June 05, 2009
Orlando Magic reserve guard Mickael Pietrus(notes), whose nationality and play earned him the nickname "Air France," honored the memory of Air France Flight 447 passengers on Thursday by wearing sneakers with "AF 447" on the sides for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
As you no doubt heard earlier this week, Flight 447 left Rio de Janeiro Sunday night en route to Paris with 228 passengers on board, but crashed over the Atlantic Ocean after flying into towering thunderstorms. Brazilian and French search teams still have found no debris confirmed to have come from the Airbus A330 jet.
"I wanted to send my prayers to all those people who lost their lives on that plane," Pietrus said, according to Matt Steinmetz of NBA FanHouse. "I know that families are having hard times right now and hopefully they'll have better days in the future. ... Life is short and sometimes people suffer. And you've got to try to do the right thing."
Pietrus originally planned to ditch his regular Kobe-endorsed Hyperdunks for some old Jordans, but for whatever reason didn't. Instead, he told reporters that he'll wear the "AF 447" tribute shoes for the remainder of the series. Classy move.