It’s going to be a long season in Philadelphia. When factoring in injuries, the roster features one of the worst overall collections of NBA talent that we’ve seen in quite some time; it could be argued fairly easily that an expansion team would have better luck putting together a squad capable of winning more games than the Sixers will this season.
The franchise is essentially starting from scratch, and that includes a first-time general manager and a first-time head coach.
This year is about building a culture and foundation for the future, so a transgression that may otherwise seem minor — like a player missing practice simply because he overslept — is magnified and dissected to see if it’s a sign of a character flaw rather than an honest mistake.
One day after admitting he has not played particularly well this preseason, Lavoy Allen missed Sixers practice, which was open to the public and held at the Palestra.
“We got word that he overslept,” head coach Brett Brown said. “That is part of the culture we are trying to get right. I will deal with him. What else can I say?”
Brown spoke more about the culture, and what he’s trying to achieve in beginning to build his team.
“You can build skill, (but) it’s hard to build DNA character qualities,” Brown said. “And that needs to be the foundation, the bottom line, number one. We need the right competitors who want to get better.
“There is no one whose skills stand out that significantly more than others, and so it’s people. Who are the people we are going to keep here or that [GM Sam Hinkie] is going to bring in? What makes them tick? That is what is crucial in year one. You can’t get tricked.”
Allen is one of 11 players in place who have guaranteed contracts for this season, and he’ll be a free agent (either restricted or outright) next summer. Allen’s numbers through his first two NBA seasons have been underwhelming, and considering that work ethic is of more overall importance than talent to Brown in year one, he’d be wise to make this careless mistake his last.