One of the obvious concerns is that he is currently rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered at Kentucky against the Florida Gators. While chasing down a Florida player on a fast break, Noel jumped up to block the shot and landed awkwardly, crashing his knee into the basketball pole itself and tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Although the Sixers have had a negative experience with their last center and his ACL tear (Andrew “I’m gonna regret actually choosing to live in Cleveland” Bynum), there’s reason to believe in Noel’s experience being of a completely different nature.
Noel, whom many perceived to be the best player in the draft, was quite upset when he dropped all the way to 6th, and was then traded immediately afterwards. Nerlens had one of the most disappointing draft nights in recent memory and all of this has fueled him to make an enormous comeback and prove every team that snubbed him wrong. Unlike Bynum, Noel is incredibly passionate about the game and will do everything in his power to prove to Philadelphia, and the rest of the league, that he will be a champion one day. Players like Noel, who are passionate, humble, incredibly gifted and ready to prove everyone wrong, are the players that you want on a championship team.
Philadelphia is probably the perfect place for Noel to start his career. One thing that you do not want to do to a player rehabbing his injury is to rush him back to the court and hurt him even further. Since the Sixers plan on having as poor of a season as possible this year to load up on assets for the next few years, there is no rush for Noel to return for this season. Nerlens will be able to rehab his knee until he is comfortable and ready to play. When he is finally ready to return to action, he will be able to provide Philly with a preview of what the team will look like down the road.
ACL tears are a sore subject for Philly fans in recent years, but the troubled times will pass and Noel and his future teammates (Wiggins perhaps?!) will bring Philly back to the Promised Land once again. For now, let the young man heal completely and keep envisioning an incredibly dominating roster on hand three years from now (along with a spectacular haircut).
By: Dan Goggin
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