Thunder, Grizzlies honor Terence Crutcher with family courtside

TULSA, Okla. -- The family of Terence Crutcher sat courtside Thursday as the Oklahoma City Thunder took the court for a preseason game wearing "TC" patches on their warm-ups.

Their opponents, the Memphis Grizzlies, also wore "TC" pins on their warm-up shirts in honor of Crutcher, who was fatally shot by a police officer Sept. 16 in Tulsa.

According to a Thunder team official, with Thursday's game being held in Tulsa, players approached management with the idea of raising awareness and came up with the idea of a patch. The Crutcher family were guests of the organization.

"Once you're here in Tulsa, you have to show respect to the family and show your regards and send your love," Thunder star Russell Westbrook said after the game. "Especially me personally, I thought it was very, very important to be able to do that and show that we support them and we are behind his family and support anything they need from us or the organization, we can help them out."

Memphis coach David Fizdale said the Thunder approached the Grizzlies about joining the tribute.

"We have a platform to bring light to dark situations," Fizdale said. "We have to be socially conscious. A lot of these guys come from these communities. It's no shot at police officers or anything like that. It's just bringing light to things that aren't right. We have to recognize and society has to appreciate athletes that aren't just athletes. If you go back through our history, some of the biggest impacts in our society were made by athletes taking a stand against social injustice. Well, it's happening again, and these guys are stepping forward, and I'm just really proud of all of them for having that kind of awareness and doing it the right way."

Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph said it was important to show support for Crutcher's family.

"I think it's important, man, with what's going on in this world today, and to show the family that we support and care. Just not the family, but [show] the world with all the stuff going on with police and shootings," he said.

Westbrook previously had been outspoken in the immediate aftermath of Crutcher's death, reposting on Instagram a message from pastor John Gray, while also speaking about the situation.

"I think a lot of people don't realize the families of all these young men, their mothers, their brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts -- I think it's very important that we understand how important the families feel about the situations," Westbrook said at the Thunder's media day in September. "And me being an African-American athlete and having a voice, I think it's important that I make a stand and know that something has to change. I think I don't have an answer. Obviously, nobody has an answer -- if that's the case, it would have been solved -- but I think it's important that we figure out what we can do to help improve what's going on."

Former NBA player and Tulsa native Etan Thomas performed an invocation prior to the game and called for unity and for people to pray for the Crutcher family.

ESPN's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.