Tim Bontemps: Matisse Thybulle says he chose to put "vo…

More on Social Justice Messages

Josh Robbins: (1/2) These are the phrases and words Magic players have chosen to wear on their jerseys, per the team's Twitter account: D.J. Augustin: Equality Mo Bamba: Black Lives Matter Michael Carter-Williams: Liberation Gary Clark: Respect Us James Ennis: Justice Now
Josh Robbins: (2/2) Evan Fournier: Justice Melvin Frazier Jr.: Equality Markelle Fultz: Respect Us Aaron Gordon: Freedom Nikola Vucevic: Equality

NBA players had discussed the possibility of placing the names of the victims of police brutality on the backs of their jerseys, but instead were told that they could choose from a list of 29 social justice messages that were approved by the league. Roberts explained that the decision not to go with individual names was, in part, because, “My personal fears, there are a lot of brothers and sisters who have been killed. What if we exclude someone who was killed? George Floyd but not Tamir Rice?” Instead of offending the families that might be omitted, the NBA chose to remove the option. Baker was fine with that decision. “I kind of like that they didn’t do it,” she said. “As I said on the WNBA call, since that was their initial idea, let them have that, and let them be recognized that it’s Black women, because otherwise, they would’ve been overshadowed if the NBA decided to do that. So, let the women have that.”
WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson pitched the idea to the union’s executive committee and they all supported the effort. Jackson then sought permission from Palmer to use Taylor’s name on jerseys and T-shirts, a gesture that endeared the WNBA’s plans with the family. They agreed proceeds from sales of the shirts could go toward a newly-established Breonna Taylor foundation. “It was just an idea that really took off,” McCoughtry said. “It was one of those things, you heard Dwight Howard, some other NBA players, say, ‘Oh, it’s a distraction,’ and that kind of stuff. And I was like, ‘It’s not a distraction. We can use our platform, to play. People look up to us, they listen, they’re fans. We can use this.’ You see (Dwight’s) out there now, playing. It goes to show, our platforms are powerful. We have to use them. And we have to be grateful that we have jobs and go out there and perform.”
Will the NBA’s health and safety protocols be enough to ensure a coronavirus outbreak does not occur? To what extent will the NBA and the players continue to speak out on social justice issues? “I don’t know if you can really tell the story of the NBA restart without telling the story about how active these players, coaches and the league have been with the various causes and the social justice push,” Harlan said. “Their voices are enormous in this. Not only will we have ‘Black Lives Matter’ in bold print on the floor. We’ll have names, causes, feelings and thoughts on uniforms that these players want to portray and show. It is every bit as much the story as the teams reassembling, trying to stay healthy and getting back on the floor.”
“I think basketball is secondary,” said Portland guard CJ McCollum, a vice president of the National Basketball Players Association. “It’s our job,” he said. “Obviously we have a responsibility to fulfill those obligations. But it’s also our job to fulfill and protect our neighborhoods, and protect the people who look like us, and come from places like us, and don’t exactly have the same voices that we do. I think that that’s something that’s been on all of our minds. We’ve been very proactive about it. And me, a person who’s big on education, education reform, I’ve continued to try to have those conversations with like-minded people, people who care about education. We continue to figure out ways to collectively make an impact and making change. But there are people who are involved in prison reform. There are people involved in police reform, and so many other different things that are moreso up their alley. We continue to try to have those discussions, conversations. And the biggest thing for us is education. You want to be educated on the matters you’re speaking on, and really have a passion, and make sure that it’s a point of focus for you individually.”
For the restart of the NBA season, however, Morris is taking his name off the back of his jersey. Instead, he will display a social justice message: “Education Reform.” “This is bigger,” Morris told The Undefeated last week after practicing with the Clippers, who resume their season Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. “Obviously, all our purposes are bigger. Guys know who I am. The world knows who I am. I just want to address some social issues. … “Black Lives Matter. That’s first. People have lost their lives to senseless cop actions. That is first. I just wanted to do something deeper in the community. I am from that. So, I understand the transition. As a community, we can start there [with education reform] in doing some things.”
The social justice message will be placed over the number on the back of the players’ jerseys during the first four days of the resumed season. After that, a player who still wants to use a social justice message can have it above his jersey number on the back, while adding their last name on the bottom of the jersey. “I am going to continue to use it,” Morris said. “Four days, that is nothing. Everybody can tune in every other day and see that. As this message continues to get pushed and gets bigger, I’m just willing to wear it the entire season.”
Josh Lewenberg: OG Anunoby chose to wear "Say Their Names" on the back of his jersey for the restart. "I just feel that it's important that (the victims') names should be in the media, we should be talking about them, their situations, what happened, and just to raise awareness for everyone."
Green: You have on your bus Black Lives Matter. As a Canadian team, it doesn’t directly impact your team, because you’re in an entire different country. What made you guys take the stand and put it on your bus? I think one of 22 teams that actually went through with it. Where did that idea come from, and why did you guys feel the need to push that through? Ujiri: Thanks, Draymond. You’ve been unbelieve on this and what you’re speaking on, and I think the league is proud of you. For us, we said we were going to use the bubble as a statement, right? We said we’re going to use this place as a platform. And we thought that, coming in here, you have to make a statement. You have to, for me, you have to create awareness. What you guys are doing over there is creating awareness. You’re talking about this. And we have to continue to do that. And we thought, what greater way than to ride through Florida for three hours and show people? We know what’s going on in the country, and we’re heading to the bubble.
Ujiri: And what is going on here, what Adam Silver has done here to get the league back, we’re excited about that. But there’s something on our minds, too. And we wanted to show people that, as we come in – not just the Toronto Raptors, we represent the NBA – that there’s something that’s on the minds of all the players and all the teams.
The other question I could ask Lowry was this: With everything that’s going on, from living in a bubble, to the pandemic at large, to the ongoing push for social justice in which so many in the NBA have become so involved, could Lowry focus on and pursue the basketball goals he would normally have if none of these other things were going on? Here is what he said. “I think the social injustice is the message we are trying to send,” he began. “The Breonna Taylor situation, we want those cops arrested for the murder of her. But the basketball part is our salvation, and if we can go out there and use our message to make sure that we continue to push for that. Yes, we’re here to do our job, but we are also here to do another job and help our communities. If we’re going to be here, and I’m going to be here, then we’re going to focus on both things. I can say honestly that I’m going to focus on winning a championship and doing my postseason job, but I’m also going to focus on the things we’re down here for — voter suppression, education reform. I’m going to do both as best as I can.”
Tim Reynolds: Most popular social-awareness saying on jerseys for the NBA restart: Equality, 25% Black Lives Matter, 16% Also should be noted: 16% of the players here opted not to select a message.
Andrew Greif: The NBA has released a list of the messages worn by teams during the restart. (If a player isn't listed, it's because he opted not to wear one of the 29 NBA- and NBPA-approved messages.) The Clippers:

