SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Brett Brown anointed Kendall Marshall the 76ers starting point guard on Dec. 16. At the time, the coach said the job was Marshall's to lose.
His status as the starter lasted eight days. The Sixers reacquired Ish Smith in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for two second-round picks on Dec. 24.
So Marshall went from a starter to someone who played just four minutes in Monday's setback at the Utah Jazz.
But instead of sulking, the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder is putting in extra time before practice to be able to contribute in any way.
"It's not easy," Marshall said of losing his job. "But it's part of being a professional. I've definitely been in this situation before. I know what it's like. At the end of day, I have to play better if I want to be on the court.
"He's playing extremely well. Obviously our team is playing a lot better. We are in game. When the team is playing better that's not anything I can be mad about."
Marshall signed a free-agent deal with the Sixers on Sept. 8 after playing last season with the Milwaukee Bucks. He only played 28 games with the Bucks due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in January. The injury sidelined him the remainder of that season and contributed to him missing the first 23 games of this season.
The 24-year-old has also been on minutes restriction and hasn't been cleared to play on back-to-back nights since his return.
As a result, Marshall has only played in eight games before Wednesday. He's shot 37.8 percent from the field while averaged 4.5 points, 4.0 assists and 2.6 turnovers in 16 minutes.
"I'm 100 percent," Marshall said. "I'm just playing [poorly]. It's taken longer than I thought it would to get back to who I am. This is the highest level of basketball. It's just not as easy to get back as I thought it would. But as far as my body, I feel great."
Honors for Saric
Dario Saric was voted all-Europe honorable mention by Eurobasket.
The Sixers hold the NBA rights to Saric, who plays for Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League. The Sixers acquired his right during the 2014 draft. They traded their first-round pick, Elfrid Payton (10th overall), to the Orlando Magic for Saric, who was selected 12th, plus a 2017 top-11-protected pick and a 2015 second-rounder.
Saric has said in interviews that he plans to play for the Sixers next season.
When they acquired him, it appeared that he would have to play at least two seasons in Turkey before joining the NBA team.
He signed a three-year contract to play for Efes days before he was drafted by the Magic. The Croatian standout has a player option for the third season.