DJ Jazzy Jeff and I Talk About New Sixers Vibe, Will Smith, and Common Drake Beef

Heading into tonight’s game (I hear Will and Jada will attend) vs the 3-16 Charlotte Bobcats, the 12-6 Philadelphia 76’ers are a little wounded. They lost a heart breaker to Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets…a winnable home game that got a way, and are dealing with minor injuries to their front line (Hawes, Vucevic). More importantly, there’s a different aura permeating through the Wells Fargo Center. After wins the Liberty Bell tolls, confetti rains and more times than most this year, the fans leave happy. One of those fans is Philly native DJ Jazzy Jeff. I’ve chatted with Jeff before, but this a different Sixers team. This is a team on the road up. Jeff is a season ticket holder so I thought I’d update our previous conversation with some post lockout Philly optimism…

Michael Tillery: Culture change. New ownership…your boy.

DJ Jazzy Jeff: Yeah haha.

MT: Just speak on that. This is a game the Sixers would have lost in seasons past.

Iguodala smacked the whole squad huh?

JJ: Absolutely. You definitely can tell it’s a different culture with the team. I think last year was just a stepping stone. I love the fact that there’s not truly one bonafied star.

I know that’s not how the NBA normally works, but I think in a shortened season, what you’re seeing now…like with the Lakers where Kobe is the bonafied star…once Kobe is hurt, they start really struggling.

Someone different has stepped up for the Sixers almost every night. We might be able to weather those storms some of the other teams can’t. 

MT: We’re both from here. Are you appreciative the owners seem to have a concerted, committed and determined effort to bring something different to the city. Do you feel that?

JJ: I think it’s great. Especially that they want to include the Philly fans back into the whole mix.

It was time something different happened.

The Sixers to me have been the Sixers since the 80’s.

I think them (new ownership) coming in and trying to inject some life in the city, and make people…especially in Philadelphia…fall back in love with the Sixers is great.

Philadelphia is a city that loves its winners and when the teams aren’t winning, people don’t come to watch and have fun.

The energy and enthusiasm now is really changing it.

MT: I think the city slept on tonight’s game being it’s two young and talented teams. Maybe later in the season, they’ll come to a game like this..

JJ: I was a little scared (the Sixers maybe losing) about tonight. Especially because Indiana, to me, is exactly like the Sixers. They are playing just as good as the Sixers. Tonight was a first test of playing a team that has a deep bench. I wondered who was going to step up.

The Sixers defense is definitely something…

You can see when they step on the gas, when it comes to defense, they really can cause damage. I can’t wait to see them play a team like New York.

MT: Who are some of the young players…I know who I’m thinking of…that catches your eye? Do you see a young player that if they got more minutes would make a difference?

JJ: Well…I don’t know if it’s someone who got more minutes. Evan Turner is someone I think needs to play a lot more than he did and you can definitely see his confidence rising. I saw that going into the playoffs last year. He’s just carrying it over. I’m really surprised about Vucevic.

MT: That’s who I had in mind.

JJ: Oh you know it. He seems like he’s stepping in like

I got game right now!

It’s funny…because in a game like tonight, Doug played him a lot and he delivered. I think the more he delivers, the more he’s going to get time.

MT: You have season tickets but is ownership reaching out to local celebrities to get you here more often?

JJ: I definitely do see that they are trying to have a lot of contact with a lot of the people that are from here…which is good. I’m really happy Will has some ownership, JL (at right, pictured with Will) has some ownership. It’s just one of those things. Growing up, we were here for Dr. J. and George McGinnis. To know that they have some piece of ownership is like everything coming full circle.

MT: That’s kind of crazy huh? Do you think we’re gonna get Will here for some games.

JJ: He’s actually in town. He’s going to be shooting a movie here. He’s be here for 2 and a half to 3 months.

MT: What do you have going on with you right now?

JJ: Man I’m touring and in the studio. Nothing changes with me.

I go in the studio and make music and go on the road and make music.

MT: What do you think about Common and Drake?


JJ: Aww man…but you know what? That’s classic. That’s classic. Drake might not be used to it because he’s not really from that era but like Common said…Common is from that era that says you know what? Don’t take subliminal shots at me. Take a shot. We can go at it, shake hands and keep it moving…

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