What social justice message are you going to have on the back of your Blazers jersey? Carmelo Anthony: I put two. It was either ‘Peace’ or ‘Freedom.’ I wish I could have done something else, put something else on there. But, I’m trying to put something that means something to me. That way I can be able to speak on why I got ‘Peace’ on the back of my jersey.
Duane Rankin: "Respect Us." Deandre Ayton plans to put that on the back of his jersey. Has multiple reasons. Respect each other, respect everybody and respect the #Suns. He thought about "Equality" but said "Respect Us" hits off and on the court for him. #Suns pic.twitter.com/8epPD2nrew
Gina Mizell: Ricky Rubio says he will wear “justice” on the back of his #Suns jersey. He added he was recently on a call with a group of players and Breonna Taylor’s mom and attorney. “It’s very important for us to speak up.”
Josh Lewenberg: Ibaka says he will wear "Respect Us" on the back of his jersey for the restart. "What is going on here is going on everywhere and I feel like we need respect." He said he hopes that message will resonate with kids in Africa. "I want them to know they deserve respect."
Tania Ganguli: “We need justice for Breonna Taylor,” will be Alex Caruso’s response to any basketball questions today, he says. He says players have collectively decided that’s a way that they can make an impact from inside the bubble.
NBA Bubble Life: marcus smart answered all his questions with “justice for breonna taylor” ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/GreGiKxzsQ

