Philadelphia 76ers: Josh Richardson’s improved play? Must be the shoes

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

After rocking Reebok Question mids for the first six games of the season, Josh Richardson switched things up in his best game with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Josh Richardson may be the hardest player to get a feel for on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Since arriving in the City of Brotherly Love as part of the four-team Jimmy Butler sign-‘n-trade, Richardson has been tasked with playing shooting guard, small forward, and point guard – sometimes all three in the same single quarter. Whether asked to park on the wings for a well-placed dime from Ben Simmons or run the show as a primary ball-handler, Richardson may have the most complex set of responsibilities of any player on the team.

And understandably, that sort of workload can take some getting used to.

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While Richardson has looked great at times over the first six games of the season, highlighted by a pair of 17 point games, he’s yet to make more than two 3 pointers in a single game and has looked slow at times on the court.

However, it looks like Richardson may have finally put it all together in an ultimately losing effort.

In a game where Simmons went down after 10 minutes of action, Richardson scored a season-high 24 points in 35 minutes.

But Richardson didn’t just impact the game as a scorer.

No, slotted in as Brett Brown‘s top guard, Richardson filled out his stats sheet with three steals, four assists, and four rebounds – while hitting eight of his 11 shots from the field. He also played superb defense for the majority of the evening, even if Donovan Mitchell‘s 24 points on 23 shots makes that insertion seem improbable.

But how could this be? What changed about Richardson’s game that supercharged his performance? His hair looks the same. As does his on-court attire. Maybe it’s the altitude?

No? I guess it must be the shoes.

That’s right, after spending the first six games of the season rocking Reebok’s reissued red and blue Question mids – the signature shoes of Allen Iverson – Richardson checked into Wednesday night’s game wearing a crispy pair of recently dropped Nike Youtube x Kevin Durant 12s.

Retail price? $150, but good luck finding a pair for that price.

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Now granted, shoes alone aren’t going to impact a player’s production all that much – though as anyone whose tried to ball in Ultraboosts can attest, the right shoes help – but after going off against the Utah Jazz, what are the chances they work again on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets in a game (potentially) without Ben Simmons? If I’m the Philadelphia 76ers, I’d play things safe and keep Josh Richardson in Nikes – because maybe it is the shoes.