When the Houston Rockets beat the mighty Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night in a nail-biting finish, Chris Paul didn’t spend his post-game interview bragging about his team’s victory.
Instead, the nine-time NBA All-Star player remembered the victims of last week’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
“The city of Houston, we’re going to need you in Game 5. The city has been through a tough time with things in Santa Fe, but hopefully basketball can be a way that people can come and ease their minds, if only for a second,” Paul said from the court at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. “Houston, we’re coming home.”
— ESPN (@espn) May 23, 2018
On Friday, 10 people were fatally shot and 13 others wounded when 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire at Santa Fe High School in the sixth-deadliest school shooting in American history. Santa Fe is located 35 miles south of the Toyota Center stadium where the Houston Rockets play.
Paul expressed both his condolences and his frustration over the number of school shootings.
“First and foremost, aside from the playoffs that’s going on, which is minor compared to what’s taken place down in Santa Fe,” he said, according to SI. “Our prayers go out to the victims and the families having to deal with that situation. We have a lot of fan support there, and those people come out and support us night in and night out, so this is very minor compared to what those people are dealing with.
“It’s scary that that’s becoming the norm here. We got to do something about it because I can’t imagine something like that taking place with my kids,” he added.
Having beat the reigning NBA champions 95-92 in a scrappy comeback win in the final seconds of Tuesday’s game, the Rockets now return to their home court in Houston on Thursday. The Western Conference Finals are now tied 2-2.
Point guard Paul hammered home 27 points while his teammate, James Harden, boasted 30. On the Warriors side, Steph Curry had 28 and Kevin Durant 27.
“I thought this is the highest level we’ve ever played defensively, without a doubt, because we’re talking about the best offensive team ever,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game.