Sunday, July 5, 2015

Remembering Reggie

Reggie Evans was asked to bring some physicality and personality to the 76ers, and he did just that. Now he'll offer those skills to the Toronto Raptors.

Remembering Reggie

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Reggie Evans did exactly what he was asked to do:

Block out around the basket.

Go hard after rebounds.

Provide a defensive presence in the post.

He wasn't going to dazzle anyone with his limited offensive skills, but he could draw fouls and he could create mayhem. When Maurice Cheeks was coaching the 76ers, Evans had the clearance to press and trap at virtually any time and any place on the court. And he often did.

He was also the guy waiting to greet every starter as they were introduced at the beginning of games.

If you want to remember his limitations, feel free. I'll remember May 1, 2008, when the Sixers were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the Detroit Pistons. The Sixers had played well down the homestretch of the season to reach the post-season and, to some degree, had caught the imagination of their hard-core fans. None of them were thinking about a championship, but they were appreciative of the team's hustle and grit.

And when that last game in the Wachovia Center ended, Evans--instead of just going directly to the locker-room--impulsively took off his shoes and tossed them into the stands. A bunch of his teammates followed his lead.

''I just wanted to show my appreciation,'' Evans said then. ''They've been wonderful.''

His role was reduced this season, and--with the return of Elton Brand and Jason Smith from injuries--he was suddenly facing a logjam at the power forward/center positions. The Sixers needed a perimeter scorer a lot more than they needed a spare banger, which helped precipitate the trade that has sent Evans to the Toronto Raptors for Jason Kapono.

There will be more about that in tomorrow's Daily News.

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About this blog
Bob Cooney has been at the Daily News for more than 20 years, working in the sports department for the past 15. This is his third season on the Sixers beat. He has covered just about everything, but mostly college basketball, where he was the La Salle beat writer for six seasons. E-mail Bob at cooneyb@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Bob Cooney
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