Mike Scott you’re doing it all wrong.
If you want to endear yourself to Philadelphia and its rabid sports fans, you don’t bring attention to yourself with silly suggestions and ill-advised stunts. You do it by showing that you know how to play. You do it by playing with class. And above all else, you do it by showing that you’re among the best to do it.
For those at home keeping score, Scott is a 6-foot-8, 237-pound forward for the Philadelphia 76ers, which picked up the 2012 draft choice from the Los Angeles Clippers.
On Feb. 6, Scott was traded, along with Tobias Harris and Boban Marjanovi, to the Sixers in exchange for Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and a number of future draft picks. He became a free agent at the end of the season after averaging 7.8 points per game.
On June 30, Scott re-signed with the 76ers for two years on a deal worth $9.8 million, the 31-year-old created some off-season controversy during an interview with CBS Sports radio host Zach Gelb by saying that fans should boo former Sixers standout Jimmy Butler when he returns to Philadelphia on Nov. 23 with his new team, the Miami Heat.
Butler, who was also a free agent at the season’s end, signed with the Heat after one season as a guard in Philadelphia.
“When he does come to Philly, ya’ll better boo the st out of him,” Scott said. “Believe that, you have to. You have to do that and I’m gonna boo with ya’ll.”
Scott and Butler were close and maybe his statement was part of ruse. But in Philadelphia, where booing can be considered both an art and a term of endearment, fans don’t need to be prompted.
On Sunday, The Great Scott did something stupid. Wearing a Washington Redskins jersey and hat, he became involved in a fight with Eagles fans while tailgating outside of Lincoln Financial Field during the team’s home game against their NFL East Conference rival.
No one was hurt and no charges were filed. A video of the incident went viral. According to fans’ posts, Scott stuck around and took selfies.
Since coming to town, Scott has been known to respond to social media invitations and enjoys hanging out with Philly fans.
Selfies. Fights at tailgating parties. Impromptu appearances. Yeah, it’s cute but not when you’re on the other side of 30 and you’re not a household name and you’re supposed to be an elite professional basketball player.
Short and to the point, it’s not good for the image.
You’ve shown what you can do off the court. You’ve shown that you can create off-season controversy. Now, let’s see what you can do on the court.
The Sixers have a chance to have a special season. The elements are there for another winning campaign in the upcoming NBA season, which begins Oct. 22.
The question is will you be contributor or a comical bystander?