76ers

Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry on heckler: 'If they’ve got a problem, they can find me'

Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry on heckler: 'If they’ve got a problem, they can find me'

Kyle Lowry was in a constant dialogue with the referees during the Raptors’ 110-104 loss to the Sixers on Sunday night, complaining about everything from an air ball that he was convinced Matisse Thybulle had blocked to off-ball contact he felt wasn’t being policed tightly enough. He started another dialogue after the game with a heckling fan. 

After scoring 26 points in Toronto’s loss, the Philadelphia native, Villanova product and reigning NBA champion answered questions from reporters about the exchange.

“He’s talking too much,” Lowry said of the fan. “He talks too much. I don’t know him, but he ain’t worth my time.”

Any surprises about getting that sort of treatment in his hometown?

“I don’t care,” he said. “It’s Philadelphia — I respect it, I love it. Because when I come home, I’m going to be here. If they’ve got a problem, they can find me.”

Lowry’s Raptors, of course, bounced the Sixers in the second round of the playoffs last season in a seven-game series as close as one can possibly be. Their regular-season series this year is now tied at 1-1. The two teams play each other Jan. 22 in Toronto, and they next face off in Philadelphia on March 18.

The dynamic between Lowry and Sixers fans might not be at the top of the list, but it’s one reason why those games should be worth watching. 

“There’s a rivalry here,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse acknowledged before the game. 

At Wells Fargo Center, where the Sixers are now 12-0, the fans tend to make themselves part of any rivalry. 



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Tobias Harris keeps the Sixers entertained on their bus ride to Toronto

Tobias Harris keeps the Sixers entertained on their bus ride to Toronto

Around 10:30 p.m. Monday night, we were blessed with a Ben Simmons Instagram Live video of "DJ Tobi," Tobias Harris, on the Sixers’ bus from the airport to the hotel.

“There’s a soul plane and there’s a soul bus. You’re on the soul bus, ya dig?”

DJ Tobi then proceeded to interview all the players, coaches and team personnel who entered the bus, as you can see in the videos below, which do contain profanity. 

“State your name, where are you from and where are you going,” head coach Brett Brown said Tuesday morning, laughing about last night’s bus ride. “And when there is a lull, he's got Spotify hooked up, and he's got some hip hop going on.”

“DJ Tobi,” Matisse Thybulle laughed, struggling to find the words for Harris’ performance. “He was putting on a show for everyone. … It was funny because you were seeing people out of their comfort zone.”

With the rigors of an NBA season, and through all the travel, bus rides and plane rides, the value of that type of team bonding can go underestimated.

“It's team bonding,” Simmons told NBC Sports Philadelphia. “We're a pretty close group. We like to have fun and there are a lot of different characters and personalities on the team. … It's awesome. But that's just who we are as a team, everyone just likes to have fun, everyone has good personalities and means well."

Of course, it’s easier when you’re winning, and the Sixers delivered one of their most impressive defensive performances of the year in their win over Brooklyn, led by Simmons and Thybulle.

“We could carry that good energy over,” Thybulle said of the win over the Nets. “But it definitely help to keeps things light because the travel gets tedious and boring.”

For the Brown, it’s yet another characteristic he’s seen blossom out of Harris.

“Leadership comes in all different forms … and he does it naturally,” Brown said.

“It’s what makes team sport, for me, as enjoyable as it gets, when you can win with people that you respect and trust that care. And this group does.”

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Jameer Nelson, Phil Martelli react to troubling Delonte West video

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Jameer Nelson, Phil Martelli react to troubling Delonte West video

Troubling video surfaced Monday on social media of former Saint Joseph’s great and NBA player Delonte West.

The 36-year-old appeared to get into a physical altercation and then was recorded spewing profanities with his hands behind his back. The video contains inappropriate language.

On Monday night, West’s former college teammate Jameer Nelson and head coach Phil Martelli voiced their concern and offered support.

West has opened up in the past about his battle with bipolar disorder and run-ins with the law. The most notable incident was when he was pulled over in Maryland on a three-wheeled motorcycle and subsequently arrested and charged with speeding and two counts of carrying a handgun.

When he was on Hawk Hill, West starred during his sophomore and junior seasons alongside Nelson. The duo led St. Joe’s on an incredible run in 2004. The Hawks were the No. 1 team in the country at one point and earned a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They lost in a thriller in the Elite 8 to two-seed Oklahoma State.

After choosing to forego his senior season, West was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 24th overall pick. He last played in the NBA with the Mavericks in 2012 and his professional career ended in 2015 after a brief stint in the G League.