The Sixers' New Mr. 500, Royce White

The Sixers' New Mr. 500, Royce White

You might recall a couple years back that in advance of his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Temple big man Lavoy Allen was ranked at the very bottom of ESPN's yearly rankings of the Top 500 players in the NBA. The "Mr. 500" nickname kinda stuck with young Lavoy, and after he had a rookie season that was much more productive than most predicted, starting 15 games for the playoff-bound Liberty Ballers, ESPN's Henry Abbott even paid Lavoy a visit to apologize to him for the slight. The next season, Lavoy <a href="">rocketed all the way up to #232 on the ESPN rankings, and all was right with the world.

Until today, anyway. The ESPN NBA rankings have begun once more, and for the second time in three years, a Sixers player with no NBA experience is ranked #500, though this time it's only technically a rookie--recently acquired power forward Royce White, who due to anxiety issues and poor fitness may or may not be playing for the Sixers this season, but is said to have All-Star potential if he could ever get his mind and body in NBA game shape. Royce even falls five behind Sixers teammate Tim Ohlbrecht, who has played a grand total of 12 minutes and scored three total points in his similarly young NBA career.

Unsurprisingly, Royce has had taken to Twitter to address the matter, responding understandingly (sarcastically?) to being the new Mr. 500 and retweeting a healthy cross-section of other responses to his ranking:

Will Royce be able to get the minutes with the Sixers next year--any minutes at all--to improve his ranking? Well, if he's down, Hinkie's probably down, but player and team still have a long way to go before that can become a reality. Here's hoping we at least get to see some of Royce in action when pre-season tips off in three weeks.

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.