76ers owners buy more than 2,000 playoff tickets to reduce Knicks fans


May 2 (UPI) -- Members of the Philadelphia 76ers ownership group bought more than 2,000 tickets for Game 6 of their first-round playoff series to reduce New York Knicks fans, co-owner Michael Rubin said Thursday.

Rubin made the announcement on Instagram and X. Co-owners Josh Harris, David Blitzer and David Adelman joined in on the effort. The 76ers will host the Knicks in Game 6 on Thursday in Philadelphia.

"We absolutely cannot let Knicks fans take over our arena again," Rubin wrote. "Giving them to first responders, health care professionals and other local Philadelphia-based organizations once we know they're legit Sixers fans and not imposters. Let's go Sixers -- we can do this."

The seventh-seeded 76ers beat the No. 2 Knicks in overtime in Game 5 on Tuesday in New York.

The Knicks beat the 76ers in Game 4 on Sunday in Philadelphia. After that game, 76ers star center Joel Embiid expressed disappointment over the number of Knicks fans who attended.

"It kinda pisses me off, especially because Philly is considered a sports town," Embiid said. "They've [Knicks fans] always shown up ,and I don't think that should happen."

The 76ers posted a video of staff members handing out free tickets throughout Philadelphia on Thursday on social media.

The 76ers, who trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven game series, will tip off against the Knicks at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center. Game 7, if necessary, will be at 7 p.m. Sunday in New York.

The winner of the series will meet the No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks or No. 6 Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Pacers lead that series 3-2. Game 6 will start at 6:03 p.m. Thursday in Indianapolis.