In the waning moments of Game 3 between the Lakers and the Thunder, Steve Blake was open. Kobe Bryant was not, no matter what Lakers coach Mike Brown says. With just five seconds left to inbound the ball, Metta World found Blake wide open in the near corner and made the obvious pass, rather than attempting a risky crosscourt skip pass to Bryant. Despite having a terrific look, as Russell Westbrook had sagged too far toward the paint, Blake missed his 3-point shot off the rim. The Lakers went on to lose to the Thunder, 77-75.
Kobe appeared frustrated with the play as he walked off the court. Presumably, Brown was as well, especially if he really thought that Bryant had gotten open as he flared toward the weak side. But any frustration or even anger felt in the Lakers' locker room paled in comparison to the threatening and profane messages sent to Blake and his wife Kristen via Twitter after the game.
"Now that I've successfully blocked over 500 people it's time to say my prayers and go to bed," she wrote. "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you."
Blake, who scored 19 points including five 3-pointers in the Lakers' Game 7 win over the Nuggets, responded to the messages after Thursday's practice.
"It's pretty disappointing that there's a lot of hateful people out there. You move on," he said. "I just don't appreciate it when it's toward my family. You can come at me all you want. But when you say things about my wife and my kids, it makes me upset."
Blake also told reporters that he never saw the tweets until his wife showed him.
Sadly, this is nothing new in the world of sports and Twitter. Chicago's C.J. Watson received death threats via the social media site following the Bulls' season-ending loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals was the target of several racist tweets during the team's postseason run and San Francisco 49ers receiver Kyle Williams found himself facing death threats and hateful messages after the team's playoff exit.