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MailTribune.com
  • BASKETBALL

    Sixers apologize to media

  • PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers issued an apology Tuesday to reporters who spent another fruitless day on the Andrew Wiggins watch.
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  • PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers issued an apology Tuesday to reporters who spent another fruitless day on the Andrew Wiggins watch.
    The campus security at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine still asked the news media and a fan to leave. Once again, Wiggins was not made available to the reporters who gathered outside the team's practice facility.
    Just like the previous day, the only glimpse of the former Kansas standout came Tuesday when he exited the back of the building.
    Wiggins left at 2 p.m. in a black Chevrolet Suburban with his agent, Bill Duffy, and Sixers director of basketball administration Allen Lumpkin. The 6-foot-8 swingman, who left Kansas after his freshman year, had arrived at the practice facility for a workout at 9 a.m.
    Mike Preston, the team's public-relations director, apologized for the team's role in Monday's treatment of the media. He gave reporters a box of Dunkin' Donuts and bottled water as a peace offering.
    The team's predraft workouts have been closed to the media since Sam Hinkie was hired as general manager in May 2013. The belief is that keeping the participants secret will give the Sixers an edge over other teams in the draft.
    "That being said, if you guys are here and happen to come upon any of the guys we are rumored to be working out, fair game," Preston said.
    On Monday, campus security asked the media and fans to leave at the team's request. A Philadelphia police officer was summoned later because reporters stood on the sidewalk near a campus parking garage instead of across the street from the facility.
    "There was a miscommunication with us and PCOM," said Preston, who was not at the practice facility on Monday. "Steps were taken that we regret and it won't happen again. Obviously, the relationship we have with (the media) is paramount. I understand it, and we want to do right."
    "Things shouldn't have played out the way they did yesterday," Preston said. "So we apologize."
    Preston said Hinkie did not have anything to do with Monday's fiasco. He added that PCOM security was informed that reporters could stay on campus Tuesday.
    Apparently, that was lost in translation. This time, however, security could not get reporters to leave.
    The Sixers are targeting Wiggins, 19, in the draft on June 26. He could be off the board when they make their first selection.
    They have the third and 10th overall picks in addition to five second-round selections. Wiggins is expected to go first or second but could fall to the Sixers. The team could ensure his availability by moving up in the draft.
    Wiggins is scheduled to meet with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. The Cavs have the first pick in the draft and the Bucks have the second.
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