The Philadelphia 76ers made it official on Sunday as they will sign Anthony Tolliver to a deal for the rest of the season after his second 10-day contract expired. The team likes the way he can help them off the bench with his defense and his ability to shoot the ball from deep.
The Sixers are the 11th team he has played for in his 13-year career and he is happy to be with this team and have a legitimate shot at winning a title. The Sixers are the No. 2 seed in the East heading into the final nine games of the season and they are considered one of the title contenders in the East.
“I’m really excited,” said Tolliver. “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.”
Coach Doc Rivers did mention that he likes Tolliver on the roster as a veteran who can help teach the younger guys to stay ready. Tolliver has had to fight for everything he has in his career and on a team like the Sixers who have a lot of proven NBA veterans, they have a lot of younger players who do not get the chance to earn a lot of minutes.
“That’s really become a really big focus of mine,” Tolliver explained. “Trying to pour into this next generation of guys. Guys who are currently in situations that I’ve been through, especially being undrafted. Someone who’s had to fight, scratch, and claw for every single second that I’ve gotten on the court. I have a much different perspective that I can lend to guys that are in these positions.”
Being at the end of the bench on an NBA team can be really tough for a lot of these guys. It’s tough because guys like Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, and others are still expected to put the work in, but they might not play. That is where Tolliver comes in to give the younger guys a better perspective and to continue to stay encouraged on the floor.
“It’s not an easy position to be in,” the veteran added. “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.”
Tolliver is ready to pass on that knowledge to the low-minute group on the Sixers and continue to give them guidance along the way. They now just need to be able to lend a listening ear and continue to develop.
“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.”