They saw the video screens surrounding the court, where it’s possible virtual fans will be shown during a game. They saw the bench area where seats will be spaced apart, nothing like the knee-to-knee setup on a normal NBA bench. The court reads Black Lives Matter just in front of a plexiglass box that encloses the scorer’s table. “I think it’s pretty cool how they’ll have the big monitors, where you can have your family, friends, fans, whoever, kind of be in the arena,” Davis said. “I think that’s a pretty dope idea. I know they’re still trying to figure out some things as far as lighting and sound and stuff. But I think the whole concept of it is pretty dope.”
Scott Agness: Myles Turner shared today he’s choosing to wear “Respect Us” on the back of his jersey in Orlando. This morning, I wrote about their options, how one will be auctioned off and they will get to keep one. Read + subscribe: fieldhousefiles.substack.com/p/nba-restart-…
Russell Westbrook: Honor the Gift is extremely proud to collaborate with the NBPA to create a collection of shirts that allow us players to shed light on social injustice, and honor the victims and families of those who continue to inspire us.

Ira Winderman: Jimmy Butler will wear "Butler" on the back of his jersey for NBA restart, an NBA source confirmed to the Sun Sentinel. Butler had wanted to leave the back of his jersey blank to stand with all who have dealt with systematic racism. Request was denied, as @Tim Reynolds reported.
Tim Reynolds: Per sources, it appears as of now that Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler's request to wear no name on the back of his jersey at the NBA restart will not be honored. The NBA and NBPA struck deals on the messaging, but wearing of a name is part of the uniform player agreement.
Will Guillory: Josh Hart said he wanted to put Pamela Turner's name on his jersey. She was a 44-year-old diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who was killed by police. The NBA didn't want players to put the names of police violence victims on the backs of jerseys out of respect for the families.
Marc J. Spears: Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic will wear “Sloboda” as his social just message on the back of his jersey. It means freedom in Serbian. More than 10 players are expected to have social justice messages in different languages.
Kristian Winfield: Garrett Temple will wear 'Education Reform' on the back of his Nets jersey. @Garrett Temple says there was a players-only call with about 20-30 players last night, making sure everyone stays on topic: "A lot of guys have come down here to make sure the message stays hot."

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell called out the NBA for being halfway in on allowing players to speak on matters of social justice. The NBA initially announced that players would be allowed to replace the name on their jersey to show support and raise awareness, but later came out with a strict list of 29 approved messages. Powell felt the list was restricting and that it undercut what some players had hoped to do with the opportunity. “I wish there wasn’t even a list. It’s a topic where it’s freedom of speech, and you’re taking your name off the back of your jersey to put something that matters to you, that speaks volumes to how you view things and your approach to life. You shouldn’t be boxed in to say you can only say this much, or this is okay for you to say. You shouldn’t be boxed in on a topic like this,” Powell said in a conference call.
“I was really upset about the whole change where it was really limited. The list was very cookie-cutter. It doesn’t really touch the topics of what we’re trying to achieve here. With that being said, I chose Black Lives Matter — it was the most radical that spoke to where I stand,” Powell said.

