Young still playing hard in lost 76ers season

Thaddeus Young says this 76ers season has allowed himto learn "how strong I am."
Thaddeus Young says this 76ers season has allowed himto learn "how strong I am." (DALE ZANINE / USA Today)
Posted: April 03, 2014

It hasn't been an easy season for Thaddeus Young - the only player remaining on the 76ers roster from the team that came within one victory of advancing to the NBA Eastern Conference finals two years ago.

But given the Sixers' record-tying losing streak and the fact that Young's last three longtime teammates were shipped out at the Feb. 20 trading deadline, the 6-foot-8 forward has been an exemplary presence in his seventh season with the club.

"I just can't speak highly enough of him as a person," Sixers coach Brett Brown said Tuesday after the team's practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"I've seen him endure this type of rebuilding, lose three friends, and go on such a long losing streak. But he's still in the gym after he played 35 minutes [Monday] night in the little bit that's remaining of the season. He still leads us, and he still competes. . . . I just have a lot of respect for the way he's trying to close this season out, given where we're at."

Young, the team's leading scorer at 18.1 points per game, called it "one of those things where you can't be mad."

"You've just got to continue to go out there and do the job and continue to play," he said. "Me personally, I think this was the year of kind of finding myself a little bit, finding how strong I am and continuing to deal with adversity and going out there and just playing basketball."

Young said he thought he was prepared for deadline trades that resulted in the departure of Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Lavoy Allen, all of whom "were like brothers to me," but he wasn't. Eventually, he got over it.

"I'm able to go out there and just continue to do my job and focus on the task at hand, which is helping guys get better, leading this basketball team, and playing my butt off," he said.

"My only objective is to go out there and win basketball games," Young added. "That's the only thing I care about. The money is great, but what's the money without winning games?"

The rookies

Brown said that "it's still up in the air" whether rookie Nerlens Noel plays in a game this season but that he's excited to see Noel in one-on-one drills with Jarvis Varnado and Brandon Davies, as he did after Tuesday's practice. . . . Michael Carter-Williams was named NBA rookie of the month for March.


jjuliano@phillynews.com

@joejulesinq

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