Now Baby Legs Plays D

Michael Tillery of SLAM talks to Philadelphia rookie Thaddeus Young, who has been playing so well lately:

MT: Well you had a nice game today. I gotta come up with some kind of nickname for you because of your skills around the rim ...

TY: (Laughs) Ask him my nickname.Baby Legs

MT: Who?

TY: Willie.

MT: What's his nickname, bruh?

Willie Green: Who, Thad? Baby Legs.

MT: Baby Legs? (Laughing as I say "wow.") Well, it's apropos. Especially this time of year with everyone worn out.

Philly sportswriter Tom Moore then asks: "Is that a compliment?" and we all laugh.

TY: I don't like it. (Smiling, shaking his head.)

MT: Well, what do you think your name should be?

TY: They said I can't choose.

MT: There it is ...

Young later demonstrates some tremendous self-awareness:

At first I was told that I wasn't going to play some games and I was going to play some games. That didn't sit well with me. I want to play every game, so I'm going to work as hard as I could to play in every game. That's what I did. It's what I kept focusing on was the task at hand -- playing defense.

I didn't play a lick of defense in high school and college, so I had to focus in on that. ... My main job in high school and college was to score the ball. Now I'm a role player and I'm willing to accept that job.

Photo: AP Photo/Chris Gardner