Josh Lewenberg: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will wear "Speak Up" on the back of his jersey for the restart. "I feel like we should all speak up and say something."
Jimmy Butler has always been comfortable taking the road less traveled. So his answer to whether he'll wear one of the league-approved social justice messages on the back of his Miami Heat jersey shouldn't surprise. "I have decided not to. With that being said, I hope that my last name doesn't go on there as well," Butler said during his remote media availability session from the NBA's restart on the Disney World campus in Florida. "I love and respect all the messages that the league did choose. But for me, I felt like with no message, with no name, it's going back to like who I was. And if I wasn't who I was today, I'm no different than anybody else of color. "And I want that to be my message in the sense that just because I'm an NBA player, everybody has the same rights no matter what. That's how I feel about my people of color."
LA Clippers big Montrezl Harrell announced on Wednesday night that he would wear the phrase 'How Many More' on the back of his jersey in place of his last name for the NBA restart. Harrell announced his decision via Instagram, saying the following: "Don't us people bleed like you, don't us people breathe the same air as you do. But yet again the color of our skin tells the story right. That's why on back my uniform I have replaced my name with 'HOW MANY MORE.'"
Alex Caruso will wear Black Lives Matter on the back of his Lakers jersey when the NBA season resumes July 30. “I decided to put Black Lives Matter on the back of the jersey,” Caruso told Dunk Bait of Yahoo Sports. “I thought that as a white player in the NBA, I feel like showing the support and voicing that. As a figure that a lot of white kids growing up around the country idolize or are fans of, whatever you want to call it, I think it’s important for me to show that’s the right thing and that the message is equality and the message is justice. It’s making sure their voices are heard and that everybody treats everybody how they should be treated.”
Duvalier Johnson: Jerami Grant said that he plans to have his last name on the back of his jersey instead of a message for the re-start. States that it does not mean as much because he will continue to live by it.
Andrew Lopez: Jrue also told me that he'll have "Say Their Names" on the back of his jersey when the NBA restarts. Wished they could have had actual names but took what was allowed. Added playing in Orlando and making this statement and donating the money was crucial in coming back to play.
“I’m going to use my name,” Rivers said. “I wasn’t able to put ‘Trayvon.’ I do like some of the messages they have. I’m very happy that players are using that. But I wanted to go a different route. Especially for me being from Orlando, Trayvon being right outside Orlando, that kind of resonated with me and my city and where I’m from. No matter where I play or where I go, I always represent Orlando, Florida. I wanted that. That couldn’t happen so I’m just going to use Rivers.”
Josh Lewenberg: Raptors guard Patrick McCaw says he will wear "Say Their Names" on the back of his jersey for the restart. "I'm excited to show my support on national TV and have this opportunity on such a big stage."
Marc J. Spears: “The word I chose was ‘Peace.’ Because all of the other words were solutions to the problems that are going on in our country. And I feel like, once those solutions and those problems are worked on, then we’ll finally have peace,” Kings swingman Justin James on name for jerseys.
"Equality" will be the social justice message that Antetokounmpo will wear on the back of his Bucks jersey when NBA action resumes in Orlando. His teammate and brother, Thanasis, will be making the same statement, but he wouldn't elaborate on why.
The NBA has given players the approval to express their frustrations with the inequalities Black people are enduring by allowing them to choose from 28 different social injustice statement options to wear on the back of their jerseys. Troy Daniels said he selected Black Lives Matter as his first choice and Say Her Name as his second. “It’s unprecedented times,” Daniels said. “It’s one of the biggest movements ever. So, I want to shed light on that. It’s very important to me.”
Storyline: Social Justice Messages
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August 14, 2020 | 10:18 am EDT Update
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Chris has been been amazing. I can honestly say he’s like a brother to me. It almost feels like we do everything together. We go eat together. We watch games together. Work out together. Yeah, he’s been he’s been amazing. Like I said, he taught so much from eating correctly to recovery to reads in the game. And the biggest thing about Chris is I think down to earth and genuine he is. Obviously with him and his accolades, he could easily act like, you know, I mean, he’s the best thing in the world to walk around like he’s better than everybody. But he honestly makes you feel like he’s just like, like your homie from back home.
Booker — who is still only 23 — was an All-Star this season, but he was initially snubbed before replacing Damian Lillard at the last minute. Booker’s numbers were undeniable, but as the best player on a perennial loser, he was building a reputation as an empty-calorie scorer. These eight games went a long way in changing that perspective. “We had one objective — to get better — and we did that,” Booker said. “I think we approached this with the right mindset from the beginning, from practices, from training camp in Phoenix, from the first two weeks we got down here, everybody was locked in on all cylinders.”
David Fizdale: I’m just hoping that I didn’t lose so many guys that I don’t get to sit in that seat again because I really felt like I can do it. You know, I proved that I can do it. And I just want that opportunity because I just learned after that situation that I think I got a lot to give to the next job that. If I can get the just the right pieces in place, boy, let me get a bunch of y’all running around out there. See what happened when I get junkyard dogs, a whole team full of them and see what happened. I had some puppies in New York. They weren’t your dogs yet. But I’m telling you: the kid Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett… Those kids are gonna end up being players in this league. They’re just babies.
