Journeyman Big Man Reacts to Latest Deal With Sixers

Anthony Tolliver Sixers

Getty Philadelphia 76ers big man Anthony Tolliver smiles prior to a game.

Anthony Tolliver’s 13-year NBA journey has been full of more twists and turns than most multi-year vets could see in three lifetimes. When he first joined the Philadelphia 76ers on a 10-day contract in early April, they became 11th team he has played for since entering the Association by way of the German BBL and the D-League in 2008.

However, the 35-year-old finds himself in a nice spot now. As reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Friday, Tolliver will remain with the Sixers for the rest of the 2020-21 season.

Tolliver just wrapped up his second 10-day stint with the team over the weekend.

As a result of his re-signing, the hoops vagabond will have his best shot ever at something that has eluded him as he has bounced from team to team for more than a decade. Namely, a championship.

Ahead of Philly’s Sunday bout with the San Antonio Spurs — Tolliver’s first NBA club — he commented on his new deal.

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Tolliver Is Hyped to Remain in Philly

Anthony Tolliver LeBron James

GettyAnthony Tolliver, then of the Atlanta Hawks, defends LeBron James in 2013.

“I’m really excited,” said Tolliver, via Sixers Wire, when asked about his stay being extended.

“Really excited to be with the guys. Obviously, I’ve only been here a few weeks, but really come to have a great relationship with a lot of guys on this team, and looking forward to making this run.”

Entering the Spurs game, the Sixers sit in the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-21. However, with just nine games remaining on their regular-season schedule, they find themselves in a virtual tie with the Brooklyn Nets. Moreover, the No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks are just 2.5 games back as of this writing.

Still, with an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid, another All-Star in Ben Simmons and a strong supporting cast in Philly, that run Tolliver is looking forward to figures to be his most substantial postseason experience to date.

Despite his wealth of experience, Tolliver has only appeared in 13 career playoff games.

Tolliver on Helping Philly’s Back-End Talent

In six appearances with the Sixers, Tolliver has averaged just 10.8 minutes per game. Barring some kind of injury in Philly’s frontcourt, that number will most assuredly sink as head coach Doc Rivers tightens up his rotation for the playoffs.

However, Tolliver knows what he is up against.

“It’s not an easy position to be in,” he said. “I still say this, and I stand by this, I really truly believe that positions between that nine to 12 or 13 on a team, is probably the hardest job in sports. I say that because you don’t know on a nightly basis whether or not you’re gonna play. You don’t know on a nightly basis, whether or not you’re going to get any shots or opportunities, but guess what? You’re still expected to work just as hard or harder than everybody else.”

Given his familiarity with the role, Tolliver has strived to help the young players at the end of the bench cope with their unique situation.

“Coming from somebody that’s been through that pretty much every year in my career where I’ve had certain periods in every single season I’ve been an NBA where I wasn’t sure if I was gonna play and if I did, I didn’t know how much,” Tolliver finished. “Just helping these young guys, navigate through all that has been something I’ve taken pride in these last two or three years.”

Players like Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed certainly stand to benefit from Tolliver’s tutelage. In the meantime, the veteran sharpshooter gets to be part of something that could end up being special.

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