“I have no idea when the games are,” she said. “I could not care less.” Casanova ignored the Spurs’ playoff opener over the weekend, a Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, and she said she doesn’t feel as though she missed a thing. She has no problem with Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker. Her anger is directed solely at Coach Gregg Popovich. “I am completely turned off. After all those years supporting the team, and now I just have no interest,” she said. “Popovich really messed up.”
Protests over the recent shooting death of Stephon Clark by Sacramento, California, police spilled over to the front doors of a game between the Kings and the Dallas Mavericks on March 22. Thousands of seats remained empty at the Golden 1 Center as fans were turned away because of the protest. The game went on, and afterward Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes talked about the news off the court. “I thought that was powerful. Just because players getting involved, trying to make a difference, trying to figure out how to help the city, I think that’s important,” Barnes said. “I think that is a large reason why the [protests] are going on right outside the Golden 1 Center, to continue to not let people forget. To not let the news cycle go on, but to bring awareness to what happened. … It was a powerful moment for us, as players, to be in Sacramento at that time, to play the game.”
Barnes told the media after that Mavericks win that he was glad he had the ability to speak about “police brutality and citizen-police relationships, and the disproportionate number of African-Americans getting killed.” The 2015 NBA champion noted that such conversations need to be had to push for more accountability and spark more action from communities, policymakers and activists. He also stated that while activism is not easy, protesting outside of an NBA game brought more attention locally, nationally and worldwide to Clark’s death. “I learned about it in the news, and I had heard some talk about potentially doing another protest before the game, so my antennas were kind of up on that,” Barnes said. “And then, when we went out there for the layup line, we saw the crowds empty and there had been some rumblings that it was because of the protests. They closed down the arena. By the time the game time started, everybody sort of knew what was going on.”
Ira Winderman: Dwyane Wade has won the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of the support he’s given to the Parkland community and the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.