Vivek Ranadive Rumors
Now, Temple, who is also a VP of the NBA Player’s Association, has a new platform. He was among those who pushed Ranadive to speak after the first protest. That night, along with Doug Christie and Vince Carter, he met with community activist Barry Accuis, the leader of the protest, after the game. In a hallway, they spoke for 45 minutes, discussing tangible next steps. Then, on Sunday, Temple helped spearhead the T-shirts, and worked on the PSA. He is well aware that, had he never made an NBA roster, his opinions wouldn’t carry this kind of weight. “It’s not right, but it’s life,” he says. “It’s just the way things are. That’s one of the things I talk to kids about. Not to think their words don’t mean anything right now, because they do. But if they aren’t being listened to or the things they want to see changed aren’t changing, then use that as motivation to continue to pursue whatever you’re passionate about so you can get a to a level where people have to listen. A lawyer, a doctor, an athlete obviously. The bigger the platform, the more people listen. That’s just the way the world works.”
Now though, sitting in a plush chair in the owner’s room, four flat screens shimmering behind him, he is hesitant to take credit, or to say anything of substance on the record. Over the course of 35 minutes, he takes great pains to praise “his folks” and “his team”, which include Kolokotronis and VP of Communications Joelle Terry, both of whom sit in on the interview and chime in at various points, speaking for Ranadive or declaring comments on or off the record. Pushed on what comes next, Ranadive says they are discussing ideas, but nothing specific is set. Asked if he sees this as an opportunity to speak out more forcefully, perhaps in the manner of Kerr and Popovich, Terry interjects to make a distinction. “They have a lot more interaction with the media,” she says.
Perhaps it is a learned caution (Ranadive has a history of putting his foot in his mouth). Regardless, he sticks to platitudes. “We just want to do the right thing Chris,” he says when I ask about concrete actions. “So many people have helped me along the way and so many people have stood up for me and given me opportunity and given me the benefit of the doubt, so there’s kind of a feeling that if you’re in a position to help and support somebody else, that’s right and fair and just.”
Ranadive, surrounded by Kings players on the court, expressed sympathies to Clark’s family and recognized the franchise’s role as a community leader. “We are so very sorry for your loss,” Ranadive said. “We at the Kings recognize people’s abilities to protest peacefully, and we respect that. We here at the Kings realize that we have a big platform. It’s a privilege but it’s also a responsibility. It’s a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we stand here before you, old, young, black, white, brown, and we are all united in our commitment. “We recognize that it is not just business as usual, and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting in our own community. We are going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.”
With arms locked and all those signs of frustration held high, the protesters blocked the doors as fans tried to enter. “I was pulled out of the dinner, and I was told what was happening (outside the arena),” Ranadive, who led the ownership group that bought the team in the summer of 2013 and opened the arena last season, told USA TODAY Sports. “And so, I went upstairs and I saw what was going on. I was obviously stunned. “I saw the crowd outside. I saw the police standing there. And I had different, complex emotions, because I have boys. I have a boy right now, actually, in the military (his 30-year-old son, Andre, is in special forces training in North Carolina). And I have young boys, and the thought that your boy could be out in the yard and somebody shoots him, how horrific is that?”
“There’s obviously never a right decision in this type of situation, and on the one hand there’s been a life lost and you can’t just go about life in terms of it being business as usual, because it really isn’t,” Ranadive explained. “A young man has been killed under these circumstances. But then on the other hand, you think that maybe this is an opportunity to bring people together.”