Sixers: 5 things we learned at media day

Joel Embiid, James Harden, Sixers media day (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, James Harden, Sixers media day (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Sixers media day: “Toughness” is the word of the day

If there was an overarching theme at Sixers media day, it was “toughness.” After last season’s wet-fart ending against Miami, the verdict on Philadelphia was simple: they had all the talent and none of the backbone needed to win a championship. The Sixers crumbled time and time again under pressure. Toughness, both physical and mental, was sorely lacking.

That’s no longer the case. Daryl Morey went out of his way to focus on getting players who fulfilled the mandate on toughness. The biggest fish was, of course, P.J. Tucker. He has a championship under his belt and has never been one to back down in the face of adversity. There’s also De’Anthony Melton, Montrezl Harrell, Danuel House — all guys who play both sides of the ball and take pride in their physicality.

The returning members of the team also stressed mental toughness and greater competitive spirt. Tobias Harris, for example, discussed turning defense into offense. Joel Embiid wants Philly to be the best defensive team in the NBA. Matisse Thybulle joined the chorus too. We know Paul Reed wants to get out the mud.

There’s every reason to believe this Sixers team will approach next season with a renewed sense of passion and mental fortitude. For the first time in Embiid’s career, there isn’t controversy or major roster turnover hanging over the start of a new season. Only the desire to improve and reach the promised land.