Sixers head to Europe for 2 preseason games
The 76ers are looking forward to their European two-game road trip on a number of fronts. On Thursday the Sixers departed for Spain, where they will face host Bilbao on Sunday. That will be followed by Tuesday's game in Manchester, England, against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The trip is anticipated for several reasons. After beating up one another during training camp at St. Joseph's University, the Sixers are looking forward to taking on somebody other than themselves.
And the bonding that will be done on this trip can't be underestimated. Plus there is the cultural aspect of traveling to Europe.
"I have been looking forward to this trip all summer long," forward Thaddeus Young said Wednesday as the Sixers concluded their training camp at St. Joe's.
Seventh-year forward-center Spencer Hawes said: "We will keep growing together, and this is a good chance to get to know each other. Not only on the court with a couple of games but also with so many new faces."
This will be the Sixers' first preseason trip to Europe since they traveled to Spain and Germany in 2006.
Even though the Sixers spent the entire day on Thursday traveling, coach Brett Brown said the missed practice time was well worth it.
"I am happy to sacrifice practice time for a chemistry relationship-type thing where everybody can travel and be with each other and have a laugh and hear different sides of people's background," Brown said. "All that stuff is growth and is important, and if it can be expedited on an overseas trip, I am excited more for that reason than I am watching us play basketball."
He also wants to watch this team, although Brown understands that he won't be viewing a masterpiece.
"We will compete and play hard," he said. "It could get ugly, and inevitably you foul a lot and you can gamble a lot and can make poor reads, but those aggressive types of mistakes at this stage are good."
Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams said this is his first time going overseas, which adds to the excitement.
"Going with the team is great, something special, and I will go over there and have fun and try to learn a lot," he said.
"I am interested to see how we are as a team," Carter-Williams said. "We are pretty competitive against each other and so it is going to be good to take this out on other teams."
The Sixers won't have much time to savor the trip. A week from Friday they face the Boston Celtics at the Bob Carpenter Convocation Center in Newark, Del., in their first preseason game in the States.