76ers' Ryan Broekhoff Explains Decision to Return to NBA During Pandemic
Before last week, Australian NBA prospect Ryan Broekhoff heard proposals from several NBA teams. The second-year wing was interested in potentially taking another stab at a basketball career in the United States of America.
After receiving a brutally honest proposal from Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers, Broekhoff decided to ink a one-year deal with the Sixers and will head out to Orlando with the team on the ninth of July.
Broekhoff could've stayed in Australia during the pandemic and avoided any risks pertaining to the coronavirus. Instead, he's aiming to prove his worth in the NBA despite choosing to do so at a risky time.
"It hasn't been an easy decision by any means to come back," Broekhoff mentioned during his introductory press conference on Wednesday. "I have a wife and a one-year-old son, and my wife has an auto-immune disease. She's high-risk for COVID, so it has taken a lot for us to be able to get to this point."
"We spoke to Elton Brand, and we spoke to Coach [Brown] to get more information on how the bubble is going to be down in Orlando," Broekhoff continued. "If anything happens at home, what are my options to get back and take care of my family who is important to me? We're still tossing it up back and forth [whether my family is going to come to Orlando or not]. It's another potential risk we'll have to weigh out. We have to wait and see how we are."
Broekhoff is committed to helping the Sixers out in any way he can over the next few months. And in the process of doing so, the Australian shooter hopes to prove his worth for the future. At the moment, his contract with Philly is set to expire in October when the season concludes. It won't be easy to earn a consistent role on a team that's already crowded with wings, but that won't prevent him from trying.
"I feel like I'm on the cusp of finding somewhere steady in the NBA," Broekhoff mentioned on Wednesday. "Hopefully, that will be Philly." On July 9th, Broekhoff and the 76ers will travel to the NBA bubble city in Orlando, Florida. And for the first time, Broekhoff will train with his new teammates, gearing up for the season's restart.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_