Michael Carter-Williams was upbeat after Thursday’s practice. Not to say he is usually down and out, but his demeanor was definitely different.
After putting in some extra shooting drills, Carter-Williams came over to talk to the media. Monday night was the topic of the conversation.
In the fourth quarter against the Thunder, MCW and Brett Brown had a visibly heated conversation. After the game, Carter-Williams had said he was composed, not frustrated, and 48 hours later he did not alter his opinion.
“I think my answer after the game is the same as it is now,” MCW said. “Of course losing is frustrating, but I don’t think I was flustered or frustrated. I was just trying to do my part and keep playing hard.”
Brown is insistent that this year is not a throwaway experience -- not for Michael Carter-Williams, not for any of the players on the Sixers' roster.
“Most definitely building on this year,” Brown said adamantly about MCW’s next step. “Nobody should be naïve enough to think the benefits of this year won’t be carried forward despite the record, despite some of our pound-downs.”
The Sixers are 15-46. Brown has never wavered in his stance that establishing a culture and foundation for the franchise moving forward is the number one goal this season.
“What’s the routine, from pre-practice workouts to doing video tape to trying to be professional in the way we handle shootaround and on and on and on,” Brown explained. “All these lessons, while the public may not see it, I know what is going on behind the scenes and we are ticking a lot of boxes that are going to enable this program to move forward along with Michael Carter-Williams.”
MCW understands that he is being asked for more than others because that is the case with those who are deemed leaders. He says he has never had a problem being the leader of any team.
“I have been told by various coaches that I am a born leader,” MCW said. “And I think so too, but I also think I can improve. I think you can improve on being a leader everyday no matter who you are.”
And no matter who you are, accepting coaching is a must.
“He is a willing learner,” Brown said of his rookie point guard. “He is defiant sometimes. He is competitive. He gets angry with me sometimes but he knows that is my job and I am going to coach him. And he needs to let me coach him and he will. We will do this together, and I do see improvement.”
Carter-Williams continues to be the leader of the pack for Rookie of the Year. He is averaging 17.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.0 steals.