Mike Scott on Monday spoke publicly for the first time about his scuffle with Eagles fans while tailgating before the Birds’ season opener against his beloved Washington Redskins.
The 76ers reserve forward, who punched an Eagles fan that morning, didn’t disappoint.
“Looking back on it, I always play devil’s advocate with myself, I definitely should have walked away before it got to that point,” Scott, 31, said about the Sept. 8 incident. "You know I’m the professional. I got to be the bigger person and you walk away, but once you keep going. Once you keep going, I mean he was popping hella ----. He was going off. Maybe it was the microphone.
“I walked up in there. Once you take it to the next level, throwing all the [racial] slurs out there, now I have to see if you match the energy,” Scott said during 76ers media day. “That’s what happened. I definitely got to be the bigger person.”
According to one fan who witnessed the incident, Scott, a Virginia native, was being harassed by fans in the Lincoln Financial Field parking lot for wearing a Sean Taylor Redskins jersey. The fans did not recognize the Sixers’ 6-foot-8 perimeter threat, and a person speaking on a microphone crossed the line with racial slurs. Scott approached the tailgaters in a tent and the scene eventually turned into the melee caught on video.
The Sixer said he doesn’t hold any ill will toward Eagles fans. He also said that he doesn’t hold any hard feelings against the fans he fought.
“He was talking crazy. He took it to the next level,” Scott said. “So I had to see if he matched that energy. Y’all saw what happened.
"But yeah, man, you got to be the better person. I’d definitely say that, but as far as sympathy, I don’t feel any for any of those individuals. What a day.”
Scott said he still had fun at the game. He posed for pictures and played catch with fans after the incident, and enjoyed the game.
On Monday, Scott joked about when the Redskins went up 20-7 on a Dustin Hopkins 48-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
“I’m looking around," he said, " I’m like, ‘Aw, ----. Come on, Eagles, Help me out now. I can’t fight the whole stadium. If [the Redskins] win that game, ----, you know they would have been out there waiting for me with pitchforks."
The Eagles eventually pulled out a 32-27 victory.
Scott acknowledged that the fight didn’t reflect well on him, that it embarrassed the Sixers and his family.
“But once you take it past the point, I mean ... what are you going to do?” he said. “That’s how that went.”
This summer, Scott, a favorite of Sixers fans, signed a two-year, $9.8 million contract to remain with the team. He originally came to Philadelphia in a February trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 31-year-old averaged 7.8 points while shooting 41.2 percent in 27 games last season with the Sixers.
Tobias Harris is determined to show that he’s much more than a scoring option. The 6-9 forward says he has been working on his defense.
“It’s been a huge emphasis for me this summer, lateral quickness, being able to stay lower longer,” Harris said. “I’ve been back here for about three weeks now through the pickups and five-on-fives we’ve been playing. It’s been a higher level for me.”
Sixers coaches have witnessed his improvement, Harris said. That’s been something that motivated him.
“As a player, I want to be a better two-way player for myself, for the team, and for us as a group,” he said. “That’s something that’s going to open a lot of doors for our group as a collective unit, and for myself also, just taking that added level to be a two-way guy.”
He is an elite three-point shooter and finisher around the basket. The Sixers were hard to beat when he got off to solid starts.