Early in the third quarter on Thursday night, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka limped to the locker room with an unspecified calf injury.
He did not return. His future status is unknown.
RIVERS STANDS BEHIND COMMENTS
As expected, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fined $25,000 for his public criticism of officials after Game 5.
Rivers went on a postgame rant; he called the referee’s decision to give the ball to the Thunder with 11 seconds left after it appeared to go off of OKC “horrendous,” saying the Clippers “got robbed.”
“I didn’t care about the fine,” Rivers said. “It was deserved. One of the rare times you actually earn one...It needed to be said and it was the truth.”
Rivers said he got some local backing for the rant.
“Funniest thing about the fine is my assistant got two calls from employees downtown who wanted a payroll deduct of $100 each to help me pay for the fine,” Rivers said, “which we obviously denied.”
KD SITTING DOWN
In the hours after the Thunder propelled past the Clippers in a wild Game 5 finish, a photo emerged of Durant sitting on the other side of the court, looking the other way as Russell Westbrook shot the eventual game-winning free throws.
Two days later, Durant said that’s something he normally does because of superstition.
“I’ve been doing that all year, especially late in the games,” Durant said. “It’s not like I don’t trust my guys to make the free throws. I think I’m just bad luck. Every time I go to a Redskins game, we lose. Every time I watch a Texas game, we lose. Every time I watch something, it’s not going the way I want it to go. So I have to turn my head.”
In the aftermath, there has been a flood of photoshopped Internet memes, showing Durant in that seated position during different periods of history.
“Photoshop is definitely taking over,” Durant said. “But it is what it is, man. All I was concerned about was the free throws going in. I’m glad they did. You can do whatever you want after that.”
REPORT: FISHER FRONTRUNNER FOR KNICKS JOB
Despite his commitment to the Thunder and insistence that he doesn’t plan to coach in the forseeable future, Derek Fisher’s name continues to pop up for the vacant New York Knicks job.
With Steve Kerr recently spurning Phil Jackson and the Knicks for the Golden State Warriors job, the New York Daily News is reporting that Fisher is currently the frontrunner.
Before Thursday’s game, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said he hadn’t been contacted by the Knicks about Fisher, but he did have high praise for the veteran guard.
“With Derek, whatever he gets into, if he wants to play, if he wants to be in management, if he wants to be a CEO of a company or if he wants to coach, he’ll be successful,” Brooks said. “I don’t think he’ll be a good coach, I think he’ll be a great coach.”
Fisher has insisted he intends to retire after the season and said he doesn’t plan to immediately get into coaching.
RIVERS BACKS EMOTIONAL ATHLETES
An inconsolable Chris Paul looked heartbroken after the Clippers’ Game 5 loss, blaming himself for the collapse and saying “it’s the hardest thing I’ve been through basketball-wise.”
But, his coach said, that wasn’t a rare mindset among players he has been around.
“We live in a time where our athletes a lot of times get criticized for not caring,” Rivers said. “I’ve always said that’s so untrue.”
To give another example, Rivers used his last point guard, Rajon Rondo, as an example.
“Rondo never showed you guys emotion,” Rivers said, talking to the media. “But his eyes were watered maybe 50 times, even regular season games.
“If there’s one thing the public doesn’t know about athletes. I would say they care far more than they let on.”
Kendrick Perkins, joking, when asked how it felt to be facing friend and former coach Doc Rivers: “I didn’t remember that he complained so much throughout the game to the refs.”
JACK IN THE HOUSE
Legendary actor and long time Lakers fan Jack Nicholson attended Game 6 on Thursday night at Staples Center. No word if he was pulling for the Clippers or Thunder.
By Anthony Slater