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NBA teams' misguided 9/11 tributes

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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If people thought that a golf course advertising a $9.11 special on 9/11 was cause for uproar, then this post on the Los Angeles Lakers' official Twitter account is sure to result in a few angry phone calls and emails:

The post has already been deleted, but thankfully Deadspin preserved the screen grab you see above before it could be erased from the Internet. I'm not so sure what the Lakers were going for, but their approach to the 9/11 tribute was certainly original.

The Lakers weren't the only NBA team to take an unconventional approach to remembering 9/11, though. The Phoenix Suns posted their own #NEVERFORGET photo featuring their gorilla mascot. Like the Lakers, the Suns deleted their post, but at least theirs included an American flag:

And then there was Knicks swingman J.R. Smith, who certainly meant well when he posted this photo to Instagram in honor of 9/11 victims, but probably should have consulted a dictionary before urging fans to "celebrate" the anniversary:

So, a note to other pro sports franchises and their players going forward: Commemorating 9/11 on Twitter is fine, but if you can, for one post, try to make it about the day, not your team. And never hesitate to ask if you don't know what a word means.

Update: Lakers spokesman sent an email to USA Today apologizing on behalf of the team for the embarrassing incident.

"We apologize to anyone who took this differently than we intended and were therefore offended by it," he wrote. "We used a photo of how we commemorated 9/11 in the 2001-02 season, shortly after the tragedy occurred, because we wanted to show our support of what we felt at that time and continue to feel now. Out of respect for the intensely personal nature of how people remember this day, and that we recognize that not everyone understood the intent of our message, we pulled down our tweet and photo. Ultimately, our intent was to honor the spirit of remembering a day that we should all never forget."

Tagged: Lakers, Suns

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