During their Game 5, series-clinching win over Dallas in the Western Conference playoffs, the Houston Rockets Twitter account taunted the Mavericks by posting an emoji of a pistol next to a horse with the caption, “Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon.”
The Mavericks responded on their Twitter account, “@HoustonRockets Not very classy, but we still wish you guys the best of luck in the next round.”
The Rockets, embarrassed, deleted the tweet and apologized 33 minutes after their initial tweet with another:
Our Tweet earlier was in very poor taste & not indicative of the respect we have for the @dallasmavs & their fans. We sincerely apologize.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) April 29, 2015
Houston’s Twitter account may have evidenced some hostility, but none of that was shown on the floor after the game. Players from both teams warmly congratulated each other. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, who has remained close with Rockets coach Kevin McHale from their days as teammates with the Boston Celtics, asserted that Houston had the talent to win the NBA Championship. McHale responded in turn by lauding the Mavericks, including Dirk Nowitzki, whom he called a champion.