It started with a postgame shootaround session with just Howard and Sixers All-Star Ben Simmons. Before you know it, Terrance Ferguson, Matisse Thybulle, and the rookies Tyrese Maxey and Isaiah Joe tagged along.
Lately, Howard hasn't hit the floor 20 minutes after the game concludes with a squad of young players ready to put in some extra work. I didn't think much of it when I noticed it hasn't happened in a while. I figured the tradition got played out, or guys were just getting fatigued.
But it turns out; a new tradition started behind the scenes. Instead of Howard bringing a Bluetooth speaker blasting Future out onto the court for sprints, foul shots, and three-pointers, the speaker gets moved into the team's weight room for VIP, invite-only postgame lifting sessions.
According to Lauren Rosen of Sixers.com, Sixers veteran Danny Green leads the trend. And in order to bring more attention to the hardworking and good vibes going on in the room next door to the Sixers' locker room, Philly's head strength and conditioning coach, Ben Kenyon, ordered a custom gold chain known as the "Big Energy Chain."
“We have fun, and when it comes to the Big Energy Chain, we get competitive,” said Sixers rookie Isaiah Joe said. “It’s a friendly competition." For a Sixer to win the chain, they to be "positively infectious" and "allow their teammates to get better because of the energy that they’re putting out" during the lifting sessions.
Not only does the chain give off fun vibes in the locker room both at home and on the road, but it makes players get competitive while having fun after games. During a season with so many restrictions due to COVID-19, it's become difficult for teams to build a strong bond.
Now that the Sixers have established the postgame parties in the weight room with a flashy reward with bragging rights attached, the Sixers have created championship-worthy chemistry. And it seems they can thank the former champions Dwight Howard and Danny Green for that.