Golden State coach Steve Kerr sat in a cramped interview room 90 minutes earlier than a Thunder-Warriors sport in Oklahoma Metropolis. Kerr was first requested about his workforce’s sizzling begin, after which got here a query about Oklahoma loss of life row inmate Julius Jones.
The query was requested by a Bay-area reporter, displaying simply how mainstream Jones’ case has turn out to be amongst NBA gamers and coaches, in addition to different high-profile supporters.
“There’s undoubtedly an consciousness stage of what’s occurring,” Kerr stated.
NBA gamers with Oklahoma ties together with Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Trae Younger and Buddy Hield have all voiced their help for Jones, who shall be executed Thursday until Gov. Kevin Stitt grants Jones clemency.
Jones is on loss of life row for the 1999 deadly capturing of Paul Howell throughout a carjacking in Edmond. Jones has maintained his innocence.
Thunder coach Mark Daigneault stated he and his workforce have adopted Jones’ case.
Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander took a photograph with Jones’ household after the Warriors sport. Golden State star Stephen Curry spoke with Jones on the telephone that night time.
“We speak about most of these issues often,” Daigneault instructed The Oklahoman. “Clearly there’s a sufferer within the case, and that household deserves justice, however a part of justice is equity, and we’d like to have the ability to anticipate that the system in place is offering that. Particularly in a case with these specific penalties.”
Jones would turn out to be the second Oklahoma loss of life row inmate executed within the final month.
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-1 in recommending that Stitt grant clemency to Jones and cut back Jones’ sentence to life in jail with the potential of parole.
Daigneault was requested how the Thunder has come to find out about Jones’ case.
“We’ve got an organizational tradition of attempting to get our gamers related info in order that they will make knowledgeable selections, knowledgeable opinions, and so I’d say that’s enterprise as traditional organizationally.”
Hield, a former OU star now with the Sacramento Kings, wrote a letter to Stitt in April 2020.
“As an immigrant who has been given unbelievable alternatives in the US and specifically, Oklahoma, I’ve nice appreciation for the thought of the ‘American Dream,’” Hield wrote. “I additionally really feel compelled to talk out when, as on this case, we fall wanting our beliefs.”
Westbrook additionally wrote a letter, calling Jones’ conviction a “deeply flawed course of.” Westbrook requested Stitt to “prolong mercy” to Jones.
“I imagine the state’s legal justice system is on the verge of finishing up a grave injustice,” Westbrook wrote, “one that’s inconsistent with the values of the Oklahoma I do know and love.”
Thunder vs. Rockets
TIPOFF: 7 p.m. Wednesday at Paycom Middle (Bally Sports activities Oklahoma)