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New addition Buddy Hield reacts to joining Sixers after fall to Hawks

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers dropped a tough one to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday 127-121 as they were once again short-handed. The Sixers were missing key pieces such as Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and De’Anthony Melton in this one and it hurt them as they fell behind as many as 22.

Despite the loss to the Hawks, there are some positives for Philadelphia in this one such as the debut of new addition Buddy Hield. In 40 minutes, Hield had 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds and shot 4-for-12 from deep. He had so many good looks go in and out, but his debut went well.

“It’s not something I’m not used to, but it was wild,” Hield said of his Sixers debut. “I was very anxious coming here. Excited. I had a lot of former teammates, TJ McConnell told me the city and how fun it is to be here and (former Sixers assistant) Lloyd Pierce told me how the fans are crazy with basketball and they’re passionate. I’m excited because I feel like that’s the kind of fan base I want to be a part of and what them to embrace me for the good and the bad. I’m just happy to be a Sixer.”

As Hield moves forward now, it will be a learning process. It’s been tough sledding for Philadelphia since losing Joel Embiid, but the addition of Hield, as well as Cam Payne, should help them get back on track.

“I’ve watched the Sixers my whole life,” Hield continued. “I watch them every time when we have an off day and they’re playing. I try to keep up with the whole league and I’m just happy to be here and happy to be in the city and happy to turn things around even though we don’t have big fella, but just learning and watching and just learning new schemes and terminology from the coaches.”

The Sixers were certainly a bit disjointed early in this one. The Hawks shot 11-for-19 from deep in the first half while Philadelphia shot just 4-for-20. Things changed in the second half, but the first half wasn’t great for the Sixers.

“You can tell today everything was out of whack, but as you get comfortable, and everything calms down, we started talking and we had a better second half than first half,” continued Hield. “If you flush that first half and give us that second half, and give us another one, I think we can put better results out, but I thank God for allowing me this opportunity and I’m gonna take full advantage of it.”

As far as the trade itself, Hield wasn’t sure it was going to happen. His focus was squarely on the Golden State Warriors that night for the Indiana Pacers. Then, he got a call from his agent.

“I was in bed!” Hield laughed. “My agent called me before. It happened at 10, but usually you get an hour before the update. Just waking up and we usually have a late shootaround on game days and my mind was focused on the Warriors. I was like ‘I don’t think it’s gonna happen’.”

Obviously, the trade did end up happening and Hield is now officially a Philadelphia 76er.

“My agent called me and she’s in LA like she had the slur in her voice because she’s just waking up and it’s 6:00 in the morning her time,” Hield finished. “She gave me the news and she said the deal was like 75% done. I was like ‘For Philly?’ She was like ‘Yeah’. I said ‘I’ve been hearing that for a long time and it never happens’, but I’m glad to be here. I’m glad to be a Sixer and the fans and everybody’s been great embracing me in the city. I can’t wait to know about the city.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire