Sixers Notes: Despite skid, Brown loves his team


Sixers Notes: Despite skid, Brown loves his team

HOUSTON – Though the 76ers are generating news with their 25-game losing streak entering Thursday’s road game at Houston, head coach Brett Brown doesn’t seem to mind answering the questions about the second-longest losing streak in NBA history.

And the rookie coach certainly enjoys coaching this team, the youngest in the league.

“In a twisted way this is enjoyable,” Brown said. “I’m watching the guys get better. We’re headed in the right direction.

“We encourage them to feel good about themselves. We’re the youngest team in the history of the game. With that comes some losing.”

The losses mount. The previous franchise record of 20 straight losses set in 1973 was eclipsed. There are six rookies on the current roster and James Nunnally and Casper Ware are on 10-day contracts.

“This year we’re judged by different measurements,” Brown said. “Our guys are bringing their ‘A’ effort.

“We realize we’re coaching a bunch of young players. That’s fine by me. That’s what I signed up for. I love coaching the group.”

Nunnally pleased to be back
James Nunnally isn’t overly concerned about the Sixers' losing streak. He’s glad to be part of the team and the league. On Thursday the club signed the 6-foot-7 forward from California-Santa Barbara to a second 10-day contract.

“It means they’re looking at me, watching me,” said Nunnally. “I just have to come out and play more aggressive. Be myself and play within myself.

“I’m really blessed to be in the NBA. I’ll play anywhere on any team. I know it’s a rebuilding year for this team. They’re looking for guys to build with in the future. I just got to play.”

Nunnally has appeared in five games this season with the Sixers. In 35 games between Bakersfield and Texas of the D-League, Nunnally was averaging 18.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Nunnally’s specialty is three-point shooting.

“I can definitely fill that role,” he said. “I feel I can do much more but that’s what they want me to do here.”

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.