EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated to include new information
76ers agent guard Tony Wroten and a spokesperson for Michael Jordan denied to ESPN on Friday that Wroten had received an apology from Jordan after one of his Nike-branded Air Jordan sneakers fell apart in a loss. against the Pacers on March 14 in Philadelphia, contrary to what Wroten told reporters on Wednesday.
In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Wroten admitted to talking about Michael Jordan but insisted he was joking:
“MJ NEVER called and apologized. I was joking with a local reporter saying ‘yes he should call me agent’ not knowing I would be quoted,” he tweeted.
Wroten’s agent Greg Lawrence also told ESPN that his client was misquoted.
“Tony told me the media asked him if he thought Jordan would apologize and he said, ‘He can call my agent,'” Lawrence told ESPN.
Wroten, 20, is compensated by Nike. But if he was misquoted in the original News Journal account, it was only in the sense that he told reporters he had received a written apology from Jordan, in addition to a phone call.
If he was joking, it didn’t seem apparent. Audio of the original exchange is available in the video attached to this article.
“It wasn’t really a big deal,” Wroten said after the Sixers’ loss to the Knicks on Friday night. “But I just wanted to go on Twitter and let people know that Jordan didn’t apologize. … When you listen to the audio it probably wouldn’t sound like I was kidding at all, but that’s why I just had to get out and let people know I was.”
PHILADELPHIA — Tony Wroten said he received an apology from Michael Jordan after one of the 76ers guard’s Nike basketball shoes fell apart in a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday in Philadelphia.
“It was more embarrassing than anything,” Wroten said Wednesday. “But things happen. I got an apology from Jordan. Yeah. … He called my agent.”
Wroten, who is known in the NBA for his extensive shoe collection, created highlight reels for the wrong reason when the sole ripped off the Air Jordan 10 “varsity red” sneaker on his right foot during a drive to fourth. quarter to the basket. The shoes were first released in 2005.
It was the third time in about two weeks that an NBA player’s Nike shoes had collapsed during a game, after Manu Ginobili and Andrew Bogut also had problems with their kicks.
Wroten (6-5, 205) has started shooting in each of the past two games, including against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, in place of James Anderson, who suffered a bruised right quadriceps.
The 20-year-old is usually the first player off the bench and serves as a back-up to Michael Carter-Williams at point guard.
Coming on Wednesday night, Wroten has averaged 13.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 24.5 minutes per game this season. He appeared in 61 games, including 15 starts.
Wroten said he definitely sees himself as a playmaker. And he prefers to start.
“Everybody likes to start. It’s just a different feeling,” Wroten said. “Personally, speaking for me, I like starting better than coming off the bench. I feel like I play better that way. But with me, it’s just a position where I’m at 2. It doesn’t ain’t like when I get the rebound I just pass it to Mike Whoever gets the rebound gets it and walks away Sometimes I play point guard when we’re both there It’s as an advantage.
Wroten is signed for $1.2 million next season and the Sixers have a team option for $2.1 million in 2015-16.
Sixers coach Brett Brown says Wroten needs to improve his free throw, which he’s starting to do, and while he has a strong ability to hit the basket, he also has to try to avoid playing in a crowd.
“Ultimately, his development is going to come with, ‘How does he make other people better?'” Brown said. “Am I a 2-guard? Well, probably not, because I’m a 20% 3-point shooter. Can I be a great point guard? Yes, you can, but you better make the better people. It doesn’t have to be the greatest pass you’ve ever seen in your life. Sometimes a simple pass is good. I think right now, sometimes he doesn’t make others better.
The Memphis Grizzlies originally selected Wroten from Washington with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. After seeing very little playing time as a rookie, Wroten was traded to the Sixers for virtually nothing – a pick second round among the first 50 protected – during the offseason.
Wroten said he sees himself staying with the Sixers for the long term.
“Yeah. It was tough this year with the loss, but like the slogan said, Together we build,” he said. “We know who our general manager is, what his goal is and what he’s trying to do. We knew that. Philadelphia has one of the best fanbases in the NBA, so once things change, I I feel like it’s going to be a great organization.”