About two weeks ago, a published report intimated that Thaddeus Young asked the 76ers for a trade.
Young flatly denied the information.
He said as long as he remains a member of the Sixers, he’ll play the only way he knows how – with intensity, passion and determination.
At the time, the Sixers were struggling. They continued to struggle until they ventured on their annual road trip out West.
But Young kept pushing just like he promised.
Over the last four games – a mind-boggling four-game winning streak at the L.A. Lakers, at Denver, at Sacramento and at Portland – Young has been performing at an All-Star level.
Young had 25 points and nine rebounds against the Lakers, 17 points and 10 rebounds at Denver, 28 points at Sacramento and a season-high tying 30 points at Portland on Saturday night.
The unlikely surge pushed the Sixers’ record to 12-21. They’re incredibly just five games out of first place in the Atlantic Division.
No one saw this coming.
Young saw a young team growing every day in practice. And he wasn’t going to change the way he prepared.
“At the end of the day, like I said, I’m here, ready to go, 110 percent – ready to give it my all, each and every night,” Young said at the time. “That’s my makeup. My makeup is to go out there and continue to be a professional and continue to be a basketball player and continue to work hard for this city. If they see fit to trade me, then hey, I have to pack up my family, be ready to go, wife and kids, and move on to the next city.
“But at the end of the day, I’m here — here to play for this city, here to play for this team and ready to go out there and help my teammates win a basketball game.”
That he has.
Young is the longest-tenured player on the Sixers. He’s playing for his fifth different coach, and Brett Brown is definitely getting the most out of his ever-improving forward.
As of now, Young is still here. He’s clearly focused on helping the Sixers, as evidenced by the last four games.
“At the end of the day, I am here, ready to go, today, 110 percent,” Young said. “You’re getting this on camera, right? One hundred and 10 percent ready to go out there, hustle and give my everything to this team and to this organization and to this city, like I have been for the last seven years.”