Sixers Media Day: Recapping Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers’ Press Conference
After a long summer, the start of Sixers basketball is right around the corner. The team held its media day at the training facility in Camden before heading down to South Carolina for the next week.
Before hearing from all the players, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and head coach Doc Rivers held a joint press conference to kick things off. Here is a recap of the array of topics they covered.
Sixers Excited for New Additions
Following their second-round exit in the postseason, Morey worked tirelessly in the offseason to put the Sixers in a better position to contend for an NBA championship. Along with re-signing James Harden, he acquired multiple depth pieces in De’Anthony Melton, P.J. Tucker, Danuel House Jr, and Montrezl Harrell.
When asked about the new pieces coming in, Rivers opened up on how excited he is to get them into the fold. He feels each player can address a key area of need for the team.
I think they all will fit in well. Each one of them fulfills a need in a lot of ways. Shooting, P.J.’s leadership, his toughness. De’Anthony Melton can play dual positions, great defensive player. I thought we had a targeted summer and we hit pretty much what we were looking for.
The Backup Center Rotation
Before the Sixers inked Montrezl Harrell to a contract, it remained unclear what direction the team was planning to go in regards to the minutes behind Joel Embiid. Now with a former Sixth Man of the Year in the mix, that question is answered.
While Harrell will likely take on most of the non-Embiid minutes, it seems Rivers is still weighing other options. He also cited Paul Reed and Tucker as two players who could see some time at center.
We have a collection of guys like P.J., Paul Reed, Trez. We feel very comfortable in that row. We want to do a better job on the games that some of those guys don’t play. We want to win those games. With the collection, we feel very comfortable.
Doc Rivers not Worried About ‘Championship or Bust’ Mentality
Given that they have a top duo in the league and a strong supporting cast, the Sixers are looking to maximize their window of contention. Winning a title remains the top priority, but Rivers isn’t all in on the idea of “championship or bust.” He likes where the team is at but needs to see how they can come together as a group.
I believe this, this is the best talent I’ve had since I’ve been here. What that means is what’ll become. We have to become a team. Having a collection of individuals is great, but that says nothing about a team. For us, we have to learn how to become a team first. If we do that, I love who we are but I’m not gonna sit up here and make some crazy prediction.
Tyrese Maxey, Matisse Thybulle Among Hardest Workers This Offseason
Since entering the NBA, Tyrese Maxey has built the reputation of being a gym rat. Even after the breakout season he had last year, the 21-year-old spent the summer hard at work, continuing to perfect his craft.
Rivers mentioned Maxey as someone who spent a lot of time in the gym this summer. Among those who put in a similar type of workload is Matisse Thybulle. Everyone knows what he can do on the defensive side of the floor, but un-tapping his offensive game remains to be the key step in his development.
The work that he’s done with Sam and my son Spencer has been amazing. Between him and Paul Reed and Matisse [Thybulle], no one has out-worked those three guys. I can guarantee you that.
P.J. Tucker Investigation Remains Ongoing
One of the not-so-bright topics brought up during the press conference was the tampering investigation launched against the Sixers regarding the signing of P.J. Tucker. Given his connection to Morey from their time in Houston, suspicion arose about possible early contact with the veteran forward.
Because the investigation is ongoing, Morey is unable to say much more on the matter. This did not stop him from taking the time to say that he feels the league office does an amazing job with a big smile on his face.
Following the conclusion of training camp, preseason action kicks off for the Sixers on October 3rd with a matchup against Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports Philadelphia