Walking back comments he made in an interview on Nov. 19, Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe said on Friday that he was joking when he said the Kentucky basketball team would beat the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Dei Lynam at CSNPhilly.com.
Bledsoe said on Sirius XM NBA radio earlier this week that the Wildcats would not only beat the 76ers, but would take a series from the 0-11 NBA team. "I'll definitely take Kentucky," Bledsoe said. "I think Philly would probably get maybe one game."
Just a few hours after Bledsoe's statement, Philadelphia lost at home to the Boston Celtics, 101-90.
Bledsoe's comments came two days before the Suns are to play the 76ers in Philadelphia. Asked about his comments prior to the game, he was more measured in his response.
"I have a lot of respect for NBA players," Bledsoe said after a morning shoot-around in Philadelphia on Friday. "I was joking around. Obviously I went to Kentucky and then they played good."
The Wildcats are undefeated this year, going 3-0 so far and playing Boston University at home on Friday night. After losing to the Celtics, the 76ers are 0-11, averaging just 88.6 points per game and holding a minus-16.4 point differential, both league-worst.
The 76ers are in what most consider to be an especially challenging rebuilding year. Their zero wins puts them last in the league; the second lowest win total is three, an amount held by five teams.
Even though Bledsoe has said that his initial comments were not serious, at least one person in league did not consider them far-fetched. One NBA executive told CSNPhilly.com that "I think Kentucky would give them a game."