Playing their first home game since a shooting in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday killed 12, the Clippers wore T-shirts on Saturday with “ENOUGH” written across the chest and the names of the victims on the back.
The Milwaukee Bucks also went through warmups wearing the shirts, whose message echoed the “Enough” helmet stickers both the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild wore at Staples Center on Thursday night.
The shirts weren’t the only statement made by the Clippers on Saturday.
The shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill had left the organization “heartbroken,” the in-arena announcer said before a moment of silence.
“The politicians have it on pre-dial now,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of their offers of “thoughts and prayers.”
“They say the same thing and we don’t do anything,” Rivers said. “I like that we voted. It was a big outcome and I think in two years, we’ve got to do it even more. I think that’s important to send messages and get things done. I think that’s the only way we can make change right now.
“It’s sad. Mental Illness is sad, but [lack of] gun control is sadder. This whole thing about, ‘I guess it wasn’t a terrorist attack,’ just infuriates me. If that was your child, I’d bet they think it was a terrorist attack.”
Forward Tobias Harris said the entire locker room was supportive of wearing the shirts.
“As basketball players we have a platform to express our voice and our opinion about it and we believe it’s something that has to be brought up and get under control,” Harris said. “At the end of the day action has to be taken from this because there can be only so many prayers and so many condolences that go out. Action has to take place.”
Butler gives Philly a ‘closer’
News of Minnesota’s proposed trade of Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia broke Saturday morning — “four or five days” after Rivers discussed it with Tom Thibodeau, his former assistant who is Minnesota’s coach and team president.
“I would say this, it gives [Philadelphia] a closer,” Rivers said. “Jimmy Butler’s a closer and every good team has to have one of those. Before the season started that was the question, you know. At the end of the game if you can get it to [Joel] Embiid at the right spot he can close but bigs are tough so now they actually have a closer and that’s going to make them really good.
“You think of the games they lost this year and last year, last three minutes, four minutes, because they couldn’t close games. Now they have Jimmy, that’s going to make a big difference.”
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team joined Toronto as the class of the Eastern Conference through the season’s first three weeks, was less interested in considering how Butler’s addition might benefit Philadelphia.
“It’s for the Sixers to figure out,” he said. “I’m sure it’ll make them better.”
The trade, which wouldn’t become official until Monday, ends nearly two months of speculation that followed Butler’s trade demand. The Clippers were reportedly a destination the All-Star guard preferred, but the teams hadn’t held substantive trade talks in weeks, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly.