Sixers downplaying Noel's '4-4-14' tweet

Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Nerlens Noel. (Michael Perez/AP)

NEW YORK -- The 76ers are downplaying Nerlens Noel’s tweet.

Coach Brett Brown said Monday that he didn’t ask the rookie center the meaning behind posting “4-4-14” a day earlier on Twitter.

However, according to sources, Noel would like to make his Sixers debut in his hometown of Boston on April 4. They confirmed that’s why he tweeted “4-4-14”  in reference to April 4, 2014 on Sunday afternoon. The Sixers will play that night in TD Garden against the Boston Celtics.

Noel has not played this season after undergoing left knee surgery following his lone season at Kentucky. Brown said in October that Noel was unlikely to play this season.  The Sixers have not made the 6-11, 228-pounder available to speak this season.

The Sixers will play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

"I don't know that much about the tweet we are talking about,” Brown said after Monday’s shootaround at MSG. “And I’m not sure anyone has been really able to define it.”

The coach was asked if he liked Noel’s eagerness to play despite this being a dismal season for the Sixers.

  “Just in general, he’s all in in regards to the practices and the weighs,” Brown said. “He’s just come with boundless energy. And I really don’t want to go on record too much in regards to the tweet, because I really don’t know enough about it. I haven’t spoken to him about it. That’s that.”  

Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers