PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Sixers have been working out in small groups for more than a month. But that’s going to change in a couple of days when the team heads to Orlando for training before the restart of their season.
On Thursday, the Sixers head to Orlando to restart the 2020 season. Despite the presence of coronavirus, and the team being locked into an NBA bubble in Disney World, there is still plenty of room for excitement for a fan base that continues to long for a title.
“We’re healthy and that is so critical right now with this team because the talent is there. And so, if we can put it together, this may be a summer that we don’t forget for many reasons,” Philadelphia 76ers President Chris Heck.
Today, the Sixers launched “Summer 76” as a fun way to reignite basketball fever in a town starved for sports.
“We have everything from a virtual free throw challenge for kids that they can sign up on the app and get on. There’s a ton of contests,” said Heck.
The players are doing their best to recreate that excitement as they head into uncharted territory. But as Mike Scott puts it, it’s not easy.
“You leave for Orlando in three days, this is uncharted territory for all involved. Is it difficult to get fully excited about restarting the season with everything going on in the world?” CBS3’s Pat Gallen asked.
“It’s tough just thinking about that after everything going on these last couple of months. So, I’ve been dealing with that and trying to work out every day and get my mind ready for Orlando,” Scott said. “But at the same time how can you not look and focus on everything else that’s going on?”
Sixers guard Josh Richardson has mixed feelings about their new reality in Florida.
“I mean, it’s pretty difficult, I’m not excited to be in that situation, in that setting. But I’m excited to play, I’m excited to go to war with my teammates,” he said.
Now the hope for the entire organization is that everyone will remain healthy before their July 9 flight to Orlando and then for the long haul with the season restarting August 1.
Other teams have not been as lucky. Several teams across the country have been forced to shut down their practice facilities after COVID testing.
So we’ll see if the excitement can remain intact for the Sixers.