Dedmon's presence felt in first game with Sixers


Dedmon's presence felt in first game with Sixers

Dewayne Dedmon came to the Sixers with a short NBA résumé but a definitive reputation.

“I bring energy. I rebound the ball and I block shots. That is what I came here to do,” Dedmon said. “I am pretty satisfied. I feel like I came here and did what I was supposed to do and we have another one on Friday and I am going to try and do it again.”

Dedmon played 14 minutes against Charlotte on Wednesday, his first game action after signing a 10-day contract on Tuesday. He grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots in the Sixers’ 95-92 win over the Bobcats.

It was just one game but Dedmon impressed his new coach.

“You could see what he was built to be and it is true, he can run,” Brett Brown said. “He is mobile and there is a tenacity and a toughness, and from a technical side you see that he understands NBA rules with verticality. Him going straight up making them take tough shots over bodies. He didn't come down and put people on the line.”

The Sixers have been shorthanded with backup big men recently. Lavoy Allen has been sidelined the past three games with a right calf strain and the team waived Daniel Orton last week.

Dedmon was part of a bench effort that produced 18 points and 14 rebounds. Those numbers might sound modest but the reserves’ impact went beyond the stat sheet.

“The bench played hard. We pressed a lot and we got rewarded for it,” Brown said. “We were on the floor quite a bit diving for loose balls. I thought the bench came in and really energized us. They earned their paychecks tonight.

“I still have confidence that bench can be a bomb squad. They can come in and be a wrecking crew and create energy and eventually get us running.”

Sixers apologize for replacing anthem singer, say 'wrong decision was made'

Sixers apologize for replacing anthem singer, say 'wrong decision was made'

The Sixers on Friday issued an apology to Sevyn Streeter, the artist who was supposed to perform the national anthem before Wednesday night's home opener.

Streeter was replaced by the Sixers for wearing a shirt that said "We Matter."

The team released the following statement:

“We are sorry that this happened. After receiving feedback from our players, basketball operations staff and ownership group, we believe that the wrong decision was made, and Sevyn should have been welcomed to sing. We apologize to her, and in an effort to move the conversation forward, we have reached out to offer her an opportunity to return and perform at a game of her choice. We are waiting to hear back.”

Streeter turned to social media during the game to voice her displeasure. CBS3 did report Thursday that she had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance.

The Sixers addressed their players in a team meeting to get their opinion on how they would like to the situation to be addressed.

“At the end of the day, if we as an organization had to do what we did again, that decision would not have been made,” Brett Brown said on Friday.

The Sixers were pleased by the decision to extend an invitation to Streeter. They had discussed the situation in a team meeting on Thursday where they shared their opinions on the matter and considered options on next steps moving forward.

“Personally, I didn’t think it was right,” Gerald Henderson said. “She wanted to wear a t-shirt that she felt was important. I don’t know if telling her that she couldn’t sing was saying that her statement was unimportant. But she should be able to do what she chooses. That’s why we’re going to call her back to sing.”

Jahlil Okafor, who learned of the incident the day after the game, called it an “unfortunate situation.”

“I think the majority of us wanted to see her get a chance to come back and sing the anthem,” Nik Stauskas said. “Whether she wanted to wear the shirt or whatever it was, we felt like we should give her that opportunity.”

The Sixers do not have additional plans to address the situation. They did not share other options they had considered. Brown would like the team to continue making an impact through community outreach. On opening night, Jerami Grant and Hollis Thompson presented a check to the International Institute for Advanced Instruction-Gateway to Re-Entry on behalf of the team. The players contributed $10,000.

“We’ve talked about some things as far as declaring something to make our stand. We’re not in a position to do that,” Brown said. “I think our best effort to date has been Jerami and Hollis and the organization presenting that check pregame. Trying to do it in ways that we feel is responsible and still bold enough to make the stance that we want to make. I think as it relates to this anthem situation, we simply want to say that we apologize, we’ve made a mistake, and we want to move on.”

CSN's Jessica Camerato contributed to this report.

Sixers fan apologizes to Russell Westbrook for flashing middle fingers

Sixers fan apologizes to Russell Westbrook for flashing middle fingers

Richard Harkaway, a urologist from North Philadelphia, has been identified as the Sixers fan who flashed a double middle finger to Thunder star Russell Westbrook during opening night on Wednesday night.

Harkaway on Thursday issued an apology for his actions and revealed a new detail about the confrontation with Westbrook.

"As a part-time comedian I realize that my words and actions are sometimes inappropriate," Harkaway said in a statement to issued by a personal representative.

"In this instance, after standing up to boo and being provoked by Russell Westbrook calling attention to my being overweight, my action in response was clearly inexcusable and I am embarrassed. I sincerely apologize to my fellow Sixers fans, the Sixers organization, my colleagues and patients, and to Mr. Westbrook for my behavior."

The story gets a little weirder with the allegation that Westbrook poked fun as Harkaway's weight, but at least he apologized for his actions. 

The incident, coinciding with the controversy over the national anthem, put a black eye on an otherwise fun night for the Sixers and their fans.