The 76ers have looked outside
their locker room this season for players to deliver messages of import to
rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.
During the Sixers’ ongoing
21-game losing streak, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant
has reached out Carter-Williams, the point guard said. And according to coach
Brett Brown, it’s not the first time a player of Durant’s caliber has done so.
“Behind closed doors the
entire season, we’ve put Michael and Nerlens in front of people of incredible
significance to share their stories. (Durant) is one of them, and that is true,”
Brown said after Tuesday’s practice. “People that have a real story to tell
that have been through it from the eyes that Michael, especially, sees it
carries a lot of weight. I can tell you personally that the respect I have for
Kevin Durant – that is one complete person. Just a fantastic player, a
fantastic ambassador, a good human being. I personally appreciate him reaching out
to Michael and helping him.”
Brown said he did not wish to
disclose the genesis of these behind-closed-doors meetings between top-tier NBA folks and Noel and Carter-Williams. The rookie said his conversations with Durant began sometime after the All-Star break in New Orleans in February,
where Carter-Williams played in the Rising Stars Challenge and Durant starred in the All-Star Game. That timeline would indicate their dialogue began during the Sixers’ franchise-record
losing streak. The Sixers last won Jan. 29 at Boston.
Carter-Williams said Durant
can relate to his rookie season. Durant’s Seattle SuperSonics went 20-62 in
2007-08, and 23-59 after relocating to Oklahoma City in 2008-09.
Carter-Williams’ Sixers are 15-52, heading into Wednesday’s game against
“I’ve talked to Kevin Durant a
few times,” Carter-Williams said. “His team wasn’t very good coming in, his
rookie and sophomore year. I talk to him a bunch and he gives me good advice,
telling me to stick with it and just keep working every day.
“I just think we can relate.
He knows the struggle I’m going through. Just being basketball players, he came
to me as a veteran and just talked to me a little bit about how to change
things and change a program. Just a whole bunch of stuff.”
Labels: Kevin Durant, Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Oklahoma City Thunder