Sixers’ Nic Batum has thoughts for Kelly Oubre Jr. after incident

PHILADELPHIA–As the Philadelphia 76ers try and move forward now following the news of Kelly Oubre Jr. being struck by a vehicle on Saturday, it’s tough to have to focus on playing basketball.

Oubre Jr. has not only been playing terrific basketball, but he has been a great guy to be around and his impact on the court and in the locker room has been felt. Thankfully, his injuries do not appear that they are going to keep him out for too long as coach Nick Nurse said the team expects him to be an observer at practice by Tuesday. They will then evaluate him as time moves on.

To replace Oubre Jr. in the starting lineup, Nic Batum will take his place. While basketball must still be played, it’s tough to even think about that when considering what just happened.

“You don’t even think about basketball right now,” said Batum before a matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. “You just wanna make sure he’s OK. He texted us last night. He texted the group saying he was OK. He told us what happened to him, but it was a shock. I was shocked when I read that so I just hope he’s OK.”

Obviously, Oubre Jr. is an important piece of this basketball team. The Sixers were having a ton of success with him so this is a big loss on the floor, but the team wants him to heal up and take his time before anything else.

“It’s not like ‘Yeah, come back. We need you.’” Batum added. “Yes, of course, we need him ASAP, but we want him to be better first. So just take your time because it’s unfortunate stuff like that that happens. Just wish him well.”

Acquired in the James Harden deal, Batum hasn’t been around Oubre Jr. for too long, but he has been fond of his new teammate. The focus now for him and the rest of the Sixers is to just keep playing for him as they step onto the floor.

“We gotta keep playing for him,” Batum finished. “He’s a big key for us. He’s been great since he got there. I got there a little bit later, but I just love playing with the guy. He’s done so much for us and we just gotta take care of business and make sure we keep winning. He’s gonna come back, take his role back, and we’re gonna be OK.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire