The team named for the signing of the Declaration of Independence will not, in fact, be traded for an English substitute, according to a spokesman for the 76ers.
Forbes reported yesterday that Josh Harris and David Blitzer, billionaire owners of the last-place 76ers, are planning to sell the team in an attempt to have a stake in an NFL expansion team in London, but the team yesterday called the report “inaccurate and not true.”
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“Josh has said repeatedly that he hopes to own the Sixers for many, many years and keep it in the family for many years,” a spokesman said. “He loves owning the team.”
That report was the latest woe in a series of them this season. It took 19 games for the 76ers to win one, they lost to the Spurs by 51 points on Monday, and almost all their drama occurs off the court.
Most notably, rookie Jahlil Okafor, who was supposed to be a bright spot, was involved in a street fight outside of a Boston bar last month. Two videos surfaced on TMZ, Okafor was suspended for two games by the team and he has suffered both on the court and otherwise, coach Brett Brown said.
“I think it’s been incredibly difficult,” Brown said. “He’s 19 years old and so to all of a sudden get featured in the national media’s headlights, kind of on a repetitive basis for a little while during that period last week, that’s jaw-dropping for anybody, let alone a 19-year-old.”
Okafor scored 22 points last night in the 76ers’ 100-91 loss to the Nets. He is averaging 12.8 points in the five games since the Nov. 26 incident; before that, he was averaging 18.4. Brown said the street fight and subsequent negative attention have “crept into his performance and his psyche and his confidence and his spirit.”
“That is not Jahlil,” he said. “He’s got a good heart, he’s a good person, and he messed up.”