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Following the Philadelphia 76ers’ final training camp session in Charleston, South Carolina, on Sunday afternoon, head coach Doc Rivers had high praise for the team’s veteran forward, PJ Tucker.

Following Philly’s latest training camp session, the Sixers head coach pointed out that the team possesses just one player with championship experience — and that guy is Tucker.

“He’s the only champion,” said Rivers, according to Ky Carlin of the Sixers Wire. “He’s the only one on our team, player-wise, that has won a championship.”

While the Sixers have a handful of stars on the squad and seasoned veterans to surround them with, Tucker is the only one with a title to his name. Therefore, the NBA Finals hopefuls will have to rely on and listen to Tucker as they work on building a championship-caliber year.

Tucker’s lone championship came during his tenth year in the NBA. After he spent 32 games during his fourth season on the Houston Rockets, Tucker was dealt away to the Eastern Conference contending Milwaukee Bucks.

After 20 regular season games in Milwaukee, Tucker was a part of the Bucks’ 23-game championship run in the 2021 playoffs. Starting in 19 of those matchups, Tucker averaged just under 30 minutes on the floor, averaging four points and five rebounds while shooting 32 percent from deep.

Tucker knew nothing about winning a title before that run with the Bucks, as his previous four playoff runs ended before the Finals. Once the veteran forward held up the championship hardware following the 2021 playoffs, Tucker’s outlook on winning changed — and he brought that experience to Philadelphia and is using his time with the Bucks as motivation for his upcoming run with the 76ers.

“He’s actually been through the fire,” said Rivers, according to Ky Carlin. “He was explaining to the guys, ‘I thought I knew what winning was about until I played for the Bucks and I realized, the things that I thought were not true, you gotta sacrifice, you gotta do so many other things.’ He basically told those guys, ‘You have no idea how much you have to give,’ so it’s good to hear that voice.”

The Sixers had a multi-time champion in the last two seasons in Danny Green. After title runs with the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, and the Los Angeles Lakers, Green hoped he could help the Sixers pick up their first title in decades while grabbing his fourth.

Over the last two years, Green’s veteran leadership was critical to the Sixers, but late-season injuries took the vocal veteran out of the picture in crucial moments.

Without Green around this year, the Sixers now focus their attention on Tucker, who is quickly becoming a valuable leader in Philadelphia. And thanks to his championship season in Milwaukee, he has a lot to teach his new teammates as they embark on a new journey. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.