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The Sixers’ George Nyang Unplugged: On Three-Point Shooting, Garbage Talking, Hockey, and More

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Los Angeles – a week ago in Philadelphia, 76ers Coach Doc Rivers was asked a question by a reporter: Who do you think is the funniest player on the list?

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“I’m going with George[Niang]because he thinks he’s the funniest guy on the team,” Rivers said.

Niang is certainly a huge figure in the locker room, but his contributions don’t end there. Much has already been written about the Sixers’ top three players – Joel EmbiidAnd James Harden And Therese Maxi Losing time this season.

But there are many reasons why Philadelphia was able to stay afloat during that period, and Niang’s play is one of them. He averages 9.2 points per game on 62.7 percent real shooting, and his floor spacing has put him in the game. Final lineup Occasionally.

the athlete With Niang before the Sixers won 120-110 over clippers Tuesday evening and ask a variety of questions.


I wanted to ask you about the art of what you call “talking crazy.” It seems like a lot of NBA players do but you have fun doing it. When did that start? when I was a kid?

I mean, I’ve always been a talker. So when you kind of realize you can kick someone off their game, you know, trash talk, it’s always been something that I’ve just embraced. You were a talker anyway, so why not put it to good use? But I guess NBA Level, playing along for sure Joe Engels Let me have more creative lines. I was drafted by Larry Bird, perhaps one of the best speakers of all time. I’ve been around quite a few people who know how to say things that aren’t too pushy when you’re on the basketball field, but are also good enough to turn people away from their game.

A long list of your best works on trivial conversations. But with your observation over the past two seasons, you’ve been creative a few times. Recently, she was fouled by a three-pointer on the wing, and you were screaming in the opposite seat, daring to challenge her.

Oh, Golden Stateindeed.

There was another time where I remember you winning the jump game and yelling at everyone, “Did you see that? Did you see that?” Are you trying to find funny and funny moments before they hit?

Yeah, I mean, I think you feel those moments. And I think you know, it’s funny but there are also times when I don’t want to piss someone off but just get into someone’s head. And that’s all I’m looking to do, just make up your mind to get you out of the game and then take advantage of the situation from there. It’s nothing harmful, but I think I just enjoy it. This is my way of crafting about the game and having fun. I will never lose that.

Last season, you I got into it With PJ (Tucker) a little bit into the playoffs. Did you talk about it at all when he came?

Yes we have. PJ was telling me I was a fake tough guy. You know, those are just two people competing in that. And PJ wouldn’t back down on anyone, and neither would I. So it’s kind of a stalemate.

You recently said that you were giving away the scouting report when you declared the team doubles Joel in the elbow for no reason before he threatened the defense. What has it been like for the past two seasons watching him master chess?

Joel’s growth has been amazing. To have a player of that caliber who wants to develop their game and continue to improve in the aspect of not just scoring, but you know, kind of playing chess there and getting teammates involved, that’s admirable. Especially for an MVP caliber player. So the fact that he wants to call that up is admirable, and he’s doing an unreal job this year.

I notice that you watch games on your phones sometimes after games in the locker room.

I think most of us are basketball junkies. And you know, we love being in basketball, we grew up with it and you love watching what’s going on in the league. And it’s just one of those things when you have time, we usually play when other teams are playing, so whenever we have time to watch games, I think a lot of us like to have fun.

You also have a good relationship with James. I’m thinking specifically when you guys run a pop game. You don’t have much time to train but you are still doing well this season. Is this something you guys like?

yes. I think it’s just a feeling. I mean, he’s a great basketball mind. And he did a lot to help me understand what he was looking for. I know what I’m looking for. I think it’s only useful, since they can’t double it when I put the screen on. And if they do, he’s such a creative passer and finisher that I can get a different defender from him or give him an advantage. And with his passing and combination ability, he can give me the advantage off the ball screen.

Back in my Boston days, I remember you talking about hockey. I remember you said you skate like…

As if you had your own pinecone. Yes, that’s what my coach told me when I was younger.

I know there is a great hockey culture in New England. Was it fun or was the skiing so bad it got in the way?

Oh no, I loved hockey. I mean, I was better at basketball. Hockey is a sport that you should play when you are 4 years old. It’s intense, and it takes a lifetime to learn. So perhaps basketball would have been a better fit for me and the Niang family.

