Brett Brown says 76ers players are anxious but ready for NBA restart in Disney

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Sixers resumed individual workouts at their practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, with up to eight players at a time in the building, and so far so good.

Not a single player has tested positive for COVID-19.

While the Sixers have concerns about going to Disney for the NBA restart next week, not a single player has opted out.

On a Zoom conference call, coach Brett Brown says, "To feel like everybody is not feeling some level of anxiety, would be recklessly naive."

Brown says in his recent meetings with his players, only 1% of the conversation has been about basketball and 99% has been about racial equality and the health and safety of the team going to Orlando for a training camp July 9. Their final eight reseeding games begin August 1.

"Going into Orlando and leaving your family for a few months, that's on my mind. How safe do you feel? That's on my mind. Do you really want to be there? That's on my mind. Are you secure and safe and comfortable into this environment?" Brown said.

The 59-year-old coach says he feels personally comfortable, "I have a very small amount of fear that this is not safe for me and my family."

With the NBA protocols in place, Brown is optimistic they will be able to restart the season with success but just like NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, he would not rule out the possibility of having to stop play if there's a major outbreak among players.

"What they are doing to ensure everyone's safety is off the charts. I hold a high-level optimism, but live in reality, Brown says. "I respect Adam Silver's comments, nothing is safe."

Brown adds, "I hold hope. I hold faith in our league, if we have to pivot we will pivot, but in meantime, we are going down here excited to reclaim an opportunity."

Brown says the Sixers are built for the playoffs and deep run, but even he admits until they get to Orlando and can get comfortable--who knows how the rest of this season will play out.

Working in the Sixers favor is the fact that Ben Simmons is healthy and ready to resume play and Joel Embiid should be in the best shape of his life.

"There's nobody on our team that has put in more time than Joel Embiid," Brown says of his superstar center on how he's spent his time during the pandemic.

As far as basketball is concerned, Brown is focusing on getting his players in tiptop shape before they depart for Orlando on July 9.