Sports News

Thunder cut ties with announcer suspended after Westbrook comment

Apr 27, 2018; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) dunks the ball during the first half of game six of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder won’t bring back television play-by-play announcer Brian Davis next season, the team announced this week.

Davis was suspended for Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs for an on-air comment he made during the team’s regular-season finale.

During that game, against Memphis, Davis said point guard Russell Westbrook was “out of his cotton-pickin’ mind” after Westbrook tallied an assist en route to averaging a triple-double for the second consecutive season.

The term is viewed by many as offensive as picking cotton was a primary duty of black slaves in the South. Davis is white and Westbrook is black.

“The Thunder has made a decision to go in a different direction. We greatly appreciate Brian’s contributions to the Thunder organization over the past 10 years and we wish him well in the future. In conjunction with Fox Sports Oklahoma, the Thunder will now begin the search for a new play-by-play announcer,” the team’s statement read.

Davis had been the play-by-play announcer for the Thunder on Fox Sports Oklahoma for the last 10 years.

Michael Cage, the analyst on the broadcasts since 2014, is staying in his position.

--Field Level Media