Feb. 5, 2012
By Matt Winkeljohn
– Thaddeus Young swung through town the other day, and after he finished helping the 76ers polish off the Hawks, he said that he was fired up when he learned of former Georgia Tech teammate Anthony Morrow going for a career-high 42 points Friday night for the Nets.
“I heard about it, and I was like, ‘I gotta see the highlights,’ ” Young said after he scored 14 points with five rebounds, three assists and a steal in Philadelphia’s 98-87 win in Atlanta. “I sent him a text saying, ‘Nice 42.’ ” Young is in his fifth season with Philadelphia, averaging 12.5 points of the bench.
The Sixers’ depth has had a great deal to do with coach Doug Collins’ ability to steer his team toward the top of the NBA’s Eastern Conference, and Young’s a big part of that. He’s also averaging 4.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals while making 51 percent of his shots.
Although played just one season for Georgia Tech, in 2006-’07, Young keeps tabs on the Yellow Jackets and especially on former Tech teammates.
“Me and Morrow talk a lot. I talk to Javaris [Crittenton], I talk to Mario West, Lewis Clinch,” he said. “I talk to Jeremis Smith; he’s playing overseas.” While Young and Morrow don’t speak to each other as much as in recent years, they text every week.
Having dinner with each other, and with former teammates in general, has become more difficult this season because last summer’s NBA lockout has resulted in a much more compacted, and busy schedule.
“We try to, but with this season it’s pretty difficult,” he said. “Last season, we’d come in, sit down and grab dinner, talk about the days that we played together.”
Young generally spends some time in Atlanta in the offseasons.
In fact, the Memphis native took an elbow just above the eye a couple summers ago while playing in the local Pro-Am League.
That took stitches, but it wasn’t as bad as the knee that Tech sophomore Kammeon Holsey blew out in the same summer league. Also, Crittenton wrenched a foot so badly in that league that he didn’t play again in the NBA the following season (or since).
“I worked out with Mark Price a couple years ago [in Atlanta],” Young said. “I try to come to Atlanta for at least two weeks in the summer.”
Young also stays in touch with his former Tech coach, Paul Hewitt. He’s even seen him at his new place of business.
“I worked out at George Mason when I went to Washington during the lockout,” Young said. “I holler at coach Hewitt a little bit.”