Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Robert Covington prepares for emotional return to Chicago

Robert Covington, a Chicago-area native, is returning for the first time since the death of a childhood friend.

Sixers forward Robert Covington passes the basketball against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Nov. 3.
Sixers forward Robert Covington passes the basketball against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, Nov. 3.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Monday's game in Chicago will be a bit more emotional for Robert Covington.

A native of Bellwood, Ill., a Chicago suburb, Covington always enjoys playing against the Bulls since it's as close to a homecoming as he can get in the NBA.

But what is usually a good time and a reunion with family and friends, will have a tinge of sorrow this time. On Nov. 27, just moments before Covington took the floor at the Wells Fargo Center to face the Cavaliers, he learned that a childhood friend from home had been fatally shot.

"I've seen it growing up. Know people that have gotten killed and know people who have done those type of things but it's just how Chicago is," Covington said Monday.

Covington, who started the season shooting 48.7 percent from three-point range through the first 15 games, has seen a decline in his production. Since Nov. 27 he is shooting just 32 percent from deep.

"It was tough for a while seeing how it affected me," Covington said Sunday. "Overall, I'm in good spirits now. It's unfortunate that he's not here anymore, but he's in a better place."

Covington wasn't able to attend the funeral and said that he is hoping to see his friend's family when he arrives.

"At least try to get them out to the game if it's possible for them to come," he said.

Korkmaz sidelined with foot injury

Rookie Furkan Korkmaz, who has bounced back and forth between the Sixers and the Delaware 87ers this season, suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot in the fourth quarter of a Sevens game on Dec. 15.

The injury, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' website, is a result of bones in the mid-foot being broken or tearing of the ligaments that support the mid-foot. Recovery time can range from six weeks to three-to-five months depending on the severity of the injury and if surgery is required.

Korkmaz is out indefinitely while he undergoes more evaluation and testing. It is not yet known whether surgery will be necessary.