The NBA has launched an investigation into recent Twitter threats made toward the Washington Wizards following their first-round playoff series win over the Chicago Bulls, according to The Associated Press.
According to the report, the tweets were sent after Washington's series-clinching Game 5 win over Chicago on Tuesday. Once discovered, they were turned over to the league, per Wizards spokesman Scott Hall.
Wizards center Marcin Gortat commented on the scary situation following Thursday's practice, saying that there was "one gentleman who really threatened us, actually made some terrorist threats to us."
Gortat added, per the AP, via ESPN.com: "He was saying there was a bomb on the plane and stuff, that my country's going to get bombed and all my family's going to die, just stuff like that."
Gortat, a native of Poland, also said that "some people" had already visited the person, but the NBA has not released any further information on the matter.
While it remains to be seen what will come of the threats and the league's investigation, Gortat and the Wizards are clearly locked into playoff basketball, according to The Washington Post's Michael Lee:
For a team that advanced to 2nd round of playoffs for 1st time in 9 years, #wizards were very subdued in locker room. Like they expect more— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 30, 2014
Washington has advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2005 and awaits the winner of the first-round playoff series between the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. If the Pacers, who trail 3-2 in the series, can force a Game 7 back in Indiana on Saturday, the Wizards could potentially have a full week off to rest up.
Although the threats are unsettling, they are likely little more than spineless intimidation tactics, and are unlikely to shake up a team that is rounding into form at the right time. The Wizards' stout defense and balanced offensive output—all five starters averaged double-digit scoring in the first round—against the Bulls certainly made them look the part of a legitimate threat in a shallow Eastern conference.
Regardless of who they meet in the next round, Washington has a real shot at making a deep run this postseason.
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