Dorell Wright knows exactly what’s expected of him with the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Wright, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound guard/ forward, has already carved out a pretty good niche for himself.
“My role here in Philadelphia, being with a new team, is definitely being a knockdown shooter,” Wright said. “I’m a playmaker for my teammates, a good teammate, defensive player and rebounder. It’s a lot of things.”
Wright came over to the Sixers in three-team trade over the summer. Last season, he played for the Golden State Warriors. Wright averaged 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists a game. In his first regular season appearance for the Sixers on Wednesday against Denver, he displayed some of those skills.
His first shot was a three-pointer that hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Overall, Wright didn’t shoot extremely well for a guy known for putting the ball in the basket. Nevertheless, he was able to make some good contributions in the Sixers’ 84-75 victory over the Nuggets. Wright came off the bench to play 27 minutes, tallying 12 points, grabbing seven rebounds and picking up two steals. He also shot 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Aside from his basketball skills, Wright is the one team member who has an NBA championship ring. He played on the 2006 Miami Heat team that defeated the Dallas Mavericks to win the league title. He brings that experience to the Sixers, a team that’s gradually climbing the ladder in the NBA.
“Yeah man, it was a great experience being around all those great players and not only being around them and winning a championship, but getting all the knowledge,” Wright said. “They let me know how to be a good player. The things they taught me are still with me today. It’s always good to be around veteran players because they know and they’ve been through it. It was a good time. I’m happy to be with another young and exciting team.”
Wright is in his eighth season. He grew up in Los Angeles, Calif., coming right out of high school to the NBA. He played for South Kent Prep in Connecticut. In 2004, he was the 19th overall draft pick by the Heat. He played six years in Miami and two with Golden State. He’s now one of the veterans on the Sixers. Wright sees a lot of potential in this team. He knows the Sixers are coming off a postseason that saw them beat the Chicago Bulls and get to the semifinals of the Eastern Conference before losing to the Boston Celtics in seven games.
“That’s impressive,” Wright said. “It makes it that much better. You have young guys who know how to win and what it takes. So, when you sprinkle the veteran players like myself, KB (Kwame Brown), J-Rich (Jason Richardson) and Damien (Wilkins), we know how to work hard. We know the things you need to do to get back there. But these guys already have the understanding. Coach (Doug) Collins is a great coach and a great teacher with the things he’s done for us. It’s going to allow us to get better each and every night and make those playoff runs.”
The Sixers will meet a playoff opponent on Nov. 4 when they play the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden at noon. The following day the Sixers will play host to the Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center. The tip-off is at 7 p.m.