Sixers Fans Will Appreciate Josh Richardson’s Mentality
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) -- You couldn't tell a Philadelphia 76ers fan that Jimmy Butler wouldn't move forward with the team after watching him create a chemistry with JJ Redick, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and even T.J. McConnell during the 2018-2019 NBA season. It seemed like it was a no-brainer decision for Butler to return to Philly on a max contract for the next five seasons.
That wouldn't turn out to be the case though. Something about the Miami Heat pulled Jimmy Butler in. A YouTube video from a few months back revealed that the nice weather played a part in his decision (no, I am not kidding). Along with that, his former teammate, Dwyane Wade also might've put in a good word for the organization.
Perhaps, Butler didn't embrace Philadelphia the way everybody thought he did. Typically, players who make it to Philly don't want to leave -- but Butler turned out to be an exception. He enjoyed his time, but South Beach was where he wanted to be. And because of that, the Sixers are now running with former Heat guard, Josh Richardson.
Some believe the compensation from the sign and trade with Butler should've been more than Richardson. At the end of the day though, the Sixers couldn't prolong the deal. Knowing that Butler didn't want to remain in Philly for the next five seasons, the team was better off settling for a guard who's able to join the starting lineup before it was too late.
Richardson might not have the same proven experience as Butler, but his killer mentality will surely be appreciated sooner than later. Unlike Butler, Richardson was enjoying his current situation in Sunny South Beach. He wanted to remain with the Heat, but they valued the 29-year-old guard more than they valued a 25-year-old up and comer, with a lot to prove.
Now because of that, Richardson is playing with an even bigger chip on his shoulder. As if being the 40th overall selected player in the 2015 NBA Draft wasn't enough motivation, Richardson is out to prove to the Heat they made a massive mistake giving up on him.
"Honestly, when I come back here, I want to kill the Heat," Richardson said while speaking to NBC6 South Florida. "I want to beat them by 20. That’s just how I’m built. But if I was on the Heat, I would want to beat Philly by 50." With the wound still being fresh, Richardson has his sights focused on the November matchup against the Heat.
That specific game will have a lot of backstories considering Richardson's frustrations, and the return of Jimmy Butler in Philly. During that emotional matchup, Richardson will undoubtedly attempt to take his game to the next level, as that's just how he's wired. However, his killer mentality will go a long way for the Sixers once he gets the opportunity to embrace Philly to the fullest.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_