The Sixers, like everyone else, have been mandated to effectively shelter in place — stay home, stay safe, stay clean — while the American public does its best to flatten the curve for the spread of COVID-19. Just like us, many Sixers have taken to different social media outlets to combat the lethargy, while they wait on word from the NBA as to whether or not the 2019-20 season will resume.
So, here, we will take a look, player-by-player, at how each Sixer has chosen to express themselves via social media since the quarantine began.
16. Marial Shayok (two-way)
The Sixers rookie out of Iowa State is not much of one for social media, overall. He hasn’t posted on Instagram since March 3rd — about a week prior to the league’s shutdown. He’s a bit more active, however, on Twitter, where he’s occasionally been retweeting old college highlights of himself. In mid-April, he sent out a brief endorsement of a Sixers video featuring teammate Tobias Harris, talking about his mentorship of the team’s younger players.
15. Zhaire Smith
The allergy and injury-stricken guard out of Texas Tech has been notoriously absent from social media since being drafted by the Sixers, often using the forums to only post wordless photos of shoes from his sponsored company, PUMA. During quarantine, however, he’s actually been expressing himself a bit more on both main platforms. On Twitter, he posted an ‘of the times’ message for fans:
Stay home and stay safe.— Zhaire (@zhaire_smith) April 29, 2020
And on Instagram, he posted a captionless, stylish photoshoot, which elicited the reply “Dude too cool” from teammate Shake Milton:
14. Kyle O’Quinn
The Sixers’ reserve center, sadly, hasn’t posted during the quarantine. His last Instagram post, however, is worth mentioning — it’s a joyous picture of O’Quinn laughing with his teammates:
13. Norvel Pelle
For someone with such a bubbly, extroverted personality, Pelle is a surprisingly sparse poster on social media. His most recent Instagram post went up 16 weeks ago. The account, by the way, features only 48 photos, only in black-and-white. On Twitter, he doesn’t post much. His last — which went out on May 1st — is quite a thinker:
10 toes down— Norvel Pelle (@NorvelPelle05) May 1, 2020
12. Raul Neto
Neto, the Sixers’ reserve, Brazil-born point guard, posts just about weekly on Instagram. Two weeks ago, he put out a heartfelt message to his Sixers comrades:
There isn’t a whole lot to glean from Neto’s Twitter page, but recently he announced that he’s currently reading Focus, by Daniel Goleman, which is described as such, by Google Books: “In Focus, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, offers a groundbreaking look at today’s scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment: attention. Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world.” Neat!
P.S.: Happy Birthday, Raul! Neto’s birthday is on 5/19.
P.P.S.: Players on the Sixers roster have an inordinate amount of summer birthdays. Zhaire and Al Horford’s birthdays are in June, while Tobias, Furkan, Mike Scott, Ben Simmons, Alec Burks and Marial Shayok all have July birthdays.
11. Glenn Robinson III
GRIII must be too busy parsing his feelings about his inadequate role on the Sixers, because he does not have an Instagram and has not posted on Twitter since February. His most recent post was worth highlighting:
I fight everyday to see my daughter, but it’s all worth it. I’ll never forget this years All Star Break. I got a chance to create memories with her that we will never forget! #girldad #proudfather pic.twitter.com/qtOZ4904Kj— Glenn Robinson III (@GRIII) February 20, 2020
10. Mike Scott
The Sixers’ backup forward, social media sensation and Philadelphia cult hero has never been shy on the internet, and always posts in his unmistakable, unique voice. Of late, Scott has been commenting on rap battles online, and maligning his shoddy internet service. Last week, he engaged in a brief back-and-forth with friend of Liberty Ballers, Zainab Javed on Twitter:
His last Instagram post was posted on March 12, the week of the NBA shutdown:
9. Alec Burks
Much like GRIII — the teammate with whom Burks was acquired in February — the Sixers’ backup combo guard seldom posts on social media, quarantine or note. The Instagram account attributed to Burks is unverified, while his Twitter hasn’t had a new post since 2018.
