A number of the NBA’s players voiced displeasure with President Trump on Monday during media day events. The 76ers were included.
The reaction was expected after Trump’s sharp criticism this weekend of athletes who have staged silent protests during the national anthem.
“I’m about as anti-Trump as you can get,” J.J. Redick said. “I’ve been that way since the election. I think being anti-Trump at this point is sort of like eating breakfast in the morning. It’s just something that you do during your day. How often do you go through a day and not be offended by the guy?”
Jerryd Bayless, who is outspoken on social issues, also expressed his displeasure with Trump.
“I think what he’s done in dividing us and his narrow-minded views is obviously not a good thing for the country,” Bayless said. “I think we’ve all known and we’ve seen his comments from immigration to climate change to his bias, from ‘sons of bitches’ to ‘fine people’ being part of a [white nationalists’] rally.”
During a speech last week in Alabama, Trump suggested that an NFL team owner respond to a player’s protesting during the anthem by getting “that son of a bitch off the field.”
Bayless says protests are great, “but now it’s time to figure out as a whole — black, white, Mexican, Asian, whatever — how are we going to move forward? How are we going to come together so we can make him feel like whatever he is doing is wrong? … It’s disappointing, but hopefully, from this, everybody will be able to move forward and figure out a way to make him go in a different direction.”
The white nationalists’ rally in Charlottesville, Va., hit home for the Sixers’ Justin Anderson. He played at Virginia and was there Sunday to attend a concert designed to promote unity through music. Anderson said the Sixers have yet to talk about ways to send a message of unity.
“But we are all in agreement in that locker room on the things that are going on,” Anderson said. “We’re willing to do our part to shed light in the right direction. That’s to help build unity and help lift people in a time that people are being pushed down.”
Sixers add veteran post players
The team signed Emeka Okafor and Kris Humphries to non-guaranteed contracts. Humphries, 32, has a chance to make the roster, while Okafor, who turns 35 Thursday, is returning to basketball after missing the last four seasons. He could be just a body in camp while Joel Embiid (left knee) and Jahlil Okafor (right knee) nurse injuries.
Okafor, a distant cousin of Jahlil, last played for the Washington Wizards in 2012-13. The center came into the league as the second overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 draft. He played nine seasons with the Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets, and Washington Wizards, and has averaged 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 590 career games.
Humphries, the 14th overall pick in the 2004 draft, is a 6-foot-9 forward who played the last 1 1/2 seasons for the Atlanta Hawks.