Players throughout the NBA over the past week have shown sympathy in various ways for the victims of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Many have expressed their condolences through the social media site Twitter. Kevin Durant famously paid homage to those who lost their lives by writing the town's name on his shoes during a game last Friday
Chicago center Joakim Noah, citing disdain for gun violence, recently decided to retire a celebration he regularly performs after the Bulls make momentous shots. The routine is an elaborate whirling hand gesture in which Noah shapes his fingers on both hands like pistols and pretends to fire the make-believe guns before slowly but emphatically holstering his hands at his hips.
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook employs a similar celebration but not as complex. Westbrook simply blows on both hands after making 3-pointers and emphatically “holsters” his hands at his hips.
Westbrook, however, has continued his celebration, and while sympathetic to the issue said he does not plan on stopping it.
“I don't know why he does it,” Westbrook said of Noah. “It's different. I don't know what he's doing. I don't do all that (extra motioning). But, nah, never because I don't have (imaginary) guns. I'm shooting the 3. I don't think about it like that. I never have (related it to guns).”
BROOKS DIDN'T MIND DURANT'S TECH
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he didn't have an issue with Durant's late-game technical foul Thursday at Minnesota. Durant was whistled for the infraction when he slammed the ball and voiced his displeasure at a charging violation in the final three minutes.
“That doesn't happen often,” Brooks said. “One of the things I'm proud of with our guys is we play extremely hard. We don't point fingers and we just play every possession as best we can. The heat of the emotion got to us a couple of times, but it's nothing that I have to bring up to address because it happens (seldom). That was a tough call. Kevin was attacking the basket. But J.J. (Barea) is a tough kid. He steps up and takes charges.”
Barea missed the ensuing technical foul shot, and the Wolves ultimately got just one free throw from Kevin Love once they were awarded the ball.
JACKSON ‘SOLID,' COACH SAYS
Reggie Jackson was hard on himself following Thursday's loss at Minnesota, primarily because he was unhappy with his fourth-quarter defense on Barea.
The 6-foot Wolves point guard scored 14 of his 18 points in the final period, including 12 straight during one stretch that would ultimately snap the Thunder's 12-game winning streak.
“We missed some team assignments, but I definitely take it personal with whoever I'm checking,” Jackson said. “So I definitely take the blame for letting him get hot like that.”
Brooks, though, said Jackson wasn't bad.
“He was solid,” Brooks said. “He didn't make too many mistakes. He played hard and he did a lot of good things. It's something that we can look at and see how we can improve his game and the team.”