8. Matisse Thybulle
The Sixers’ rookie swingman has certainly seen his social media stock rise with his emergence as a star on TikTok, since the quarantine began. On Twitter, he mostly reposts videos and highlights. On Instagram, he flexes his creative muscles:
7. Furkan Korkmaz
In the midst of a breakout season with the Sixers, Korkmaz must’ve been one of the most disappointed players to see the 2019-20 season placed on an indefinite pause. Clearly, the Turkish sharpshooter was feeling it. On Twitter:
I miss basketball and “making it rain” https://t.co/LloHbzSUau— Furkan Korkmaz (@FurkanKorkmaz) May 7, 2020
And an Instagram post, that was quickly captioned, “Yeah bro!!!!!” by teammate Tobias Harris:
6. Al Horford
The elder statesman on the Sixers, Horford’s social media accounts are most often reserved for intermittent, brand-inspired sponcon. Here’s a chocolate milk ad on his Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
No matter where I live, getting involved in the community is really important to me. Recently, I teamed up with @BuiltWithChocolateMilk and @ConcilioPhilly to host a basketball clinic in my new hometown of Philadelphia. The athletes had a ton of talent and I’m really proud of the hard work we put in. #Ad #RealWorks
During the quarantine, Horford has taken to Twitter to comb through old college highlights from Florida and shout out some praise to fellow NBA vets:
5. Shake Milton
Shake, another Sixer in the midst of a breakout season, matriculated his way into the starting lineup prior the the season’s shutdown. He very well might be there to stay. On social media, Milton isn’t super active. Most notable since the quarantine started was his announcement on Twitter and Instagram that he partnered with HipCityVeg in an effort to provide 500 meals for frontline healthcare workers.
View this post on Instagram
I wanted to hop on here and send some good vibes to everyone – I miss seeing everyone on and off the court, but we’re all doing our part by staying home. Philly has always shown up for me, and I want to show up for you too, which is why this month I’m partnering with one of my favorite plant-based restaurants, HipCityVeg. Starting today by donating 500 meals to our healthcare workers on the frontline. You can help, too. Just give me an assist. If you’re able to donate, $10 gets one healthcare worker a full meal – but any amount helps. You can visit giveshakeanassist.com to learn more – or just Venmo us at @hipcityveg. Lets do some good work together.
4. Josh Richardson
Much like Shake, Richardson recently confirmed on Twitter that he’d committed to a philanthropic effort to help those most impacted by COVID-19 in the Philadelphia area:
And on Instagram, it appears J-Rich has bleached his hair:
Read my piece on Richardson from last week’s column here.
3. Tobias Harris
Relegated to working out at home, Harris has taken to posting sweaty selfies via his Instagram stories following workouts on his Peloton bike. He also joined The Philly Pledge, a coronavirus-related philanthropic effort spearheaded by teammate Ben Simmons:
On Twitter, Tobias has been promoting his interviews with Bleacher Report, through which he’s been discussing The Last Dance on ESPN.
2. Ben Simmons
The biggest Ben Simmons news came via a Jackie MacMullan piece on ESPN, which reported that Simmons should be fully healthy if and when the season resumes. Last week, in a virtual press conference with the media, head coach Brett Brown relayed that when Ben injured his back versus Milwaukee, he was vomiting from how painful it was.
Just another injury update in Philadelphia.
On social media, Ben’s biggest quarantine contribution has been leading The Philly Pledge, alongside Sixers minority owner Michael Rubin.
His original Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
Philly! Being isolated during this unprecedented time doesn’t mean we can’t come together as a City. Finding nonprofit organizations who are helping on the front line is often hard but @ThePhillyPledge have made it easy. You can make a donation for as little as $25. We can all make a difference and show the world what the City of Brotherly Love is all about. Be safe. #ThePhillyPledge @thephillypledge ❤️
On Twitter, Ben has been highlighting other Philadelphia-related athletes and celebrities who have taken the pledge, as well as accepting the All in Challenge:
Im accepting the #ALLINCHALLENGE You can help feed those in need during this challenging time. Visit https://t.co/2WGCSwrnnz to win an NBA experience for you & 9 friends, courtside & a pick-up game on the court! Im challenging @kevinlove @nyjah @kingjames to be ALL IN! pic.twitter.com/yOEAtZEMmt— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) April 14, 2020
1. Joel Embiid
‘The Process’ has been quiet throughout quarantine. As most fans wait with baited breath to see whether or not Embiid has found a way to stay in shape despite not playing official basketball games, the star took to his Instagram stories and posted a few sweaty, sprawled-out pictures in the gym. Also notable:
On Twitter, the biggest Embiid headline was when he shoved Josh Harris in a locker and offered to cover the salaries for Sixers arena workers who ownership asked to take a 20 percent salary decrease. After the public shaming, Harris and the other owners capitulated and guaranteed their staff’s salaries. Embiid responded:
In these trying times, I’m proud of the Sixers organization for reversing course and “doing a 180”. Let’s focus on beating this Coronavirus now. Let’s be responsible and Trust the Process!!— Joel “Do a 180” Embiid??? (@JoelEmbiid) March 24, 2020
Also, like Simmons, Embiid accepted the All In Challenge.
Hopefully in due time we will get to monitor the Sixers on the court, rather than just online, in a safe way for everyone.
Long Live Fred Willard. Rest in Peace.