10 days ago news broke that Elton Brand, the most veteran-y player on the young Sixers, had organized a team get-together in Los Angeles for a few (un)organized workouts, pick up basketball, and pool parties. I'm not sure if Dei Lynam of CSN Philly sat in for the duration of any of the Sixers workouts or pick-up games, but I'm sure she gave Evan Turner a run for his money in Marco Polo at the team pool party. Anyway, she was there in some capacity and reported back to CSN Philly with a few observations and quotes:
In attendance along with Brand and Williams were Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Jodie Meeks, Spencer Hawes and Craig Brackins.
As a Sixers fan you can't ask for a much better turnout than these eight, especially Holiday and Turner who headline the future of the Sixers. Ideally Thaddeus Young and Marreese Speights would've showed up, but Thad supposedly had "prior obligations" – not to mention he's a restricted free agent – and Speezy is, well, Speezy. To his credit however; he's been working out with Jared Dudley and a few other NBA'ers at Impact Basketball, according to his Twitter feed.
A few more quotes and a video after the J.
... the pickup games are intense and, in this case, believe it or not, there was defense being played. The Jrue-Lou matchup was particularly feisty, and watching Brand and Hawes battle in the post was intriguing.
I'd pay to see Lou and Jrue play one-on-one, but unless the battle Spence and Elton were having in the post was of the rap variety, I'm sure describing it as a "battle" is a little over the top. I could be wrong though. Supposedly Spencer's got the Eye of the Tiger.
Hawes, the lone restricted free agent participating in the weekend, is running the floor better because he could be this summer's poster child for P90X -- that is how in shape he looks.
For what it's worth, Kate Fagan raved about how good Spencer looked in training camp last season as well.
Williams hit two game winners straight on from three, reminiscent of Game 4 in the series against Miami. Williams had no problem showing a little swagger as he headed to the sideline for a water break.
"I see a lot of improvement in Jodie, Evan and Spencer," Brand acknowledged. "Evan is looking more athletic. Spencer is running the floor better and Jodie, believe it or not, is even shooting better. Guys are really growing."
"Spencer does look a lot more lean. Evan looks more fit too and stronger," Holiday said, echoing Brand's comments.
Expect more organized team workouts if the lockout continues.
Everyone involved said if the lockout stretches on they would reconvene for more "workshops" throughout the fall.