A brouhaha during a EuroBasket 2022 game between Turkey and Georgia allegedly turned violent off the court in an incident involving 76ers forward Furkan Korkmaz.
Korkmaz, 25, was allegedly attacked by members of the Georgia basketball team while walking to the locker room after being ejected from the game on Sunday, according to a statement released by vice president of the Turkish federation Omer Onan. He claims Korkmaz was attacked by Georgia players not on the active roster in addition to Duda Sanadze, who was also ejected during their on-court brawl in the fourth quarter, and the police. Onan also threatened that his team will boycott the rest of the tournament if the situation is not handled to his liking.
“There shouldn’t be an attack on the player who goes to the locker room,” said Oman, via Eurohoops.net “At the end of the match, 30 policemen each pushed us into a fight. We fought with the official police of Georgia. I am calling FIBA and I also told the FIBA officials.
“Don’t be fooled or think we are stupid. They will bring us all the camera footage of that hallway minute by minute with nothing missing. If those cameras don’t come to us, we’ll leave this tournament.”
The incident stemmed from Korkmaz getting into it with Sandze after a hard foul. The two angrily butted heads before being separated by officials and immediately ejected. Turkey coach Ergin Ataman was also thrown out of the game.
Korkmaz said in a statement via Basketnews.com that on his way back to the locker room with the team’s trainer, they saw three Georgia players along with two security guards running at them when a fight broke out.
“We started throwing punches at each other. That’s basically what happened,” said Korkmaz. “It was like a street fight. There was no speech or conversation. People just came up to us and tried to attack us. Of course, we reacted and tried to defend ourselves.”
After the match, assistant coach Hakan Demir also addressed the incident near the locker room, saying that a “big scandal” happened outside the court. His team has two scheduled games in Georgia.
“We came here to play basketball, not boxing,” Demir said. Therefore, we are very disturbed by the security weakness experienced today. We will follow this issue as well.”
What makes the situation even more bizarre is the game itself was under official protest from Turkey. It claims 22 seconds ran off the clock as Korkmaz and Sandze roughed it and Georgia’s Sandro Mamukelashvili, who played his college ball at Seton Hall, ended up scoring with two seconds left to force overtime. Georgia needed a second overtime to finally win 88-83. Turkey’s protest was rejected by FIBA.
Korkmaz was a first-round pick of the 76ers in 2016 and averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds for them last season.