ORLANDO — Before thenWarriors took on host Orlando, they couldn’t help talk about the deadly shooting in Newton, Conn. A gunman open fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, reportedly killing 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself.
It is one of the worst mass shootings in American history and its impact did not escape Golden State’s locker room.
For starters, I want to send thoughts and prayers to the people in Connecticut who were impacted by this tragedy,” coach Mark Jackson said during pregame interviews. “I’m praying for everyone in this world. It certainly is a tragedy, and I’m lifting those folks up.”
Jackson is one of several coaches on staff with children. Assistant coach Jerry DeGregorio used to live 20 minutes from the cite of the shooting. Point guard Stephen Curry and center Andris Biedrins also have small children.
Even rookies Draymond Green and Kent Bazemore were still in shock, pondering how something could happen.
“Not being able to drop your kids off at school and know that they’re going to be safe and you’ll be able to pick them up after school is a tough feeling to have,” Curry said. “All you can do is pray and hope they find some kind of comfort and peace in the situation, and that something happens that helps our nation become safer.”
Jackson — a pastor who has dealt first-hand with families that have experienced tragedy — seemed especially emotional before the game.
“I really pray for folks who are struggling on a daily basis and who have dark thoughts,” he said. “I pray for them to get help, because they need help and there are so many folks who they are impacting if they don’t seek help. I encourage the folks around them, who know that they need help, don’t try to be experts. Seek help. We don’t want to wind up with days like this.”