Paul shared details on that night in what was the catalyst for the domino effect that before the night ended would lead to the NBA season suspension. Like many of the fan base, Richardson and Miles were watching and noted seeing Paul approach Joe Ingles at center court to ask where Rudy (Gobert) was. Even after nearly four months, the events of March 11th remain confounding for Paul who explained his feelings at the moment. It was crazy, and I tell you a little bit about it, but to tell you the truth it’s crazy man I’m doing a documentary about it, like a movie, like a movie about a sports stop with Antoine Fuqua and Brian Grazer. We doing a whole thing about that like getting perspectives from athletes of what happened.Man, listen, I ain’t never seen nothing like it. Never seen nothing like it.
Chesapeake Energy holds the naming rights to the downtown arena the Thunder play in, signing a 12-year deal with the franchise in 2011, set to expire after the 2022-23 season. The agreement cost Chesapeake $3 million the first season and was set to increase by 3 percent each year following. It’s currently unknown how Chesapeake’s bankruptcy will impact the arena’s naming rights agreement. A Thunder team spokesperson declined to comment.
The personalized statements on jerseys are part of a long list of social justice messages the players plan to make through the remainder of the season, which restarts July 30 in Orlando, Florida. The NBA and the NBPA announced an agreement on Wednesday to continue to discuss fighting systemic racism and to make it one of the main focuses of the restart. Personalized jerseys could say such things as “Black Lives Matter” or “I Can’t Breathe,” bring light to a social or charitable cause or even display the names of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, who were killed by police in recent months. “We’re just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out,” Paul told The Undefeated. “People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.”
Paul said he has talked to numerous players, including some who are not Black, who support the jersey idea. He said players will not be forced and pressured to wear jerseys with social justice messages. There will also be suggestions offered to players looking for a cause to support. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Friday in a media conference call that the league “has work to do” to make progress in hiring African Americans in notable roles, and the need for diversity was discussed at a recent board of governors meeting. The NBA was made up of 74.9% Black players during the 2018-19 season, according to the 2019 NBA Complete Racial and Gender Report Card released last week by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.
With the NBA resuming the season in the middle of a novel coronavirus pandemic and protests on racial inequality, the league plans to do much more than determine its champion. “It’s never a shut up and dribble situation,” Chris Paul, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard and NBA players union president, said Friday in a conference call. “You’re going to continue to hear us.”
“You show me a league where everybody has the same views,” Paul said. “We have 450 players. It’s always hard to be on the same page. But one thing about it is we learned to communicate better. None of us are perfect. But what we’re learning is when we communicate with each other. The guys that choose to go play, we support those. And we support those that don’t go play.”
With the NBA resuming the season in the middle of a novel coronavirus pandemic and protests on racial inequality, the league plans to do much more than determine its champion. “It’s never a shut up and dribble situation,” Chris Paul, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard and NBA players union president, said Friday in a conference call. “You’re going to continue to hear us.”
“You show me a league where everybody has the same views,” Paul said. “We have 450 players. It’s always hard to be on the same page. But one thing about it is we learned to communicate better. None of us are perfect. But what we’re learning is when we communicate with each other. The guys that choose to go play, we support those. And we support those that don’t go play.”
Shams Charania: Sources: Travel dates for 22 NBA teams to Orlando: – July 7: Nets, Nuggets, Magic, Suns, Jazz, Wizards – July 8: Celtics, Mavericks, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, Thunder, Kings – July 9: Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Bucks, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Spurs, Raptors
Storyline: NBA Schedule