Caron Butler spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, battling through the playoffs with many of the guys who are now shrouded in the middle of the Donald Sterling controversy.
And as the current Thunder forward watched Sunday’s emotional game between the Clippers and Warriors, he fully supported the silent stand by his former teammates against Sterling’s racially charged comments, which were exposed over the weekend.
“Those my brothers still,” Butler said on Monday. “We still have relationships outside of basketball. So I always pull for them, what they decide to do off the court.”
Clipper players wore black socks and wristbands as a sign of silent protest. They also turned their shooting shirts inside out so the Clippers name and logo couldn’t be seen.
“When I got news, I thought it was just a bad situation, an unfortunate situation,” Butler said. “And I agree with my peers all around the league. There’s no room in our game for that or our society.”
Butler said, during his time in Los Angeles, he didn’t know Sterling well enough to have any idea of his personal ideologies.
“No,” he said. “Didn’t know him. I just knew he was the owner and knew him like that. That’s it.”
JACKSON TAKES BLAME FOR BENCH STRUGGLES
Reggie Jackson said after Saturday’s Game 4 that he took responsibility for the Thunder’s bench struggles in its first-round series with Memphis.
After matching Memphis’ reserves with 25 points, the Thunder’s bench was outscored, 67-23, by the Grizzlies’ reserves in Games 2 and 3. The Thunder’s bench went 8-for-34 from the field (23.5 percent) in those two games.
“I definitely take it personal...I’ve taken our shooting woes completely on my shoulders,” Jackson said. “I’ve felt like maybe I haven’t delivered the ball at the right times or in their shooting pockets, or I’m not making the right plays. My minutes have been cut because of it. I’ve just been thinking about it non-stop. The media doesn’t really let us live it down. We knew we were going to have to step it up.”
Jackson did just that in Game 4, scoring a game- and career-high 32 to help the Thunder’s bench outscore the Grizzlies reserves, 43-30.
NBA TV BLACKOUT
The Oklahoma City Thunder is making its first playoff appearance on NBA TV for Game 5, but the telecast will be blacked out in the Fox Sports Oklahoma viewing area.
The only telecast regionally will be on FSOK with announcers Brian Davis, Grant Long and reporter Lesley McCaslin.
Kevin Calabro, a former TV and radio voice of the Seattle SuperSonics, Mike Fratello, a former Memphis Grizzlies coach, and reporter Lewis Johnson are calling the game for NBA TV.
Game 6 will again be televised on NBA TV unless a Game 6 is not necessary in one or both of the first-round series between Chicago and Washington or the Clippers and Golden State. If a Game 6 is not needed in one or both of the other two series, Game 6 of the Thunder-Grizzlies will be on TNT.
The game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. unless Washington wins its series against Chicago in five. Under that scenario only, tipoff would be at 7 p.m.
Kevin Durant on three consecutive overtimes in the Thunder-Grizzlies series — “It’s nerve-racking, to be honest. But it’s great basketball, man. Both teams are coming out there and putting it all out on the line trying to win a basketball game. We forced three of them, and for us to finally win one on the third try gives us a good feeling.”
The Grizzlies’ team plane was redirected to Tulsa on Monday afternoon due to bad weather in the Oklahoma City area. After a near hour delay, the team landed in Oklahoma City more than two hours after its scheduled arrival time...The Thunder is averaging just 19.5 points in the opening period and hasn’t reached 20 points in the first quarter since Game 1...Oklahoma City has outrebounded Memphis 51.5 to 46 in this series.