Michael Lee reported on Friday:
Al Thornton had a brief encounter with the woman who hit him with a car on Thursday evening. He hopped on the hood, wrapped his arms around a side to hold on, then looked at her through the windshield. Thornton had an understandable reaction when the woman told him that she didn’t see the 6-foot-8, 225 pound forward.
“I was looking directly in the window,” Thornton said. “I was like ‘You didn’t see me? What are you doing? A tall black guy walking and you didn’t see me?’ “
Thornton said he was walking from practice at George Mason’s Patriot Center, wearing his shorts and sandles, and heading up a hill toward the team hotel on campus when he saw the car approaching. It was raining, but Thornton said he assumed that she had seen him. “But she didn’t,” he said. “She was in a rush. I think she was late for class.”
Thornton said the car was traveling at about 20 miles per hour when it nicked his right knee. If the woman had been driving faster or his natural instinct to just jump out of the way hadn’t snapped in, Thornton possibly could’ve been seriously injured.
“Seriously, that could have been my career,” Thornton said. “Neither one of us got hurt, so that was a blessing.”
He didn’t miss any practice time, and he was the last player to leave the court on Saturday, shooting jumpers for nearly an hour. Since he survived unscathed, Thornton has been hearing numerous jokes from teammates and coaches.
“They was giving me a hard time,” Thornton said. Wizards assistant Randy Wittman “said, ‘Out of 20 years I’ve been coaching basketball, that’s the first time I ever heard that happening. One of my players getting hit by a car.’ “
Coach Flip Saunders said Thornton has been fine since the accident. “He’s just Superman. Jumps over cars, I guess.”