NBA Finals: Thunder's Reggie Jackson visits shooting victim

Jackson said Norman “Michael” Richards III is a die-hard Thunder fan who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
by Ryan Aber and John Helsley and Jason Kersey Published: June 11, 2012
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Thunder reserve guard Reggie Jackson visited Norman “Michael” Richards III, who was shot in Bricktown after Oklahoma City's series-clinching win over the Lakers, in the hospital Friday.


“It's a sad incident,” Jackson said. “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It doesn't seem like he or his family are bitter about it. It was good to sit down and talk with him and hopefully brighten up his day.”

Jackson said he felt compelled to visit because the shooting happened “on our grounds.”

“The shooting, for everybody, ruined the whole glee of winning,” Jackson said. “He's a die-hard Thunder fan and he was out here supporting us, and a tragedy happened. I felt like I had to check up on him and see how he was doing.

“He has great support (from family and friends), but I wanted him to know he has the support of this team, also. We'll stick with him. He's an inspiration to the team.”

THROWING AGE OUT THE WINDOW

Kevin Durant is a little more than a year older than LeBron James was when the former Cleveland Cavs star made his first NBA Finals appearance.

James struggled in the 2007 Finals against San Antonio for Cleveland, shooting just 36 percent (32 of 90) from the floor in the Spurs' sweep.

Durant isn't worried about the Thunder being the youngsters on the court against the more-seasoned Heat.

“My mom always told me when I was going against older guys, don't let your age be the reason you don't succeed,” Durant said. “I just want to take advantage of it.

“We were too young to beat the Spurs, a great team, and we came out and accomplished that. We were too young to beat the Lakers, and we accomplished that as well. We just keep thinking that we can do it and also knowing that it's going to be a tough road and we've got to be focused.”

FISHER'S FUTURE

Oklahoma City has embraced and enjoyed all that Derek Fisher has to offer, since his midseason arrival.

But what's next for the 37-year-old guard, who approaches free agency when The Finals are complete?

“I've always tried my best, as I approach free agent summers, to not think that much about it until I'm there,” Fisher said. “And especially at this time in a season, where so much is at stake right now. So I couldn't accurately or truthfully answer that question, because I don't know where I'll be emotionally or psychologically after this season is over.”

Fisher, however, knows that he plans to still be playing in 2012-13.

“There are two distinct places to be after you've been in a Finals, from a mental standpoint,” Fisher said. “My plan is for sure to play next season. I'm not going to retire after this year. I feel great physically and definitely will look forward to playing basketball after these next two weeks.”

PERKINS LOOKS FOR HALF-COURT SERIES

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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