Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Sixers Coach Says It’s Possible Noel Could Miss Entire Season
NEW YORK — The Philadelphia 76ers are still debating how to handle Nerlens Noel’s return from ACL surgery and it remains possible the former Kentucky star could sit out this entire season.
“I’m really not sure,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden before his team met the Knicks. “I mean, anything’s possible. I mean at this stage, we’re moving forward and he’s doing a good job.”
The 6-foot-11 Noel was on the Garden court before the game shooting some one-handed jumpers, but has yet to be cleared for contact.
He tore his ACL during his freshman season at Kentucky last February and fell to No. 6 in the 2013 NBA Draft. The Sixers (13-28) are rebuilding and have Noel, former Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and two 2014 first-round picks with which to build going forward.
The question is: Why even bring Noel back when the Sixers are widely regarded to be rebuilding/tanking in anticipation of the upcoming Draft?
“It is very up in the air,” Brown said of Noel’s status. “It’s the thing that we tell all the different cities that we visit, is that there are so many layers to him being allowed to play. We continue to put in work. He’s fantastic to work with. He’s got a real infectious personality and a desire to improve and we’ve used this opportunity to help break down his shot. But in regards to health and the timeline on playing it’s just guesswork right now.
“He is ticking all the boxes at the rate tha we had hoped but what that means in relation to getting on a court is still very vague.”
Photo: Bleacher Report
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.