August 14, 2020 | 9:29 am EDT Update
The final buzzer sounded Thursday night with the Utah Jazz topping San Antonio 118-112, officially eliminating the Spurs from contention for a Western Conference play-in spot and ending their record-tying run of 22 consecutive postseason appearances. “It means a lot to a lot of people probably, but I don’t dwell on the past,” said legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who captured five NBA titles during that span. “That stuff’s totally [not] important; what’s important is the moment you do what you’ve got to do then you move on, but looking at the past doesn’t do much good. Any success we’ve had has been because we’ve had some great players.”
Though the NBA saved itself from losing more than $1 billion by not canceling its season, the league will still suffer substantial revenue losses due to Covid-19. That will likely affect Oladipo’s next contract, as the players will see a drop in income available. Oladipo said his current concern is helping the Pacers in the NBA bubble and “continuing to strengthen my knee.” “I’m just focused on doing what I can to help my team the best way I can,” he said. “One day, it will all click again, and then I can worry about those other things when the time comes.”
Storyline: Victor Oladipo Free Agency
So when the Kings’ season ended Thursday, and Hield was asked if he’s comfortable with his role off the bench in Sacramento heading into next season, his answer raised some eyebrows. Including, I’d imagine, some in Philadelphia. Here’s what Hield had to say: [Hield] provided a series of short answers during a Zoom session with reporters and offered a cryptic response when asked if he could be content with his role going into next season. “Y’all know me,” Hield said. “Y’all know how I talk. Y’all know how I feel. Y’all can read me well, so I’ll let y’all answer that yourselves.”
Justin Kubatko: Most points scored by a player over the final three games of a regular season: 154 – Damian Lillard, 2019-20 128 – Dominique Wilkins, 1985-86 128 – Michael Jordan, 1986-87 128 – Kobe Bryant, 2005-06 127 – David Thompson, 1977-78 127 – Russell Westbrook, 2014-15
For New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, it’s time to turn the page to next season and focus on getting better — with his game and his body. “I’ll talk to my coaches and see what I need to do better from their point of view,” Williamson said Thursday morning. “Talk to my player development coaches as well, see what I need to do better from their point of view. Just work on every part of my game and work on getting my body where it needs to be.”
Given how fluid this draft is, the Warriors could draft the same player at No. 5 that they’d eye with the No. 2 pick. According to league sources, Israeli small forward Deni Avdija, Iowa State point guard Tyrese Haliburton, Florida State shooting guard Devin Vassell and Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro are among the players Golden State would consider in that range.
With so much time spent off the court since his injury in January 2019, Oladipo stayed productive in other ways, including through business. Like numerous athletes, Oladipo has taken an interest in tech investing, and is particularly excited about his stake in a sports marketing company called Genies, which creates and licenses avatars of celebrities, mostly on social media.
The first game-worn jerseys from the NBA’s restart in Orlando have hit the auction block. NBA Auctions has launched a group of 58 jerseys from the league’s first few games in the “bubble” including those donned by LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Zion Williamson. Jerseys worn by members of the Lakers, Pelicans, Spurs and Nets are the first to reach the auction block from games played after the league stopped play in March due to COVID-19. Most of the jerseys are game-worn while a few were made for players who didn’t see action.
Google may finally end the internet tradition of traffic-grabbing how-to-watch posts with a new search feature that will display local TV and streaming options for NBA and MLB games when you search phrases like “how to watch the Lakers games.” The new feature is rolling out in the US today, and it can incorporate your location data to help you figure out which specific local channel is airing the game you want to watch. The new TV options will also appear on Google’s existing sport game search widgets alongside things like the box score or time remaining in the game.

Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin on Thursday denied a series of domestic violence accusations made by his ex-wife in a social media post. In a message posted to Twitter, Audrey Griffin said Adrian Griffin had repeatedly abused her, including choking her, throwing her into a wall with enough force to leave a hole and dragging her across a lawn while she was pregnant. “This morning, accusations were made against me on social media by my former wife that I vehemently deny,” Adrian Griffin said in a statement released by the Raptors. “We are involved in a longstanding legal dispute over alimony and child support arrangements. I am disappointed to have to address false accusations in this way, and I apologize for any distraction this has potentially caused for our team at this important time.”
The Raptors also issued a separate statement on the matter. “When we saw these allegations this morning, we were dismayed — Adrian is a valuable member of our team,” the team said in the statement. “Our leadership immediately spoke with him, and he flatly denied the allegations in the posts. We will support the process as he and his former partner settle these matters.” Audrey Griffin had previously made similar allegations of abuse on social media. On Thursday, she wrote in part, “How can someone do ALL of this and get away with it. … I will tell you how… just be in the NBA and win a game in the bubble. Cinderfella. That’s how. Simple.”
August 13, 2020 | 9:14 pm EDT Update
August 13, 2020 | 8:05 pm EDT Update
August 13, 2020 | 7:49 pm EDT Update