Before fielding any questions, Sixers guard JJ Redick wanted to use his first time back in front of the media after the all-star break to make a public apology.
Redick came under fire over the break when he appeared to use a racial slur in a video produced by Chinese media company Tencent that featured multiple NBA players wishing fans a happy Chinese New Year.
He issued two statements over the weekend apologizing for what he says was an unfortunate tongue-tied mess, and he reiterated that sentiment after practice on Wednesday.
“I really am sorry for anyone that I offended with what was a very unintentional mishap,” Redick said. “As I said in my statement, I was going to say ‘NBA Chinese fans’ and it didn’t make sense at the last minute and I changed it to ‘NBA fans in China,’ and a word came out, and it’s just unfortunate that so many people were offended. I can’t imagine waking up to celebrate a new year and having some random NBA player use a word like that. So, I’m very sorry.”
Redick, who is known for speaking out against racial inequality and injustices, went on to say that this was not a situation where he slipped up and said something in front of the cameras that he would normally say behind closed doors. He said it was simply a mistake that happened when he changed direction midsentence.
“That’s not a word that I use. That’s not a word that I would use in private, and certainly wouldn’t use it in public for a video that Tencent was making for NBA China,” Redick said. “I’m just very sorry. Hopefully, we can move on and talk about some basketball.”
Sixers won’t hold back in playoff push
The Sixers begin the final stretch of the season Thursday night when they face the Bulls in Chicago. In these final 27 games, they will be fighting for not only a postseason berth but also playoff positioning.
Despite their favorable schedule and likelihood of making the playoffs, the Sixers won’t be holding back.
If the Sixers, who were seventh in the East heading into Thursday, had a better position in the standings or were looking at a run toward making the Finals, or even the Eastern Conference Finals, Brett Brown said he might think about giving some of his more integral players some rest.
“That’s not where we’re at now. We are fighting to get in the playoffs,” Brown said. “We’re in a fistfight and we want a little more than [to just make it into the playoffs]. So we’re going to go play with that in mind, and when the opportunity arises where I can rest some of our guys, I will. But it’s not about being conservative right now or feeling like we’re entitled.”
Furkan Korkmaz is progressing from the Lisfranc injury in his left foot but remains sidelined. He said that even when he wasn’t able to put weight on the foot, and then when he was in a boot he was still lifting and doing any drills he could including drilling and shooting.
“Now after I start to run, I will see what the situation is and when I can get back,” Korkmaz said. “As soon as possible, I want to play.”
Korkmaz said he feels lucky that the injury did not require surgery and is confident that he will be able to return soon.
Justin Anderson is still recovering from a high right ankle sprain and will be out against Chicago.