Thybulle Embracing Road to Return
Looking to build on an encouraging first phase of his rookie season, Matisse Thybulle returns to training with a positive attitude and curiosity about what’s to come.
His attention now turns towards a second phase that will be new to rookies and veterans alike.
“I try to take each new step of this process as a new challenge,” Thybulle said Friday. “Taking what I know, and what I can control, and trying to make the best out of that.”
Brett Brown has said his hope is that the 76ers will leave for Orlando with their fitness level at a B level, while looking to upgrade to an A during the official training camp portion of the ramp-up.
It’s clearly a message he’s shared with his players too.
“In a matter of two weeks, I feel like I’ve gotten back into really good shape,” said Thybulle. “I think it’s going to be easier to build on after this. Like Coach [Brown] said, being at a B, I feel like I’m definitely there, and once we start playing, it’s going to fall into place,” Thybulle said.
The rookie explained that while quarantining in Philadelphia, he used runs around the city to keep up his cardio base. Now, back in the gym, he feels his basketball skills starting to catch up with his cardio.
“I know that I feel good. My shot feels good, I feel like I’m in shape,” Thybulle said. “For us, for me, it’s all about the challenge of hitting the ground running.”
Due to individualized workouts at the Training Complex in Camden being designed to maintain social distancing, Thybulle hasn’t gotten to reunite with the majority of his teammates just yet - but he’s looking forward to it.
“I think that the time away from each other, like with anything, makes you appreciate each other more. So I think it’ll be fun to get back together and see all the guys,” Thybulle said.
Poised for his first playoff run, the rookie knows things will look entirely different from what he expected.
“I think what I’ve heard about the playoffs is a little different from what the playoffs are going to look like this year. Obviously I’ve heard amazing things, especially playing in Philly, I’ve heard so many great things about having our fans behind us. But we’re finding ourselves in a unique situation.”
The unchartered territory waiting in Orlando could become a great equalizer as the playoffs begin:
“So it’s going to be new for everyone, even vets who have been part of the playoffs. I’m open to the challenge, and I’m excited for what is in store,” Thybulle said.
Looking back on the hiatus, Thybulle reflected on taking a stand against racial injustice by marching alongside teammate Tobias Harris and General Manager Elton Brand in Philadelphia.
We all have a voice, pic.twitter.com/BShVr1YF3J
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 6, 2020
“There’s something special about seeing that many people in one place in support of one thing,” Thybulle said. “It’s one thing to have a lot of voices on the internet, but it’s another thing for people to show up, and actually act it out. It says a lot [about] our city, and also the seriousness at which people are taking these issues.”
Having developed a bond with Harris throughout the season, Thybulle credited the veteran for his continued activism.
“I think actions speak volumes. It helps to have a guy like Tobias as a big brother, and a teammate, and a friend who can be part of these things, and encourage me to do these types of things. And also to be in a city where the turnout, and the passion behind this movement, is so strong,” Thybulle said.
Thybulle hopes his choices will inspire the people who look up to him.
“If one kid sees me out there doing that, and it encourages them to support the movement, then my job is done.”