Thomas makes second political statement

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Thomas makes second political statement

BUFFALO Tim Thomas is at it again.

The 37-year-old goaltender only just recently rode out the storm created by his decision to skip a White House visit with his Bruins teammates several weeks ago. But on Wednesday he decided to weigh in on a political issue via his Facebook page.

Thomas wont be getting the start against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night at the First Niagara Center, so perhaps he had some extra free time to surf the web and update his social media pages. Thomas wrote out a quick Facebook message hitting on a hot-button political, including an ominous quote from a survivor of Nazi Germany:

I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom.
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
-- by Martin Niemller, prominent German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, best known as the author of the poem First they came....

Thomas' post appears to be about President Barack Obamas new rule on contraceptives that requires health insurance plans, including those offered by Catholic charities, hospitals and universities, to provide birth control to women. The Catholic church clearly isn't in favor of the rule, and Thomas seems to be standing with the church.

While this would all appear to be in line with Thomas personal beliefs and politics, there are a few things that could rub people the wrong way about the post.

First off taking an argument over contraceptives being offered to women and comparing it to Fascist Nazi Germany with reference to the Holocaust could be seen as bothersome to some and wholly off-base to others.

When Thomas skipped the Bruins' White House visit, he insisted over and over again after the fact that hes much more comfortable talking about hockey rather than politics. He even had interviews cut short recently when the subject matter turned to things outside of the realm of hockey.

The thinking was that the Bs goaltender made his statement and had nothing more to say on the matter.

Now this.

If hes continuing to post such material on his Facebook page, then it appears as though he should be a little more open -- a little more willing -- to discuss these topics when asked to address them off the ice.

In the land of the free and the home of the brave Thomas is welcome to speak about whatever he wants through whichever lens he chooses. Thats the American way and everyone should be 100 percent behind that.

But its also fairly disingenuous to act surprised -- or annoyed -- when these same subjects keep coming up in locker room conversations before and after hockey games. Each hot-button posting also takes the risk of blowing up into a much bigger team distraction depending on the subject matter and the context.There's also the matter of posting something sure to gather attention at 1:30 p.m. on the afternoon of a game day with his goaltendingpartner, Tuukka Rask, set tomake the start. Doesn't that post -- on some level --unfairly take some of the attention away from hisgoalie tandem partner?

If Thomas really wants the entire White House brouhaha to go away he certainly has a funny way of showing it.

Or perhaps he doesnt want it to go away at all.

OFFSEASON

Durant leads U.S. to second exhibition rout, 106-57 over China

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Durant leads U.S. to second exhibition rout, 106-57 over China

LOS ANGELES - Just two games into the U.S. basketball team's pre-Olympic tour, coach Mike Krzyzewski already sees the start of something big.

Kevin Durant scored 19 points, Klay Thompson added 17 and the Americans rolled to a second straight blowout exhibition victory, 106-57 over China on Sunday night.

DeMar DeRozan scored 13 points in his hometown, and DeMarcus Cousins had 12 points and seven rebounds in the second stop on the five-city tour leading the Americans to Rio de Janeiro. The victory over an overmatched opponent was impressive, but Krzyzewski liked it more for the composed, cohesive manner in which the new teammates worked together.

"We should have won, but the way we won was excellent," Krzyzewski said. "We're really growing together as a group."

After opening their showcase tour by trouncing Argentina in Las Vegas on Friday night, the U.S. team posted another rout at a packed Staples Center. Krzyzewski is finding it difficult to disguise his early optimism, praising his team's work in their brief practice time together.

And while they're still learning their teammates' tendencies and solidifying player rotations, the U.S. team looked remarkably connected for long stretches against China, which has no current NBA players.

Durant noticed it, as did Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who kicked off the festivities by blocking a shot on China's first possession and throwing down an alley-oop dunk on the Americans' first possession.

"We've only been together a week, but it seems like we've been teammates for years," Jordan said.

Jordan scored 12 points and led a strong defensive effort with three blocks for the Americans, who held the Chinese to 30.9 percent shooting. Krzyzewski believes the American team will excel at defensive switching because of its abundance of versatile players.

"I think we're learning more about one another, and our defense was there pretty much the whole game," Krzyzewski said.

The Americans haven't lost a game since the 2006 world championships, winning 65 straight games. They're 47-1 in exhibitions since NBA stars took over the roster in 1992, going undefeated since 2004.

While LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard all declined the chance to play in Rio, the Americans who accepted the opportunity appear to be serious about winning without some of the nation's top stars.

"We're young, but we've got a bunch of seasoned pros," said Kyrie Irving, who had 10 points and four assists. "We've been on a lot of journeys, and we've crossed paths before, but now we're all coming together at the right time."

Anthony was the only holdover in the Americans' starting lineup from Las Vegas while Krzyzewski works on chemistry and coordination. He put Paul George in with the starters alongside Anthony, Jordan, Kyle Lowry and DeRozan, whose family watched from courtside.

Both teams had early shooting struggles, but the Americans took charge with impressive speed late in the first quarter.

Durant, one of the two returning American gold medalists from London, heard boos from the LA crowd during pregame introductions. He quickly found his outside stroke with 14 points and four assists in the first half, and Cousins overpowered the Chinese down low for 12 first-half points on the way to a 55-29 halftime lead.

The Chinese team's most recognizable name to North Americans is Yi Jianlian, the Milwaukee Bucks' choice with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 draft. He spent five seasons with four NBA teams before heading back to the Guangdong Southern Tigers.

Yi led the Chinese with 18 points. Zhou Qi, the 7-foot-2 center drafted by the Houston Rockets in the second round last month, scored two points on 1-for-6 shooting. Exciting guard Zhao Jiwei scored 14 points.

The teams meet again Tuesday in Oakland, where Durant will play in front of his new home fans for the first time since defecting from Oklahoma City to the Golden State Warriors earlier this month.

They'll also meet Aug. 6 in the opening game of Olympic competition in Brazil.