Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Thaddeus Young will be looked to as a leader for the Sixers

It is rare at 25 years old to be considered an elder statesman of anything.

Thaddeus Young will be looked to as a leader for the Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young. (H. Rumph Jr/AP)
Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young. (H. Rumph Jr/AP)

It is rare at 25 years old to be considered an elder statesman of anything.

Many 25 year olds are just finding their way in the working world, let alone being looked to for leadership. But with six professional seasons under his belt and a roster comprised of fresh faces, that is exactly the position Thaddeus Young finds himself in heading into this season with the Sixers.

With much of the Sixers’ roster comprised of rookies and other fringe free agents, Young stands as the team’s longest-tenured and most experienced player. He has seen a handful of coaching changes since the Sixers selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft, as Brett Brown will serve as his fifth head coach in seven seasons.

Young has also played under Mo Cheeks, Tony DiLeo, Eddie Jordan and Doug Collins. His role has consistently changed under each coach as well, as he has been both a starter and a reserve, and spent ample time at both forward spots.

More coverage
POLL: What should the 76ers do at the trade deadline?
Download FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone!
Forum: Does Hinkie have 76ers on right track?
Buy 76ers jerseys, memorabilia, and other gear
Latest Sixers videos

After so much team turmoil, a lot of talented players in Young’s position would be looking for the first ticket out of town, looking to play with some top talent or at least for the same coach for a couple seasons.

However, last Friday in the media access area of Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers Summit, Young seemed genuinely excited about the opportunity to learn from Brett Brown, to serve as a leader to some of the younger guys, and about the future of the franchise in general.

"The offseason has been good. I’ve been working hard, working on my game, and getting ready to get back at it,” he said about his time off.

“[Brett Brown] seems like a smart guy,” Young stated when asked about his new coach, occasionally glancing up at the mass of media members surrounding Meek Mill on the opposite side of the room. “He obviously comes from a good organization in San Antonio, and has a lot of experience with winning.”

Considering that Young had just participated in a panel aimed at inspiring young people to follow their goals, it seemed only natural he would get asked about leadership within the Sixers organization.

“Last year, [leadership] was kind of divided between me and Jrue [Holiday],” Young said, smiling, clearly well-aware of the expanded leadership role he would be looked at to take. “There were people that looked up to both of us. Now with him gone, more of that responsibility is going to fall to me.”


The Sixers have a handful of players 22 or younger, with much less NBA experience than Young’s six seasons. Almost by default, a lot of these young guys will be looking to Young for leadership throughout what is sure to be a struggle of a season.

“I’m still only 25 years old,” Young joked, "but I’m going into my seventh season and fourth or fifth different coach, so it’s a little different for me.”

Young’s consistent play, experience and professionalism make him the type of player that organizations are happy to have looked to for leadership, and Young seems eager to embrace that aspect.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Pattison Ave. offers an eclectic mix of news and nuggets about Philadelphia sports and beyond. Live chats, analysis, random thoughts, viral videos, odds and ends -- you'll find it all here.

Ed Barkowitz Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Sam Donnellon Daily News Columnist
Frank Fitzpatrick Inquirer Columnist
Bob Ford Inquirer Columnist
Marcus Hayes Daily News Columnist
Mike Jensen Inquirer Columnist
Dick Jerardi Daily News Columnist
Vaughn Johnson Staff Writer
Mike Kern Staff Writer
David Murphy Staff Writer
Lou Rabito Staff Writer
David Sell Staff Writer
Mike Sielski Inquirer Columnist
Jonathan Tannenwald Staff Writer
Rob Tornoe Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter