Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers' finest moment Tuesday came well after his team beat the Dallas Mavericks 154-111 to take a three-games-to-two series lead.
When asked about the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Kenosha, Wisc., Rivers delivered a raw, emotional answer on the current state of racial affairs in America. Rivers' remarks went viral quickly and drew praise from all corners of the country, including from Warriors star Steph Curry, who asked people to "wake up" when it comes to racial injustice in America.
Rivers was asked about the shooting of Blake prior to the Clippers' Game 5 win, but said he would wait until after the game to address it. After the win, Rivers removed his protective mask before making his impassioned statement on the frustration and fear that Black Americans are still dealing with every day.
"All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear," Rivers said of the Republican National Convention. "We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We're the ones that we're denied to live in certain communities. We've been hung. We've been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear.
"It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back," Rivers said. "It's really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I'm so often reminded of my color. It's just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better. It's funny. We protest. They send riot guards. They send people in riot outfits. They go up to Michigan with guns. They're spitting on cops. Nothing happens.
"The training has to change in the police force," Rivers continued. "The unions have to be taken down in the police force. My dad was a cop. I believe in good cops. We're not trying to defund the police and take all their money away. We're trying to get them to protect us, just like they protect everybody else."
Blake was shot by police as he was trying to enter the driver's side of his vehicle. Police were responding to a domestic violence call. Blake's father told the press his son was shot seven times. Blake's attorney, Ben Crump, said Blake is paralyzed and it would "take a miracle" for him to walk again.
Video of the shooting was taken from across the street and distributed on social media, igniting protests months after George Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody when Derek Chauvin, a White police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.
Rivers wasn't the only member of the NBA family who was emotional and angry after the shooting of Blake. Members of the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics discussed protesting Game 1 of their second-round series on Thursday, while many others began to question if coming to play in the bubble amid widespread social unrest was the right idea.
Rivers rightly pointed out that everyone should be angry at the video of Blake being shot seven times in the back by police.
"That video, if you watch that video, you don't need to be Black to be outraged," Rivers said. "You need to be American and outraged. How dare the Republicans talk about fear. We're the ones that need to be scared. We're the ones having to talk to every Black child. What white father has to give his son a talk about being careful if you get pulled over?
"It's just ridiculous. It just keeps going. There's no charges. Breonna Taylor, no charges, nothing. All we're asking is you live up to the Constitution. That's all we're asking for everybody, for everyone."