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Sixers’ Brett Brown calls trip to team hotel an ‘espionage’ mission

Tuesday's season opener marks return to Boston for Amir Johnson and Demetrius Jackson.

Brett Brown: international man of mystery? Or just trying to get to his hotel room?
Brett Brown: international man of mystery? Or just trying to get to his hotel room?Read moreCHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

BOSTON — The 76ers' arrival at their team hotel Monday evening was something straight out of a James Bond movie.

That's because hotel workers are striking at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Boston, where the team stayed. It seemed that the Sixers wanted to avoid any confrontation.

"So our route from the airport to the hotel was almost like conspiracy theory stuff," coach Brett Brown said. "It was very espionage. We all got whisked away in different vans and enter through the back door and went up  … sort of laundry elevators and got to our room.

"That represented the most interesting part of the night."

This isn't the first time the Sixers endured a travel distraction in preparation for this season.

The team's flight from Philadelphia to Shanghai on Oct. 2 took 21 hours, 38 minutes because of a snowstorm in Calgary. The plane made a scheduled stop in the Canadian city to refuel. However, the Sixers were delayed three hours there because of the weather.

The Sixers were scheduled to arrive at 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 3, Shanghai time. However, they didn't get here until midday.

Then the team's flight to Shenzhen following the victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 5 was delayed a couple of hours. An "unapproved item" carried by someone who is not a player was found during baggage examination. As a result, the airport security reexamined everyone's bag.

Philly’s former Celtics

Tuesday's season opener marked a return to Boston for Sixers reserves Amir Johnson and Demetrius Jackson.  Johnson played in Boston during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.  The Celtics selected Jackson with the 45th overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft. He played for Boston during the 2016-17 season.

Another Sixer,  Jerryd Bayless,  spent time with the Celtics during the 2013-14 campaign. However, he didn't travel to Boston because he is sidelined with a sprained left knee.