Ricky Council IV reflects on his NBA journey after signing 4-year contract

Sixers Council
Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) tries to block a shot by Philadelphia 76ers guard Ricky Council IV (16) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Fresh off of putting pen to paper, signing a four-year contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, rookie wing Ricky Council IV spoke with members of the media to discuss his whirlwind of a first year in the NBA.

Despite having just secured his NBA future for at least the next three seasons, Council was calm, cool, and collected in the locker room, as he consistently is each time he takes the court.

Ricky Council IV on staying ready, beating the odds, and more

Sixers council
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ricky Council IV, left, fouls Washington Wizards guard Delon Wright (55) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

From his initial thoughts after hearing the news to the first thing he plans to buy on his new deal, Council took us through his journey from draft night up until game 82, which was set to take place within the hour, saying:

“It’s been a roller coaster for me. My agent posted the other day about everything I’ve been through this entire year, from thinking I was getting drafted to not getting drafted and then being on the two-way, being blessed with that, and then being cut for a couple of days and not knowing what I was gonna do. Resigned and then playing in the G League, doing all this traveling… all this in less than a year. It’s been a lot. It’s just amazing that I was able to do this”

On how to not succumb to the frustration of the adversity Council has faced:

I just don’t get too high, I don’t get too low. I continue to believe in myself and continue to stay working. That’s all I’ve been doing, all I do my whole life. That’s how I got to the point, so, it paid off.

One conversation with Council and one would see how he lives by these words. That mentality has helped keep him level through uncertainty.

It has also allowed the game to teach him invaluable lessons about expectations and being ready for the moment:

Keep working, for real, and stay ready. It could have been days where I’m like, ‘Man, I ain’t played [in] five games straight’ after killing against Boston. And I could have just been down on a bench not saying nothing, not being myself. And then he puts me back in and I’m not ready. But every opportunity, I always stay ready. I’ll go a whole game, third quarter, not playing up until the third, play a whole fourth. Done that a couple times this year. Just gotta stay ready.

Council was also asked about his relationship with his teammates, namely Tyrese Maxey, who has consistently been a vocal supporter of the undrafted rookie:

“…It means a lot because sometimes, guys will be on a bench, not just here, just like in general… feeling that they should be in the game, but my teammates and coaching staff truly believe I should be in the game at times, I hear it. My teammates tell me, so when I do get in the game and do what I do, it’s not a surprise. So that definitely means a lot especially [with] me being a rookie.

Knowing the contract would be the highlight of the year for anyone; I asked Ricky about what he’s most proud of after his first season in the NBA, aside from his newfound deal.

“Beating the odds. This whole situation doesn’t happen like that. For me, undrafted playing on a top team in the NBA, producing, and helping the team win games doesn’t really happen. So when I look back, I’m just gonna be like, ‘I expected this.’ So that’s really one of the first things. I have high expectations for myself. When they don’t always happen the way I planned them out. So they happen a little later, but it happened, so I’m blessed.”

Ricky Council may count himself blessed, but the Philadelphia 76ers undoubtedly feel similarly about this diamond they found in the roughage of undrafted free agency.