WASHINGTON - Kareem Rush has seen the least court time of any 76er.
Despite his lefthanded jumper, as steady as the train schedule, Rush had played in only 14 of the Sixers' 25 games going into last night's against the Wizards. He watched two from the bench wearing a suit.
Rush's lack of burn is especially puzzling considering his forte - the three-point shot - is the Sixers' handicap. They're tied for worst in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage with the Sacramento Kings.
Tonight, the Sixers play Rush's former team, the Indiana Pacers. Last season, Rush played 21.2 minutes a game, averaging 8.3 points, while playing under head coach Jim O'Brien.
"Some people don't like him," Rush said of O'Brien, who was fired as the Sixers' head coach in 2005. "I think he's a great coach."
Rush said that last season, when the Pacers and O'Brien traveled to play in Philadelphia, O'Brien especially wanted to beat the Sixers.
But Rush's allegiance, since signing this summer with the Sixers, has flipped. Although Rush has yet to carve out a niche within the Sixers' rotation, new head coach Tony DiLeo repeated his dedication to creating an opportunity for Rush.
With power forward Elton Brand sidelined for a month with a dislocated right shoulder, DiLeo will have extra minutes to find Rush an opportunity.
"He needs a chance," DiLeo said before last night's game. "He needs an opportunity. I talked to him and said we're going to get him a real chance. So I told him to be ready."
Four months ago, before the first ball was tossed into the air, Rush said he believed this team provided him the best opportunity to demonstrate his ability as a multifaceted scorer.
"Yeah, I thought so," Rush said. "I still think that might happen. I think we might be last in the league in outside shooting. . . . The need is there."