Josh Richardson had a little trouble finding his way around Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
After playing four seasons with the Miami Heat, it was his first time searching for the visitors locker room. He had spent his entire career on the other side of the building before returning as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I got a little lost,” Richardson said, laughing.
Richardson was traded to Philadelphia for Jimmy Butler in July but has gotten over the shock of being dealt from the team that drafted him in 2015. He handled the transition with ease. When the move was made during the summer league, he eagerly joined some of his old teammates courtside in Las Vegas to watch the Heat.
“They came and sat with me,” Richardson said. “It was awesome. It was cool. It was no hurt feelings. We were just talking.”
The Heat had plans of making Richardson their primary player last season but things never materialized as expected. Despite leading them in scoring, the Heat felt acquiring an established player like Butler would best suit the team.
Richardson prefers to focus on his new teammates than reminisce. He enjoyed his time in Miami but ready to move on.
“I’m pretty much used to it, being in Philly, being with my new teammates,” Richardson said. “It’s turning into a good learning process for me.”
Richardson has spent his free time monitoring the Heat from afar. His former team was off to a 23-8 start entering Saturday’s game. Close friend Bam Adebayo is now a budding NBA All-Star and a key cog in the Heat's success.
Adebayo still has Richardson’s old locker nameplate.
“I’m super happy for him,” Richardson said. “Bam, outside of basketball is a great person. Even if we weren’t playing, we’d still be best friends.”