CAMDEN, N.J. -- When Sixers forward Amir Johnson bought an offseason home minutes off the Las Vegas Strip three years ago, he never imagined there would be an attack in the city.
On Sunday night, more than 50 people were killed and over 500 hurt when a gunman opened fire into a crowd of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
“Devastating,” Johnson said.
Johnson was visibly shaken by the incident Monday afternoon at practice. His mother texted him from Las Vegas to let him know she was safe. Those who were harmed were on his mind.
“It almost leaves you lost for words and it had me tear up this morning just to kind of see, just think about the people that had the kids and all that shooting, shooting on the Strip,” he said. “It’s a very sad moment.”
Johnson said he plans to research more details of the shooting as they become available. He pointed to the possibility of tougher gun laws.
“I feel like we should make the gun laws a little bit more strict because I hate to hear stuff like this,” Johnson said. “With the school shootings, too, and they have guns in the school, they should just clean up this mess, man.”
The Las Vegas area has become an offseason home for many players around the NBA. Many, like Johnson, train at the well-known Impact Basketball on East Sunset Road in the summer. Las Vegas is also the site of Summer League as well as Team USA Basketball events.
Johnson, 30, didn’t think twice about being in the city. Now he does.
“It almost kind of second guesses you like, ‘Man, should I go to Vegas?’” Johnson said. “Because people [are] constantly coming in and out, hanging on the Strip. Then you’ve got to kind of second guess, man, maybe another massacre shooting is going to come out.
“It’s really scary, man, when you think about all the stuff that’s going on and now you’ve got to be worried about protesting, you’ve got hurricanes coming, and you just want to be safe. All you can do is really sit back and pray and keep your head on a swivel.”
The Sixers discussed the shooting before practice as part of a regular team discussion on current events.
“I would have never thought Vegas,” Johnson said. “Vegas is the fun spot.”