You’re friends with Kevin Hayes and a bunch of Flyers guys. How did this happen?

So, one of my best friends from high school grew up with Kevin, who’s from Dorchester, MA, and my friend is from South Boston. I went to Tilton School with that friend, and we’ve been introduced before. Before I got to Philly, I wore a Flyers jersey to the game when I played Utah. And this kind of friendship started when we were hanging out in the summer, and then we’re hanging out now.

It’s kinda hard. Their schedule is like swinging out of ours. So, we hang out when we get the chance, go out to eat. Joel Farabi, with whom I am also close. I think I admire the art of people doing professional sports. I think I understand the grind, and it’s admirable that they can do what they’re doing. And I think that’s something that brings us all together.

I don’t think it gets a lot of ink, but you were coming at the same time in Boston Nerlens NoelYour high school classmate. Wayne Selden, and Michael Carter Williams were also there at the time…

(Carter-Williams) It was kind of like the older guy who showed up and paved the way. He went to Syracuse and then was in the NBA, winning Rookie of the Year. So this was like someone we were looking forward to. And Michael Carter Williams has been great to all of us since we were little kids at AAU.

You’re shooting 57% with two pitches this season. I feel like this is kind of a bit underrated compared to 3-point shooting. To get to the level of the NBA, what was difficult to develop, what was difficult to develop?

I guess I’ve always been focused on trying to evolve everything, but 3-point shooting is an art, right? It’s about open shots, then you’re taking contested shots, then you’re taking shots on the go, and now you’re making shots when defenses are game planning to deflect your shot. Obviously, 3-pointers was something I called in but I don’t think you should underestimate how you can find different ways to get creative and score when you get the chance with the ball.

Shooting 57 percent from two is something I’m proud of because people look at me as a 3-point shooter. So, I know I can do it, and I grew up being able to play indoors. But being able to record more length and speed than the NBA is something I’m proud of, too. It is undervalued. Since it’s worth less points, people are like, “Well, it doesn’t have to work.” But there are a lot of hard shots and it’s kind of art like when to attack, how to attack because you can’t just go out there and expect you’re going to score along the length of the NBA.

I know you want the stars to play (Embied and Harden), but are there a few of you who, when those guys come out, say to yourself, “I could be Iowa.” George Niang” tonight?

(Laughs)

No, I don’t think like that at all. But I think what the team needs, you’re going to have to substitute around 50, 60 points. So you know, you have to be kind of aggressive. Shake does an unrealistic job of doing that, which is pretty admirable, and I just kind of fall in line and try to be just as aggressive, playing whatever defense gives me. When we don’t have those two people there, the crime genre works a little differently.

You’re a kid from the East Coast, but you just played in Utah. What did you learn about that place in your time there that we might not know?

I just think people give Utah a bad rap like there’s nothing to do there. And there are normal people there. I know people talk about religion and things like that, but it was a great time. People are very welcoming. They love people who play jazz. They are humble people, really good world influencers.

I think outside of the views and waking up to a picture perfect view of the mountains every day, it’s a new place and a great place to be. I enjoyed my time there, the Jazz organization and the people I met.

You had a front seat to a blink of an eye moment in NBA history. What do you remember Oklahoma City When was the NBA closed due to COVID-19? Is there one thing that stands out? I read some things about Chris Paul Maybe I’ll get you guys some beer…

It was some wine.

When you look back on that night, what’s the first thing you think of?

Only the unknown. We all wear masks and gloves and overuse hand sanitizer. It was just scary. I mean, you don’t know what to think. You know, you watch shows or movies where people die and die. So you don’t know what to think. But I guess my reaction was like, Are we going to be okay? I never thought the NBA would be canceled for four months. I figured it would only take a week and then I would get to work. But we kind of stopped the whole world – like everything stopped after that.

And I guess I was really anxious to get back to Utah, so I was very grateful that we were able to find a hotel (in Oklahoma City) and come back. It’s just an uncomfortable situation to be in, not knowing who has it or who doesn’t have it, and is it dangerous? And the information you get, is it correct or is it incorrect? Tell your family, tell the people you’ve met before you see, because I’ve been home in Boston only two games before. So it was nerve wracking. But you know, if I could take a screenshot of it, I’d just say it changed my life. This is something I will tell my children or grandchildren about, and it was an experience I will never forget.

(Photo by Niang: Kyle Ross/USA Today)

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