Russell praises Rivers for passionate reflection on Blake shooting


Basketball was the last thing on Doc Rivers' mind after the Los Angeles Clippers' blowout of the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

The Clippers head coach used his postgame interview following Game 5 to address the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot multiple times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisc., on Sunday.

Here are Rivers' comments. They're worth a full watch.


"We're the ones getting killed," Rivers said. "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. 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've got to do better. But we've got to demand better."

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Blake's shooting reignited protests that began following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor earlier this year. NBA players and coaches have vowed to use their platforms in the Orlando bubble to speak out against police violence and racial injustice, and Rivers has been among the loudest voices.

Celtics legend Bill Russell used Twitter on Tuesday night to commend Rivers -- who spent nine years as Boston's head coach -- for voicing his thoughts so candidly.


Russell played an active role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and has earned a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his efforts to combat racism, and he clearly appreciates Rivers carrying the torch.

Smart, Brown react to Blake shooting, discuss possible boycott

Several NBA players also have condemned Blake's shooting in recent days, including Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, who both delivered powerful statements during interviews Tuesday.