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Catching Up with the Soon-to-Return Sixers

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Best shape of their lives!

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

One of those annual offseason things you always have to chuckle about is players coming into camp in the “best shape of their lives.” Without fail, a guy either gained or dropped 15 pounds (depending on what sounds better in his particular situation), started some new diet that has him feeling amazing, or enacted a new fitness routine that has him reaching formerly unimaginable levels of performance.

With the league suspending play for the better part of three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been subjected to an intraseason offseason of sorts. So it’s only natural that some offseason-like patterns take shape. With that in mind, we first turn to Ben Simmons, who is back to training in Los Angeles in preparation for the Sixers’ camp in Camden later this month. Crucially, the Aussie star appears to be completely over his lower back impingement, but also, he is looking absolutely Hemsworthian. Defenders will be giving Ben even more space than usual, just to avoid getting bodied into the fifth row.

Next, we check in on Joel Embiid, who has “something to prove.” Here’s the relevant portion of the exchange from Lauren Rosen’s Posted Up! piece with Joel:

“We’ve been going at it for the past four weeks, about six times a week, just trying to get a head start, and get ready for whatever’s coming. I have something to prove, and I feel like whenever that opportunity comes, it’s going to be my time.”

It’s no secret that conditioning is a longtime bugaboo for the big man. Sixers fans will be happy Embiid is not starting from scratch in that department when the team returns to the court.

Finally, on an even less serious note, perhaps inspired by watching Dennis Rodman in The Last Dance, Josh Richardson has gone blonde:

Josh’s shooting form sure looks awkward, but whatever works for him, I guess. He hits four 3s in a row in the clip, but the Sixers will need him to improve upon his 32.7 percent mark from downtown this season when play resumes.

Is it July yet?