So on Friday, 76ers power forward Nerlens Noel will pretend to be a greasy-fast Eye-talian tank. Kind of.
A camera crew will track Noel as he works out at 11 a.m., goes through a shootaround session at noon, and grabs lunch. Starting between 1 and 1:30, Noel will run at the various spots around the city that Stallone used in his movies' iconic training sequences, including the Italian Market, Independence Hall, and Kelly Drive. Noel's "run" will culminate around 3 p.m. at the Art Museum, where 100 to 150 middle-school and high school students will join him as he sprints up the steps. Then everyone will have Papa John's pizza, since Papa John's is one of the event's sponsors.
Noel's plan, according to a person close to him, is to use Friday's event as a springboard for an annual "Nerlens Noel Rocky Run 5K" to raise money for charity. Plus, the run should help Noel get in shape for his first NBA season, so he can eat lightning and crap thunder on any and all of the Sixers' opponents.