Nerlens Noel's tenure with the 76ers was defined by emotion and energy.

There was disappointment when he did not play in his rookie season. There also were celebrations after stellar games, frustration with tanking and the logjam at center, and joy when the team went 10-5 in January.

Noel was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 23. On Friday, he will face the Sixers (24-43) for the first time as an opposing player when the teams meet at the Wells Fargo Center.

Emotions? There will be plenty of them.

"You know, I've been thinking about this game for some time now," Noel said. "So I'm definitely looking forward to seeing my guys again, playing against all my guys. It's going to be a very weird feeling. But I'm definitely ecstatic to step in that arena to play a basketball game."

Sixers fans remain dear to his heart. He used the words "real love" and "respect" when talking about his relationship with them.

Noel will never forget the faint chants of "We want Nerlens" midway through the third quarter of the Dec. 20 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. This came two days after the Sixers had said Noel would be out of the rotation for the foreseeable future.

But the fans got their wish. Noel entered the game against the Pelicans to a standing ovation in the third quarter.