The Sixers seem content to go into next season with their three highly-touted centers still on the roster. Despite Bryan Colangelo’s assurances that they’re happy to do so, Nerlens Noel might be sending signals that say otherwise.
Late last night, Noel tweeted this out to his 220k+ followers:
I'm blessed to be from Boston. Love my city.— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) August 11, 2016
In a vacuum, nothing to really get worked up about. Lots of athletes spend tons of time in other cities during the offseason, so expressing adulation for his hometown is far from cause to push the panic button.
However, his subsequent avatar change is enough to give pause. This was Nerlens Noel’s avatar earlier yesterday:
This is Noel’s avatar on Twitter today:
In an additional step, Noel also removed the banner from his page displaying the city of Philadelphia. “Current Philadelphia 76er!!” remains part of his bio, but all signs point to unrest in the Noel camp.
Noel has been visibly absent from the team’s most prominent activities this offseason, while counterparts Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid have notably shown their faces at Summer League, Ben Simmons’ introductory presser and more. There have been insistences from several parties that Noel has been working out in Philly this summer, but smoke hints at a larger fire.
None of these guys can be happy about the minutes split ahead of them if the roster stays as is, though sending passive-aggressive signs through social media that it isn’t acceptable probably isn’t the way to send a message.
Brett Brown has done his best to keep everyone happy through the tough times. Barring changes to the roster, managing this situation could be the toughest test he’s had to face.