The 76ers have added a big man with a high draft pick in each of the last three years:
And it appears not even Noel has stayed clear of off-court issues.
Nerlens Noel was fined heavily and often, to the tune of around $25,000, according to a source, for repeated tardiness and other violations during his first season, which he missed due to a knee injury.
For perspective, the Collective Bargaining Agreement lists certain fines – $20,000 for a missed promotional appearance, $2,500 for a first missed practice, $5,000 for a second and $7,500 for a third. The CBA doesn’t specify fines for tardiness.
It’s not easy for such a talented player to miss an entire season, and that likely contributed to both Noel’s and Embiid’s problems. Now that Noel is healthy and playing, there have been no further reports of malfeasance.
But this might also show a flaw with the 76ers’ culture.Their losing and lack of veterans have frequently been blamed for Okafor’s outbursts. What about their seriously injured players? Philadelphia, not yet trying to win, doesn’t seem bothered by players missing significant time. In a certain sense, being patient with injuries is prudent. But having so many players removed from the action could contribute to a general feeling of not caring and unprofessionalism.
Noel is certainly not the first rookie to be receive hefty late fees, and his injury makes it more understandable. But the deeper we dig, the more evidence the 76ers have a pattern of troubling behavior rather than just an isolated incident or two.