It was hard to watch the Bulls’ 102-97 win Friday night over the Charlotte Hornets and not think about the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed. And as the night wore on, more and more reports rolled in about the horrific events in France.
It’s a night that touched players on both teams deeply. The Bulls’ Joakim Noah and the Hornets’ Nicolas Batum have French roots, and both played with heavy hearts.
“I’m not sure (what happened). I just know it’s very, very sad what’s going on in Paris,” said Noah, who grabbed 18 rebounds and handed out six assists. “A lot of people died for no reason. We’re not really sure exactly what happened. Just calling family before the game and making sure they’re all right.”
Noah said his family is OK, and so did Batum. The Hornets swingman said he was watching the soccer match that was attacked and it “was like movie stuff or something like that because it was too crazy to believe.”
“Until the last minute before I got to the game I was on my phone,” said Batum, who scored 28 points. “My sister lives close by where one of the attacks happened. I have family over there, I have friends over there, and the first thing I did after I came back in the locker room (after the game) was check my phone again to see if everything’s still good. So it was a tough day.
“It’s still a tough day for us. I think about it all game. I wanted to show them in my way that we’re strong.”
Pau Gasol was also moved by what happened. He tried to keep his mind on the game and succeeded to some extent, but what occurred overseas wasn’t going away.
“Obviously, you try to focus in and do what you have to do but at the same time your mind… it’s there,” Gasol said. “Your heart is there and you see it and you know there are a lot of people are suffering at this moment. A lot of people died and just overall devastating news. Hopefully at one point this kind of attacks stop. It’s just not human. Not fair.”