rehabilitating from his own ACL surgery, an injury to his nagging knee that finally required surgery and ended his season last year prematurely.   He was the offensive leader in  the 2014-15 season, averaging 16.9 points per game.  But he had a style of play that took shots, particularly the hard driving shots to the basket that draws a lot of fouls.    Unfortunately, he only sinks two out of three foul shots which encourages teams to hack at him as he drives low.

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The new roster will require changes for the team, and the players who make that team. It’s a virtual lock that 2015 third pick Jahlil Okafor will start at center and be one of the offensive pacesetters for the team.  We have discussed the power forward role, and the effort this off-season demonstrated by Nerlens Noel in working on shots to enhance his offense.   We have talked about the long range shooting of Nik Stauskas, and the heated competition at that shooting guard position with Robert Covington and Hollis Thompson.

But the key to the team will be the point guard position.   Head coach Brett Brown admitted as such. The position will be awarded to the victor of the competition among Tony Wroten, Isaiah Canaan, and two players signed after the summer league in Scottie Wilbekin and Pierre Jackson. The competition is incredibly important. A starting point guard for the Sixers will emerge to lead the team. Unsuccessful players may not make the roster. Such is the business of the NBA.

Initially, I was swept up into the likelihood of Pierre Jackson to emerge at the one.  In some ways that has not changed.  But I cannot lie and say that I am not impressed at the leadership expressed by Tony Wroten this off-season.   He is the first to welcome, the first to well wish, and now the first to place the NBA on notice that this Sixers team is  having a “mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” Network moment.

That’s leadership. No matter what other labels you assign to this young man, you cannot deny his natural leadership. Can it translate to the court? Can it mean he passes off to a teammate rather than take it to the hoop? Can his game change to the new roster? Can Tony Wroten become that general from the key who reads and calculates, pivots and spins, charges and changes up?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. But after reading his tweet, I’m eager to find out.