Former Sixer Tony Wroten opens up on his fight to return to the NBA

Sean: To dive in on that. Obviously, when you came here, expectations weren’t that high, what was the mindset inside the locker room that was going on through all this.

Tony: Us being young. Me being 21 and I was one of the oldest players on the team and that should tell you right there the type of path we were on. And the thing is, people only see us losing a lot and they didn’t see how our locker room stayed together and how if you came into one of our practices, it would feel like we were on a 10, 20 winning streak just by how our chemistry was, just by how we never folded and how we stayed together. Regardless of “The Process” or even not winning a lot of games, that helped mold what is today. Embiid was a part of that and all of the tanking, the years they had to sacrifice and look at them now, a championship contender. It all started with Coach Brown and Sam Hinkie and for me to be a part of that was something special.

James: That’s another question I wanted to ask you, what was your experience like with Coach Brown? I know there’s been a lot of mixed reviews from Philadelphia fans but how did you experience Brett Brown as a coach and have you seen growth from him?

Tony: I’ve seen growth every day, every year. Coming from Memphis, I had mixed emotions. I had great mentors like Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley so I loved it there but when I found out I was coming to Philly, Brett called me and told me I was going to play off the jump and as an 18-year old that’s all you can ask for. As you can see [I] love his Boston accent. I’m just proud of him and the organization and what they became.

Sean: So Sam Hinkie took over right before you came here, what was your interaction with Hinkie? Did you ever talk to him? And what was your vibe with him?

Tony: Nah. That’s probably the quietest GM I ever met in my life. I probably had one conversation, I probably heard him talk three times. We never really had a conversation, he was always quiet. He’ll pop his head in the locker room and then pop right back out, it was like he was a secret agent, you would see him but you wouldn’t hear him. Obviously, you know he was doing his thing, he was doing his job but you know I didn’t really have too much of a conversation with him.

Zach: Going back to that trade that brought you to Philly, what were your expectations going into the city? What had you heard? What was true and what wasn’t? Obviously, you took well to the city but what was your expectation coming in?

Tony: Oh I wanted to show the world who I was and I felt disrespected that Memphis would trade me after my rookie year, not even giving me a chance to show or a chance to grow. I wanted to show Memphis and I wanted to show the world. As time went on, I was playing the height of my career in Philly, I was showing that. I got injured but I was on the path for showing that and that’s why I’m so grateful for Philadelphia because Coach Brown gave me the opportunity, Philadelphia gave me the opportunity. Once Philly saw who I was and saw the type of person I was, they took me in as one of their own.

James: There was an interview later in your tenure with the Sixers where you said there were some trade rumors and you said you were auditioning for everyone. Now obviously, a few years removed from that, you’re trying to make this comeback in the NBA, I mean you’re only 27, are you still auditioning? What’s your plan for right now?

Tony: Yeah, every day is an audition. It’s definitely going to happen, I just gotta be patient and keep working. It’s a process and it’s a process and a road that I’m willing to take. I know that I’m [within] arms reach and I know that I can make it back and that’s all the motivation that I need. Knowing that if I do what I need to do I can be back. I know once I do [get back], I’m going to be better than I was before. Experience, being more mature, going overseas…, it just helped me be a man on and off the court. So I’m excited for the future really.

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 Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports