MILWAUKEE - Sixers coach Brett Brown often talks of the fluidness of the organization and how things are always on the move. That has been quite evident over the past few weeks, with the hirings of Jerry Colangelo as chairman of basketball operations and of Mike D'Antoni as associate head coach.
Tuesday, Brown confirmed that the team had talked and worked out veterans John Lucas III and Chuck Hayes, but that nothing was imminent. On Wednesday, however, the team added a veteran presence to the lineup as Carl Landry made his season debut after being sidelined with a wrist injury. The 6-9, 248-pound Landry, who had 10 points and five rebounds in 13 minutes, gives Brown another big man to fit into a rotation that includes Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Richaun Holmes.
Brown is hoping the 32-year-old can provide some veteran leadership to this painfully young team.
"It's fine (being anointed a leader) and I'm all right with it because I was young (once) and I looked up to older guys - Dikembe Mutombo, Steve Francis, Shane Battier," Landry said. "They really didn't have to say much. Just their presence every day, being around them, I could be just a sponge and soak up as much as I could. It definitely carried over and helped me to further my career.
"I think leaders are born. You can't just give somebody a title. You can't be like, 'You know what, you're not working for media today, you're a doctor.' You can't give somebody a job title. It just doesn't happen. If I'm a leader and that's the way they want to look at me, then I'm a leader. But you kind of have to be a leader to be in this league, a decade in, you have to. Maybe not a title but by example. Be a leader every day. Come in at the right time and (respect) the NBA dress code. Taking charges, doing things that it takes to play in this game for 10 years."
That value can't be stated enough. It takes some of the pressure off Brown of constantly having to be the voice of the team. And for the coach, the goal is still to win games, and Landry is a talent that could help.
"I just think my experience and being able to shoot the ball a little bit with Jahlil on the floor and being able to space the floor a little bit better when Nerlens in on the floor," Landry said. "I think my experience will definitely help. I'm a little bit multidimensional in my position. If that's not scoring, then hopefully playing defense, taking charges, diving on the floor for 50-50 balls. Whatever the coaching staff here wants me to do."
Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd won't be along the sideline for another six weeks or so after recently undergoing hip surgery. Kidd had said that the wear and tear of playing 55,000 minutes in the league had caught up to him and he was no longer comfortable just performing normal, everyday tasks.
In his place is Joe Prunty, who oversaw his second game at the helm on Wednesday.
"We're going to try and keep it the same," said Prunty, who was an assistant on Kidd's staff in Brooklyn. "Everything will be similar to what we've done in the past. We're not trying to change anything. For us, it's about consistency more than anything else."
Sixers point guard T.J. McConnell looked like a pitcher who had just thrown nine innings before Wednesday's game against Milwaukee. McConnell, sporting a huge ice pack on his right shoulder, isn't moonlighting. He was injured during a collision with Vince Carter in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.
"I was trying to circle out, and there he was," McConnell said. "It was just an accident where he was running, and I think his whole weight went on my shoulder. It's nothing to worry about. I didn't feel any pop or anything. Just reaching across my body is sore. It was stiff a lot (Wednesday). I warmed it up with the training staff and we cut it loose, and it was good to go."
The University of Arizona product doesn't want anything to come in the way of his playing Saturday when the team heads to Phoenix.
"There will be a few people out there in Arizona, so it will be good to go," he said. "I'm missing Arizona. I miss the weather out there, even though this weather has been pretty good on the East Coast. I miss the people out there, and it will be good to be back in front of them."
On Twitter: @BobCooney76