Imagine how iconic and inspirational the image.
The King runs the lane like storming a castle. Rising like a drawbridge. All the way above the crown of the rim. All for one of his trademark 23 high and rising slam dunks…but the back of his jersey doesn’t read, “James”. Instead it says…
Black Lives Matter.
Recently, debate has raged at whether the NBA should resume their season in Disney World next month, or instead take their ball and go home. Kyrie Irving has lead a protest of players like Dwight Howard and fellow Lakers player Avery Bradley (who has recently opted out of playing) that don’t want to be stuck in the bubble of Florida.
One of the reasons being how much of a fatal risk COVID-19 still is (at least 16 players have tested positive for coronavirus. That’s too many like when it was “just” Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell). The other is the distraction that basketball might take away from the fight for social justice.
Well now it seems like the NBA have come up with at least a solidarity stand of a solution.
Like players wearing the number 24 or 2 in honor of Kobe and GiGi Bryant at this February’s All-Star Game in Chicago, the NBA will allow social statements to honour the back of teams jerseys where the players names normally would be. All because right now names like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor mean so much more.
Like all black lives.
So whilst some sit out in peaceful protest in a great stand of their own, others will do so in a different way. Taking to court and risking everything all in their own way as we read what the back of their jerseys say and follow them in retweeting and sharing care kind.
From ‘I Can’t Breathe’ t-shirts following the death of Eric Garner by the hands of police, to the social justice Nike has strived to achieve throughout the years as they have shown they more than just do it, this is a major move by a major sports league that lead the way in staying safe and staying home following the coronavirus outbreak this year in quarantine.
A league that’s always been about making a taller stand that’s far bigger than basketball.
Still dribbling…but never shutting up.
They are really locking it down now though.
Sure perhaps they still shouldn’t play, but one thing the NBA knows now is that doing nothing is the wrong thing.
The answer is to fight for what’s right.
A dream thought up by Las Vegas Aces star Angel McCoughtry will hopefully extend to the WNBA too as their season starts next month. After all…it was her idea.
“The petition was started because I just wanted to make sure we had the support of the fans. I think we do a lot of things as WNBA players for our communities. My concern is that sometimes our initiatives are not seen by the world. If the NBA has that same idea, it will get so much love and attention, because they have a bigger platform. I get that. We constantly speak out, and it’s a little harder for us. But if this jersey campaign gets done for both leagues, I’ll be really happy.”
Then all bets will be off.
This is the best thing to happen to a back of an NBA jersey since Ron Artest changed his name to World Peace as we all fight for that very notion of devotion.
NBA players last wore custom jerseys in 2014
The last time NBA stars wore something different on the back of their jerseys from King James to Jesus Shuttlesworth it was all about nicknames for those who have game back in 2014. Now it’s all worth so much more.
Like “no I in team” they used to say the name on the front of the jersey players would pound like their heart was more important than what they had on their back. It’s a new day however and now with whose back they’ve got these team players are carrying something far more important upon their broad shoulders.
Read all about it.