Kurt Helin

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 1: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 1, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Jahlil Okafor, Kendall Marshall distance themselves from comments of their fathers


Apparently it wasn’t just some fans and other teams frustrated with how things were going in Philadelphia — so were the fathers of Sixers’ players Jahlil Okafor and Kendal Marshall.

The elder Okafor reportedly had words with Brett Brown in Los Angeles about how his son was being used.

The elder Marshall reportedly vented on his private twitter account about what he saw as racist behavior with the Sixers, reports the New York Post.. Marshall said his black son was coming off the bench behind a white shooter who couldn’t shoot (likely Nik Stauskas).

Brett Brown tried to play it all down, reports John Finger at CSNPhilly.com.

“We all love our children,” Brown said. “I’m the son of a coach and I have an 11-year old and nobody is overreacting. I spoke to both of them about it and we’ll move on. We love our kids and sometimes things come out.”

Anyone who has watched their child play in a competitive sport knows how hard it can be to rein in emotions and comments. We all get that. But there are lines not to cross, and playing in the NBA doesn’t change that.

Meanwhile, the sons are playing the mature role of peacemakers.

Marshall said he basically told his dad, who has since apologized for his comments, to knock it off.

“He’s a grown man. Obviously, it’s the wrong time and place to say it, but he said it and apologized for it. It was an emotional comment and personally I’m most frustrated not because I’m not playing, but because I’m not playing well. When I start playing better it will handle itself….”

Okafor said his father’s reported comments/actions don’t matter.

“I don’t know why you have to worry about my dad. He’s not in the NBA and he’s not on the team,” Okafor said.

Losing teams face dissension and sometimes players or their entourage — including parents at times — start looking out for themselves and not the team. It’s no shock the Sixers are facing some of that, too.

That Okafor and Marshall shut down their dads is a good sign.


Watch Stephen Curry photobomb father Dell on Hornets pregame

Former Charlotte Hornet Dell Curry, left, hugs his son, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, during a halftime ceremony honoring Dell Curry's career with the Charlotte Hornets at an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
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Dell Curry is a Charlotte Hornets legend, one of the franchise’s most popular players and current color commentator on Hornets’ broadcasts.

His son Stephen Curry you may know as the kid from the Burger King commercials with his father. Or, maybe you recognize the younger Curry from some exploits of his own on the court.

The Warriors hosted the Hornets Monday night, so Dell was in town with the broadcast team — and his son dropped the photo bomb on Charlotte pregame.

Once the game started, Curry dropped 30 points, and the Warriors picked up their 32nd win of the season, 111-101.

Warriors fans, if you live in the Bay Area and get your cable through Comcast, you can stream the Warriors’ game vs. the Lakers by following this link.

Brandon Jennings hears rumors, doesn’t want Pistons to trade him

Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings reacts after a three point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Pistons defeated the Magic 115-89. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Monday night, Brandon Jennings looked like he was his old self. After missing the start of the season recovering from a ruptured Achilles, Jennings scored 17 points, dished six assists, and the Pistons were + 25 points when he was on the court (18 minutes). The Pistons bench has dragged that team down all season, but the past week or so with Jennings running the show the bench has outperformed the starters.

That kind of play plus an expiring contract sparks trade rumors.

The buzz around the league since before the season tipped off is that Jennings would be available once healthy. Jennings told David Mayo of Mlive.com he’s heard the rumors, but he doesn’t want to go anywhere.

“We’ll see,” he said. “I don’t know. I hope so. So we’ll see….

“I can’t really get away from (the rumors) because it’s all on my Twitter feed every time I tweet something,” Jennings said. “But it’s rumors. It’s something that I’m not worried about. I just want to play basketball and I’m just blessed to be healthy again.””Our plan, right now, is that Brandon can help us make a playoff push, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Van Gundy said. “That’s our plan right now. If something happens in the next five weeks, we’ll look at it. But right now, he’s a very good player who can help us, and that’s the only way we’re looking at him.”

“Our plan, right now, is that Brandon can help us make a playoff push, and that’s what we’re going to do,” (Pistons’ coach/GM Stan) Van Gundy said. “That’s our plan right now. If something happens in the next five weeks, we’ll look at it. But right now, he’s a very good player who can help us, and that’s the only way we’re looking at him.”

Jennings makes $8.4 million this season in the final year of his contract. This past summer, Van Gundy gave starting point guard Reggie Jackson a five-year, $80 million to be the man at the point in Detroit. It’s easy to see why the rumors start: With Jennings being a free agent this summer and the Pistons not being able to pay him and Jackson plus max out Andre Drummond, and add some shooting and defense to the roster. It’s logical for the Pistons to consider moving Jennings for whatever they can get.

The Knicks are rumored to have interest, although it’s hard to envision a deal that works. (Arron Afflalo? Can’t see it.) Other teams will have interest as well.

There are going to be a lot of trade rumors around Jennings between now and the February trade deadline. But if he keeps playing like this leading the second unit, if the Pistons are in position to make the playoffs, and if every other team is throwing lowball offers at the Pistons, why wouldn’t Van Gundy just keep him and make a postseason push?

Paul George, Dwyane Wade went back-and-forth in Heat win

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Dwyane Wade and Paul George put on a show last night in Miami.

George finished with 32 points and looked like his dominant self from earlier in the season, but Wade answered with 27 including a high-flying dunk early and the shot that forced overtime late. He got that last one losing George coming around a screen.

The Heat came from 18 down in the third quarter to get the 103-100 overtime win.

Gregg Popovich blasé about coach of month, unless there is a car with it

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich signals to his players during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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Gregg Popovich had the line of the day Monday.

Popovich was the Western Conference Coach of the Month for January — he already had that honor 15 times in his career (which seems a little low, but it’s more than any other NBA coach in history). Popovich was asked about it and was indifferent… unless the NBA wants to throw in a Kia. Fro Jeff McDonald of the Express-News:

I’m with Popovich here, the league should throw in a car. Why not? It would make the race more interesting.

If they gave Popovich a car, would he just trade it for a good case of Bordeaux?