Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel has been working hard in the offseason to prepare for a solid return during the 2013-14 NBA season. Obviously, Noel will miss the first couple months of the season. However, he is confident that he will be able to make his debut around Christmas time.
Noel sees his injury not as a crutch, but rather, something that will make him better in the long run. It gives him the opportunity to better prepare for the season, while also being aware that he is not invincible. He must play with a certain awareness, which could actually improve his game.
“I definitely feel the injury is a blessing in disguise, and I feel that Philly is perfect as to my style, and definitely my playing style,” Noel said, according to Philly.com. “I’m just always playing hard, working for everything and, of course, the city of Philadelphia itself having the die-hard fans they do and just being a blue-collar city.”
Noel says that he feels his “explosiveness” returning during his rehabilitation process. That is certainly a great sign, but the organization should not be confused if the fans are not buying into the words immediately. The fact is the 76ers dealt with the exact same thing last season. Center Andrew Bynum made promises of getting better in his rehabilitation and making an appearance at some point in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, he missed the entire year, which set the organization back.
The hope is that Noel is on a different level. He is a rookie who is looking forward to playing in his first professional game. Not to mention, he believes in the 76ers and wants to do everything he can to help the team win.