I went to 76ers shootaround this morning at St. John's, hoping to get a minute with Marreese Speights. In case you missed the news, click here: Dionte Christmas arrested. Right now, this appears to just be an inconvenient situation for Speights as there is no legal action against him. The Sixers and coach Eddie Jordan said this morning Speights is expected to play in tonight's last pre-season game against the New Jersey Nets, although the Sixers will not make him available to the media tonight, either. The official word coming from the Sixers is they are "aware of the situation but have no comment at this time." Calls to Speights' agent, Andy Miller, have so far this morning gone unreturned.
I watched about the last 35 minutes of shootaround and Speights looked the same as usual. The only notable difference was at the end of shootaround, Jordan brought the huddle in tight and the team appeared to be getting some words from Jordan about the situation. Afterwards, Jordan confirmed that.
"We spoke in the huddle about the situation and I don't want it to be a distraction to him," Jordan said. "He's going to be distracted just because of human nature. We want him to feel free, usually when you come to the basketball court you free yourself from all other distractions."
Jordan said he found out about the situation last night and has yet to speak directly with Speights. Jordan said he might not address it directly with Speights, so as not to distract him further.
"We're just going to wait until the NBA and our front office comes to some sort of resolution and action after all the facts have been sorted out," Jordan said.
After the huddle broke, Speights went and sat on the scorer's table. He was quickly surrounded by teammates. Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala said the team found out about the situation today.
"We weren't even talking about that, the situation," said Iguodala when asked what was being said to Speights. "We were talking about what comes with the territory, we weren't specifically talking about what happened yesterday. We were talking about life in general. We do that everyday."
Check out the video in the video player on the right where Sixers are surrounding Speights at this morning's shootaround.
"Protect and support your teammate, that's one of our mottos," Jordan said.