Give and Go: The Joe Johnson explosion


Give and Go: The Joe Johnson explosion

Each week, we'll ask questions about the Sixers to our resident basketball analysts and see what they have to say.

Running the Give and Go this week are Sixers Insider Dei Lynam, reporter John Finger and columnist John Gonzalez.

The Sixers' defense against on Joe Johnson this past Monday was ...?

The Sixers' defense on Johnson was simply non-existent this past Monday. Johnson is averaging 16.5 points this season, while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 42.9 from behind the arc.

Against the Sixers, Johnson scored more than double his normal average with a season-high 37 points and shot 71.4 percent from long range.

That just can't happen.

Defense? On Johnson? Can't say that I saw much defense on Johnson this past Monday. In fact, Johnson's quote after the game was pretty telling.

“I had a lot of wide-open shots and it was like when I was coming off pick-and-rolls, guys weren’t even guarding me, so I made a couple of tough shots, but for the most part I was [wide open]," Johnson said.

NBA players are pretty diplomatic and I don't think Johnson was calling anyone out. So for him to say he wasn't being guarded by anyone is something.

Suspect. Then semi-hilarious. Then sad.

The Sixers allow their opponents to make 10.7 three-pointers per game. That's by far the most in the NBA. They're not good at defending the three. (You may have heard.) Part of Joe Johnson's success that evening was owed to the Sixers' typically terrible perimeter defense. But part of it was an inexplicable will or ability to adjust. After the sixth or seventh (or eighth or ninth or 10th) time Johnson positioned himself behind the arc, they might have thought to themselves, "Hey, we should probably run someone at him."

They didn't -- or couldn't.

I'm OK with them playing at pace. I'm OK with them getting stomped most nights this season in service of the greater good. I'm OK with them taking and allowing a lot of threes. I'm less OK with them failing to fight back in certain situations.

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.