The 76ers played Noel just eight minutes in a game. Noel pushed back.
This time, 76ers fans pushed back.
On Tuesday, the crowd called out “we want Nerlens” in favor of the center making an appearance. When he checked into the game, the fans amped up their reaction to a standing ovation (see video).
Noel, as he put it, “got the chills real quick.”
“I just really want to thank the fans for how they have supported me through thick and thin this whole process, these last four years, period,” Noel said. “That meant a lot to me. It’s something I’m very appreciative of.”
Noel is seemingly becoming a symbol for the fans who’ve lost patience with The Process (Sam Hinkie’s rebuilding strategy that was so entrenched, it’s still going). But he didn’t accomplish much Tuesday, scoring four points in seven minutes in Philadelphia’s 108-93 loss to the Pelicans.
No matter how they juggle their big men, the 76ers will probably lose. There’s no easy answer here.