Before Monday, Furkan Aldemir said everything he knew about Philadelphia came from the movies. What 76ers fans knew about Aldemir, if they knew anything at all, came from a smaller screen.
There are almost 2,000 clips of the 6-foot-9 Turkish forward on YouTube, and that was about the only place to see the mystery player whose rights were acquired by the Sixers in July 2013.
Everyone is about to get much better acquainted.
The Sixers signed the 23-year-old to a reported four-year deal Monday. Aldemir wore No. 19 and played against the Boston Celtics on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Aldemir had two points and two rebounds in 10 minutes.
Aldemir announced Nov. 24 that he was headed to the NBA. He had his contract with Galatasaray of the Turkish Basketball League terminated after the team failed to pay his salary for five months.
"Like all players, NBA has been my dream," Aldemir said. "I want to come here and I want to be a good player, like my brothers from Turkey."
That may take some time. The 240-pound Aldemir, the 53d pick in the 2012 draft, is known for his defense and rebounding, but the rest of the package is raw.
"We have to work on all those offensive things. Making free throws, 18-footers, that's not his strength," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "I think we especially have to work on his getting his condition that's up to a standard that can go in the NBA physically. He's got a long ways to go."
Aldemir, who helped Galatasaray to a championship in 2012-13, led the Turkish Basketball League in rebounding last season and was a two-time all-star. He averaged 8.1 points and 11.1 rebounds in 11 games this season.
"I believe I can go grow my other skills, especially my offensive side," Aldemir said.
Aldemir had little time to get acquainted with his new teammates. He arrived Sunday night from Turkey with his wife. He participated in the Sixers' Monday morning shootaround and said he was tired but ready.
"How many times have we had that same rude introduction?" Brown said. "There's not a lot of warm and fuzzies when you come in here. It's just not who we are and what stage we are at."
The Sixers waived St. Joseph's product Ronald Roberts to make room on the roster. Roberts, who did not appear in two games since being signed Friday, was expected to rejoin the Sixers' NBA Development League team in Delaware.