Jason Richardson's time in Philadelphia began as a footnote to the Andrew Bynum trade. His entire career might now be in jeopardy due to a stress fracture in his right foot.
"He is busting his tail to get back in shape and play again," Brett Brown said after Sixers practice on Saturday. Richardson was in attendance with a walking boot on the foot. "He is not going down easy. He is not going to retire easily. He continues to work, to try and get ready. It is a setback."
Richardson played only 33 games in 2012-13 — ironically, the same jersey number Bynum failed to ever adorn on the court — and missed the entire 2013-14 after having surgery on his left knee in February 2013. Of course, Richardson is in the final year of his contract and his due a fully-guaranteed $6.6 million this season.
The news is certainly music to the ears of fans all aboard the tank. However, it's truly disheartening when an athlete's body fails him. Richardson's career ending due to injury wouldn't be quite Steve Nash-esque, but the man was truly revered as the athletic freak he once was. Dude used to defy gravity.
It was only two months ago Richardson posted an Instagram video of his comeback from surgery, shooting Doug Collins-approved long-twos at some high school gym with a cliche basketball painted into the free throw area.
Ultimately, Richardson's absence probably has no effect on this team's win/loss percentage this season. At this point in his career, he would only be a spot-up shooter and a very suspect perimeter defender. The Sixers could likely benefit from his veteran leadership, however. Without Richardson, this team is essentially devoid of a true NBA veteran.