Between losing to the Heat and the additions of Alec Burks and GRIII, Josh Richardson led a players-only meeting to help save the Philadelphia 76ers’ season.
On a day typically reserved for massive roster overhauls and season changing trades, The Athletics’ Shams Charania dropped a massive Philadelphia 76ers bomb that may overshadow the additions of Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks.
In the hours leading up to Elton Brand‘s lone additive trade of the year, Josh Richardson led a players-only meeting hours after a slew of potentially misconstrued comments from Joel Embiid and Al Horford circulated online after an abysmal loss to the Miami Heat.
While what exactly was said will probably never been known completely, Shams’ summation indicates that Richardson preached a unifying message and that the team should come together around their two stars, Embiid and Ben Simmons. Check it out below.
See what I mean, right?
Now on paper, the additions of Burks and GRIII should help to raise the team’s floor considerably down the stretch when compared to the players they’re replacing, Trey Burke and James Ennis, but if the team can’t come together and play for each other as opposed to for themselves, this team will continue to underachieve.
As crazy as it sounds, Richardson’s speech may be the most impactful move of 2020 so far, a pretty remarkable accomplishment when you consider he’s both the lowest-paid player in the starting five and hasn’t played a meaningful game since (checks notes) 1/20.
Dubbed a “dot-connector” by Brett Brown after his acquisition from the Miami Heat in Jimmy Butler‘s sign-and-trade, Richardson’s value on the court has been plain as day when rocking at full strength, as the 26-year-old Tennessee product has the potential to go off for 30 in any given game while covering well on the wings. But this newfound leadership and willingness to take charge is the sort of intangible value-added that can seriously elevate a team to new heights.
Will it work? Well, we won’t know for at least a few more days, as Josh Richardson remains out with a hamstring injury, and the cavalry won’t be arriving until Friday at the earliest, but after being bogged down in the doldrums of despair not 48 hours ago, things are finally starting to look up for the Philadelphia 76ers.