The NBA restart has the potential to mean more than just eight games, a potential play-in series and then a standard playoffs. The NBA is trying to lead the way in professional sports by creating a potentially repeatable concept.
The league is also allowing players to continue to be a part of the national conversation regarding racial inequality in America. Courts will be adorned with “Black Lives Matter” graphics. The league will hold symposiums and use their platform to promote change.
In addition, players will be allowed to wear jerseys with a message on the back. On Tuesday, we learned that Sacramento Kings small forward Kent Bazemore has already chosen what his uniform will say when he walks out on the court.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, Bazemore will join the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum with the message “Education Reform.”
According to multiple reports, the NBA has a group of sayings that players can choose from, including “Vote”, “Equality” and “Enough.” There are likely more options than what we have seen to date.
Bazemore’s teammate Harrison Barnes addressed the potential for wearing a message on his jersey during the Kings’ Zoom call with the media.
“I’m waiting on requirements -- do we get eight different ones? Do we get one? How many words? What’s the censorship?” Barnes said. “I’m definitely going to do something, I’m just waiting on the additional guidelines and what we can do.”
Barnes is one of many of the Kings players to find their voice during the last few months following the shooting death of George Floyd. There appears to be a national awakening and there is positive movement towards actual change.
“I think we’re at a unique time, just as a society, where so many different discussions are happening at once and change, it seems closer now than it’s ever been, although there is still a wide gap,” Barnes added.
Expect plenty of the Kings players to be involved in the discussions regarding social change in Orlando. The team itself has taken a huge role in the conversation and they support their players in the venture as well.