CAMDEN, N.J. — After a jarring incident and 11 games on the sidelines, Kelly Oubre Jr. is set to return for the Sixers on Wednesday against the Wizards.
“I’m excited,” Oubre said following the Sixers’ practice Monday. “I’m finally up out of the house, on my feet, running around, doing what I love. I’m really happy now.”
On Nov. 11, a Sixers official said Oubre was struck by a motor vehicle while walking in Philadelphia and suffered a fractured rib.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Philadelphia sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Asked Monday about that night, Oubre declined to discuss details, citing an ongoing police investigation.
“First and foremost, before anything, I want to say thank you to my family, my friends and the 76ers organization, especially (head coach Nick Nurse), for the utmost support throughout this whole process,” he said. “But I’ve spoken to the police about this situation and they have an ongoing investigation. So I’ve spoken to who I need to speak to about it, and I’ll keep that where it is. I won’t be speaking on any details about that because they are looking into it.”
Oubre did push back strongly against those who have questioned what he told police.
He compared the scrutiny to the 1998 film “The Truman Show,” in which every second of a man’s life is filmed and broadcast as reality television.
“This was and is a very traumatic situation for me and my family,” he said. “I just wish that my life wasn’t like 'The Truman Show,' where everybody can kind of watch it and have their own opinion about my life. This is very hard for us to have to deal with … and for me to miss being on the court, which keeps me sane.
“A lot of people are very inconsiderate and insensitive to try to worry about video cameras and s---. It’s something that happened in my life and is very detrimental to me, missing time in my job. So I’m just really blessed that it wasn’t worse than what it is, and that I’m able to come back to work, smile, walk and talk and breathe.
“That’s what I have to say about the conspiracy theories. And I love ‘em, too. I sit there in my downtime and look at them. But not with my life, bro. It’s too serious.”
Oubre’s role when he returns will be somewhat contingent on the Sixers’ overall health picture.
Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Nicolas Batum and Danuel House Jr. all practiced after missing the Sixers’ tight loss Friday to the Celtics. Batum, who’s been dealing with a right index finger injury, was a partial participant.
“He didn’t do everything,” Nurse said. “We’re still just trying to buy a little more time with his finger, but he was out there and in most of it today.”
It sounds like Nurse intends to keep Batum in the starting spot that Oubre once filled. However, with the caveat that he’ll keep tabs on Oubre’s conditioning, Nurse isn’t planning to slowly ease the 27-year-old back into action.
“We’ll probably fire him right back in there,” Nurse said. “Let me see what it looks like getting to Wednesday. I think it could matter if there are other guys in or out, right? But if everybody’s healthy, he’s coming off the bench and he’s probably coming in pretty early.”
While the questions about the Nov. 11 incident and his time out surely weren’t the most pleasant for Oubre, he emphasized his gratitude on Monday.
When he saw Tyrese Maxey dedicate his 50-point performance vs. the Pacers to him, Oubre said he “had to go upstairs real quick away from my wife and shed a little tear."
He also highlighted Nurse's support as meaningful.
“It was everything, man,” Oubre said. “It was a lot of love. I really wanted to cry. The city, the fans, the organization, Coach Nurse … he came to my house, chilled with my daughter and played with her.
“The support from my teammates — Tyrese going for 50. Like come on, bro. That’s ultimate legend status from everyone around me. I just want to pay it forward and get back out there, perform for them and make them smile.”