"My teammates will step up, we're a next man up team" - Kelly Oubre Jr. on his Game 4 suspension#WizCeltics pic.twitter.com/iMVihOG5Mp— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 6, 2017
Kelly Oubre spoke to the media on Saturday after the NBA announced his suspension in Game 4 of the Wizards’ series against the Celtics. He apologized for shoving Boston post Kelly Olynyk to the floor. Oubre went on to say that he would learn from his mistakes, and said that the Wizards are a “next man up” team where other players will step in for him on Sunday.
If you’re wondering whether Oubre apologized to Olynyk, he did not, which got some of the reporters laughing a little.
You can watch Oubre’s video above via Monumental Sports Network.
Later on in the video, other players like Jason Smith echoed the “next man up” mentality. Bojan Bogdanovic, who is expected to take many of Oubre’s minutes, also acknowledged the challenge of what’s ahead.
In another video by Monumental Sports Network, head coach Scott Brooks spoke about regretting Oubre’s absence. Brooks also stated that he has full confidence in the players who will step up in place of Oubre on Sunday.
Coach Brooks on playing Game 4 without Kelly Oubre Jr. and the increased role of Bojan Bogdanovic#WizCeltics pic.twitter.com/ssNtUhA6sx— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 6, 2017
It’s unfortunate that Oubre will not be around tomorrow. However, this can be a rallying moment for the Wizards. In 2014, then-power forward Nene was suspended for one game after getting in an altercation with Jimmy Butler in Game 3 of the Wizards’ first round series against the Chicago Bulls. In Game 4, the Wizards won, and we heard “Free Nene” chants before it was said and done.
Oubre’s situation isn’t exactly like Nene’s three years ago. But don’t be surprised to see some “Free Oubre” moments tomorrow night.