Though fans can sometimes expect some sort of roster change for a team ahead of the playoffs, the Oklahoma City Thunder will instead undergo a different change.
According to The Oklahoman’s Erik Horne, the Thunder have suspended television play-by-play announcer Brian Davis for Game 1 of the Western Conference first round for his recent comments during an OKC game against the Memphis Grizzlies:
Thunder will suspend TV play-by-play announcer Brian Davis for Game 1 of Western Conference first round. Thunder radio play-by-play announcer Matt Pinto will take Davis’ place on FS Oklahoma broadcast, will be simulcast on radio.
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) April 13, 2018
The suspendable comments made by Brian Davis were him calling Russell Westbrook “out of his cotton-picking mind” during the first half against the Grizzlies. You can hear Davis’ remarks below.
OKC Thunder Announcer Says Russell Westbrook ‘Is Out of His Cotton Picking Mind’! ??????? pic.twitter.com/oUfyXJPlhc
— SFTY (@SFTYMag) April 12, 2018
Plain and simple, these comments from Brian Davis are unacceptable and should never be said, let alone on a live broadcast. Though cotton-picking is apparently a synonym for “damned” in parts of the South, many people still called for his firing and at least OKC took some action and suspended him for a game.
Davis, who has been OKC’s play-by-play broadcaster for a decade now, apologized for his recent lapse in judgment and apologized for his offensive comments. Following from The Oklahoman’s Brett Dawson:
Statement from Thunder play by play announcer Brian Davis. pic.twitter.com/NHIuxT3dHp
— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) April 13, 2018
Russell Westbrook himself responded to Davis’ comments, acknowledging that he’s been here for a while but that doesn’t make what he said acceptable. Following from The Oklahoman’s Erik Horne:
“Brian has been here for a while. What he said wasn’t OK,” Westbrook said Saturday at Thunder practice. “We all understand that.
“But he definitely came in and talk(ed) to us. The team has made the decision to do what they need to do. We just have to move on from it.”
The Thunder will kick off their first-round series against the Utah Jazz in Oklahoma City on Sunday at 6:30 PM.