Amir Johnson was taken aback by the news.
The 76ers post player resides in Las Vegas during the offseason, some five to 10 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. Johnson never envisioned that he would have to talk about a shooting rampage in the city he loves.
But that’s what happened Monday afternoon.
A gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, which overlooks the Las Vegas Strip, opened fire on a country music festival Sunday night. He killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 more in the deadliest massing shooting in modern American history. The gunman, who was identified by police as Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nev., was later found dead in his hotel room.
“You never thought this would happen,” said Johnson, who lived in Vegas for three years. “But in today’s world now, it’s just a lot of stuff that’s happening, a lot of protests going on. It’s just stuff that keeps on happening, man.
“I got two kids and it’s almost kind of scary, them growing up in today’s world. All you can do is keep them safe and keep your head on a swivel.”
Johnson’s mother was in Vegas this past weekend. She doesn’t live there, but was in town for a convention.
“Thank God she was all right,” he said. “My best friend was out there, too.”
Johnson doesn’t have a solution for the violence. He thinks stricter gun laws might help.
It’s just a sad thing,” he said. “It makes you want to cry sometimes just to see stuff happening.”
Brown: Embiid looks good in scrimmage
Sixers center Joel Embiid and reserve swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot were limited to half-court, five-on-five scrimmages during Monday’s practice.
Embiid, who’s recovering from March left knee surgery, also participated in Friday’s half-court scrimmage. This was the first time scrimmaging for Luwawu-Cabarrot (right knee patellar tendinitis).
“Joel looked good,” coach Brett Brown said. “Timmy looked like he hasn’t played in a while, but Joel looked good.”
Luwawu-Cabarrot hasn’t played since working out with France’s national team in July. The Frenchman was preparing for August’s FIBA Eurobasket.
On Monday, Brown said Embiid’s physical presence and competitiveness were on full display in the scrimmage.
Making something out of nothing?
Brown thinks people are overreacting to Markelle Fultz’s attempt to tweak his shot.
In Sunday’s scrimmage, the first-overall pick appeared to have a higher and quicker release point on his shot, compared to his lone season at Washington. Brown was asked after the scrimmage whether he was comfortable with the point guard’s new shot. The coach responded no and added that the team would get it back on track.
His comments appeared to become a big deal. So he was asked again about Fultz’s shooting form following Monday’s practice.
“He is trying to come into the league and make improvements and all of the other stuff that he does, and people just really find interest in this,” Brown said. “I don’t completely not understand, but I feel like all of the guys have had issues with trying to grow their game.
“But developing Markelle for me is obviously huge and we going to continue to work on his shot.”