The Philadelphia 76ers are facing a challenging period as they have been dealt a major blow with the absence of Kelly Oubre Jr. The talented forward was involved in a distressing incident near his home, being struck by a car. Oubre's contribution to the 76ers' successful start to the 2023-24 season cannot be understated, as he has been instrumental in their early achievements. With an impressive average of 16.3 points per game, Oubre has solidified his place as the team's fourth-highest scorer, trailing behind Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris. Initially coming off the bench, Oubre quickly earned his spot in the starting lineup after only three games.
The incident that befell Kelly Oubre Jr. unfolded on November 11, when news spread that he had been hit by a vehicle while walking near his residence. As the details emerged, it was revealed by the Philadelphia Police Department that the accident occurred around 7 p.m. in Center City, Philadelphia. The vehicle responsible for striking Oubre fled the scene, and the authorities were actively searching for the driver involved in the hit-and-run, as reported by 6ABC. Oubre was taken to a local hospital and, thankfully, was deemed to be in stable condition. He was discharged later on and is currently recuperating at home.
The injuries sustained by Kelly Oubre Jr. are not to be taken lightly. The Philadelphia Police Department stated that he was struck in the upper chest area by the vehicle. Shams Charania of The Athletic provided additional insight into Oubre's injuries, revealing that he suffered broken ribs, various bruises and cuts, as well as injuries to his hip and right leg. Fortunately, his injuries were not more severe.
While it is anticipated that the 76ers will have to endure Oubre's absence for a significant period, it is not expected to last for the entirety of the 2023-24 season. Oubre will closely collaborate with the team's medical staff to receive appropriate treatment and care for his injuries. The 76ers announced on November 12 that Oubre would be re-evaluated after one week. In their first game without him, Philadelphia secured a victory against the Indiana Pacers. Tyrese Maxey, who delivered a remarkable performance, scoring a career-high 50 points, dedicated his success to Oubre. Maxey expressed his support for his injured teammate, stating, "This had nothing to do with me. This is all Kelly Oubre. We're praying for him. Love my dawg, man. I just met him but I love him. I hope he gets well soon."
Kelly Oubre Jr., prior to the unfortunate incident, had been showcasing some of the best basketball of his career. In just eight games with the 76ers, he was averaging 16.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, displaying excellent shooting percentages of 50.0% from the field and 37.8% from beyond the arc.
Regarding his contract situation, Oubre signed a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the 76ers in the 2023 offseason. Consequently, he will become an unrestricted free agent once again after the conclusion of the 2023-24 season. In the previous season as a member of the Charlotte Hornets, Oubre excelled, recording a career-high scoring average of 20.3 points per game. Reflecting on his experience in free agency, Oubre described it as "very disheartening."
Throughout his career, Kelly Oubre Jr. has consistently showcased his abilities on the court. With averages of 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game, along with strong defensive contributions of 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks per game, Oubre's impact is undeniable. Additionally, he has maintained shooting percentages of 43.5% from the field, 33.0% from behind the arc, and an impressive 75.2% from the free-throw line.