Isaiah Joe talked time in Philly, relationship with Doc Rivers, former teammates after Thunder win over the Sixers last night
Last night, Isaiah Joe returned to Philadelphia and spoke with the media after the Oklahoma City Thunder took down a fully-healthy 76ers team 133-114.
The Sixers selected Joe out of Arkansas in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Before the start of the 2022-23 season, the Sixers made the decision to waive third-year guard Isaiah Joe to get their roster down to the required opening day minimum. Joe, branded as a 3-and-D player out of college, never really had the opportunity to be productive in, only playing 96 games in Philly on limited time, which honestly should have been expected when joining a basketball franchise that has been considered a championship contender over the last 4-5 years.
He eventually landed on the Oklahoma City roster, who unlike the Sixers, are a team that is in full rebuild mode, which meant that he would get extended playing time. Joe has appeared in 30 games for OKC this season and is averaging just seven points while shooting 48 percent from the floor and 45 percent from beyond the arc on just four attempts per game.
If you want to check out my full rant on why Sixers fans need to stop glorifying players like Joe after they leave the city of Philadelphia, you can check that out here.
Here’s what Isiah Joe had to say to the media following last night’s Thunder win.
Isaiah Joe: Emotions returning to Philadelphia via SixersWire
“Really, coming here, I really tried to calm myself,” Joe said. “Treat it like any other game because, at the end of the day, each basketball game is the same. You don’t want to go in there too high or too low. You kind of want to be even-keeled so that was my mindset coming into this game, but definitely, Philly’s environment’s always great, you know? They always have intense fans and I love that. Even being on the opposite side. I just love being immersed in the game. I think here is a really good spot to be immersed in the game.”
Isaiah Joe: Being waived via SixersWire
“It kind of came quick, for sure, but leading up to it, you could kind of feel that there was something in the works, but my job was to, regardless of the noise that was going on on the outside was still to be immersed in the game, in the moment,” Joe added. “Even before I got waived, I was still playing in the preseason games or whatnot. I still have my focus on the court because that’s what I’m here for. I feel like if you do that, and you work your tail off, everything else will fall into place.”
Isaiah Joe: Strong feelings for Rivers via SixersWire
“Doc’s always been wanting to be on my side,” Joe said of Rivers. “I know a lot of people probably don’t know that, but he’s always been wanting to be on my side. He actually made some phone calls of his own afterward. He talked me up, gave me words of encouragement just saying he’ll always be there for me if I ever need him. Definitely a great coach, even better person. My years playing for him were really good, but he even supports me when I’m on the opposite side.”
Isaiah Joe: Rivers keeping in contact with him via SixersWire
“We communicate,” said Rivers. “That’s what we do, but our talk, which I won’t share, was way deeper than that, I can tell you that. As a coach, and I don’t think a lot of people understand, you end up with a relationship with most of your players, and 98% of them are good, great relationships. At times, we become advisors for them as well. You try to give them the best advice as possible. That’s what I was doing for Isaiah.”
Isaiah Joe: Opportunity with the Thunder via SixersWire
“Definitely here with the Thunder, I’ve gotten a lot more opportunity to go out there and show who I really am,” said Joe. “The opportunity to make mistakes and continue to get better and learn from those mistakes. So definitely grateful for this opportunity and I will not take it for granted because they may not always come, but this one came and I’m not gonna sell it short. I’m gonna give it my all, keep working, keep grinding, and everything else will fall into place.”
Isaiah Joe: Keeping in contact with old Sixers teammates via SixersWire
“For sure,” he finished. “Those are still my guys, you know? I got drafted to the 76ers with two of them. Paul Reed and Tyrese Maxey. Those are definitely still my guys. I talk to them quite often and even almost every other player keeps in touch. So they’re definitely great players on the court, but they’re even better people so great connections to have for a lifetime.”