Kent Bazemore made it clear early Friday morning following shootaround that the Sacramento Kings intended to kneel during the national anthem in their first NBA restart seeding game against the San Antonio Spurs.
“It’s a once in a lifetime moment, man, it’s a big opportunity for us to really make some real change, to add dialogue nationally about some of the things we feel personally and collectively,” Bazemore said.
When it was time, the Kings’ entire roster, coaching staff and trainer staff took a knee during the anthem. They weren’t alone in the silent protest. The Spurs players also took a knee, although coaches Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon stood throughout the anthem.
Kings and Spurs players and coaches take a knee during the national anthem pic.twitter.com/udeF9MxNhF— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) August 1, 2020
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, the former Air Force Academy graduate, as well as Becky Hammon remain standing for the Anthem while both Kings and Spurs players and staffs kneel— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) August 1, 2020
Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon are the only two people on the court standing. pic.twitter.com/Zz2XWCKGkm— Evan Closky (@EvanClosky) August 1, 2020
#Spurs players kneel for National Anthem along with #Kings players ahead of #NBA restart game.— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) August 1, 2020
Coach Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon stood for anthem. Pop said earlier there was no directive and players could do what they felt was appropriate. #KSATnews #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/6DVIx6Uns6
In tonight's pregame session from Orlando, Gregg Popovich was asked if he thought this was one of those moments in history in which sports might help spur societal change. "I definitely believe that," he said and went on to explain why: pic.twitter.com/05rVJlY2mw— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) July 31, 2020
After Friday's game against the Spurs, the Kings will play seven more seeding games as they attempt to end their 13-year NBA playoff drought.