The Sixers are in the heart of their rebuilding process. The recent trades are a good example of the risky moves the Sixers are willing to make in order to build a winning program. Two of their four best players were recently moved (Evan Turner to the Indian Pacers and Spencer Hawes to the Cleveland Cavilers), but one player the Sixers have shown their faith in seems to be staying – MCW.
Carter-Williams, a 22 year-old rookie, has impressive capabilities as a point-guard, but for him to become the team leader Brett Brown projects, he has some maturing to do. All the attention MCW receives is completely warranted. He is a top contender for Rookie of the Year, but as far as being a leader, he is growing into the role.
There was a moment during the game Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder where Brown called MCW to the sidelines. Brown was agitated by the Sixers’ poor defense and was looking for MCW to step-up, as either both a leader and player. Carter-Williams’ palms immediately turned upwards and a look of disgust came across his face.
A crucial element in rookie development is listening. “It is a coach talking to a player — a young player — who comes up afterwards and he understands,” Brown said. “That is just part of the landscape. It is bad luck and we move on.”
Carter-Williams saw the moment differently.
“I didn’t think I lost my cool at all,” Carter-Williams said. “I didn’t try to force anything really. I had three turnovers. I didn’t seem flustered. Even though we were down a lot I just tried to play basketball.”
Unfortunately, gauging performance is more than measuring his offensive play. One stellar 76er that Carter-Williams could learn from is former idle Allen Iverson.
Iverson was a man who embraced fierce competition. He’s dedication, drive, and intensity was hard to go unnoticed. Although he never won a championship for Philadelphia, his intensity and leadership are things MCW could learn from.
He would have played 48 minutes a night, every night, until his body broke down, if his coaches allowed him to. He hated coming out, and was consistently among the league leaders in minutes played per game. In fact, he led the league in that statistic seven times, second all-time only to Wilt Chamberlain’s eight. There weren’t too many players who that kind of pride.
Iverson was rare breed. He was an undersized player but his attitude and determination made up for it. MCW has massive amounts of potential, but playing with a chip could not only win Philly’s heart, but trigger his teammates into playing feisty basketball.
Carter-Williams is having an excellent rookie season considering his circumstances. He was blessed with the size that Iverson wasn’t, and he has a chance to be something special.
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Brown has made it clear that they are sticking together. Although he has had moments of frustration, Brown says it is part of the process.
“That frustration is a portion of him getting older,” Brown said. “It’s a portion of too bad and it’s a portion of us growing as a group, me with him, him with me and us together. We are trying to get this done together.”