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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sixers rookie Nerlens Noel will not make debut tonight against Boston Celtics


BOSTON – 76ers rookie Nerlens Noel will not dress for Friday’s game against the Boston Celtics, Sixers coach Brett Brown said after morning shootaround.

Despite an ominous tweet from Noel last month of this date, “4-4-14,” and the subsequent speculation that the Boston-area native would prefer to debut at TD Garden, the 6-11, 230-pound center won’t be in uniform.

Brown noted once more the competitive nature of Noel, a player who is likely champing at the bit to see game time for the first time in 14 months. He has not played competitively since tearing the ACL in his left knee during his freshman season at Kentucky.

“Nerlens, as I’ve learned, is just beyond competitive. It’s the single thing I’ve fallen in love with the most,” Brown said. “His athleticism is quite incredible. His future, and his hair, are quite incredible. But his competitive spirit is beyond attractive to me.

“He’s trying. He wants to play. There are so many layers he has to get through to where we can put him in a position where we feel responsible that he can perform and not be at risk. To go through this duration that we’ve all gone through and be anything less than responsible and smart would just be shameful. Nerlens is simply not ready. And that’s the lay of the land right now.”

The Sixers have only seven games remaining, including Friday's against the Celtics.

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