This summer, the Philadelphia 76ers made a big splash in the offseason by signing forward Elton Brand -- the top free agent on the open market -- to a long term contract.
They brought back a familiar face at center in Theo Ratliff, a much needed sharp shooter in Kareem Rush and Reading native Donyell Marshall.
In the 2008 NBA Draft, the Sixers continued to build the team when they selected forward Marreese Speights, out of Florida, with the 16th overall pick.
During the free agent signing period when everyone was concerned about the re-signing of guards Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams, the Sixers quietly signed guard Royal Ivey to a multi-year deal.
Ivey, a 6-4 guard from New York City, is known for his defensive prowess and his steady floor play. The four-year starter from the University of Texas was drafted in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.
After a three-year stint with the Hawks, Ivey signed with the Milwakee Bucks last season.
Well, there's a little background, but who is this Royal Ivey?
950 ESPN Sixers' beat reporter Devon Givens had a chance to sit down with Ivey in the locker room after the Sixers beat the Bucks on Wednesday, and got a chance to get up close and personal with the new Sixer.
DG: How do you like Philadelphia?
RI: Still getting used to it and getting acclimated to the city. It’s close to home, so that’s the good part about it. It’s different, a metropolitan city, a lot of traffic, but it’s home right now. So I’m gonna make the best of it.
DG: You come from a long list of New York City point guards, who’s your favorite? Do you have an idol?
RI: Man, my idol growing up was Kenny Anderson, it had to be. Great point guard. He started the line of point guard’s going to Georgia Tech -- Stephon ( Marbury ) went there, Kevin Morris, that was my idol growing up. I looked up to Rafer Alston. We went to the same high school, and the list goes on and on of great point guards from New York City.
DG: New Balance, what’s that about. You wore AND 1 the first few years and Adidas last year. How’d that come about?
RI: I guess I play at a different beat, whatever suits my feet, I’m gonna wear. I wear New Balance for one because one of my good friends ended up getting me a good deal, so I took it. They take care of me, they feel good too and they’ve got the greatest running shoes, so the basketball shoes are good. It’s a different look.
DG: Like you said, Philly is a metropolitan city -- fast pace. What do you like to do in your spare time?
RI: Just hanging for the most part. I haven’t really gone out a lot to see what’s really happening in Philly. There’s some spots, some lounges and good places to eat. I’ve been to Chickie’s and Pete’s. That’s about it.
DG: Have the people been good to you?
RI: Yeah, the people have been cool. I’m cordial, low key. If somebody recognizes me, I say "hello" and keep it moving. That’s about it.
DG: Since we’re sitting here with the young guy's (Speights) locker next to you, what kind of things does the team make him do?
RI: ( Laughs) He’s a good Rook, you know he’s learning. He’s a hard worker on the team, he’s young. He does the duties, getting donuts during shoot around. He does little stuff, nothing major. He listens, and that’s the big part.
DG: Thanks for a couple of minutes.
RI: Alright, I appreciate it.