76ers' Furkan Korkmaz said he was attacked by Georgian players, police after heated EuroBasket game

·Writer
·3-min read
The referee protect Furkan Korkmaz of Turkey
Furkan Korkmaz was ejected from Turkey's game against Georgia on Sunday, and said he was later attacked in the tunnel by Georgian players and police. (Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images)

Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz said he was attacked by both members of the Georgian national team and Georgian national police after he was ejected from Turkey’s game against Georgia at the EuroBasket tournament on Sunday.

Korkmaz was thrown out of the game on Sunday in Tbilisi, Georgia, after he picked up two technical fouls following an altercation with Georgia’s Duda Sanadze. Things got so heated that fans even started throwing things onto the court while the two players were being separated.

It's unclear what initially started the altercation on the court.

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As Korkmaz was walking through the tunnel with an assistant coach, he said he was suddenly attacked by several Georgian players and security.

"As soon as we walked out of the tunnel and were trying to reach the locker room, I saw three Georgian players alongside two security guys running at us. We started throwing punches at each other. That's basically what happened," Korkmaz said, via BasketNews.

"It was like a street fight. There was no talk or conversation. People just came at us and were trying to attack us. Of course, we reacted and tried to defend ourselves — exactly what we are going to do as men. I also think it's a security problem. But I don't know if it's a security problem or if they just showed tolerance to their players.”

Turkish federation vice president Omer Onan told EuroHoops after the game that “30 policemen” pushed them into a fight, too. He said he’s reached out to FIBA about the incident, and has threatened to leave the tournament altogether.

“Let no one deceive themselves or think that we are stupid,” Onan said. “They will bring us all the camera footage from that corridor minute by minute without anything missing. If those cameras do not come to us, we will leave this tournament.”

Georgia beat Turkey 88-83 in double overtime. Turkey has officially protested the outcome of the game, claiming that 22 seconds were taken off the clock in the final period.

Coach Ergin Ataman was also ejected in the second overtime, and was replaced by assistant Hakan Demir.

“A basketball game was supposed to be played today, but unfortunately what happened went beyond basketball,” Demir said, via EuroHoops. “We have two more games left in Georgia and, unfortunately, what happened in the corridors today was against the spirit of the sport. We expected a more gentlemanly treatment, but unfortunately, it did not happen.

“There was a basketball game with two overtimes on the court. Sometimes we played well and sometimes Georgia played well, but after our player, Furkan Korkmaz, was disqualified, three opposing team players attacked him in the corridors, while security guards attacked our player and our trainer. We came here to play basketball, not box.”

Korkmaz averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds last season with the 76ers, his fifth in the NBA after they took him with the No. 26 overall pick in 2016. The 25-year-old is set to enter the second year of a three-year, $15 million deal with the team this fall.