The NBA is officially back and players are using their voices to bring awareness to issues that are important to them. LeBron James reminded us we can’t take our foot off the gas of the Black Lives Matter movement. Meanwhile, Jazz player Donovan Mitchell made a statement before his game. Everything inside…
 
The NBA is officially back!
The NBA was hit hard by COVID-19 when it was confirmed several Utah Jazz players – Rudy Gobert & Donovan Mitchell – had contracted the virus. The league immediately shut down shop back in March and basketball was taken away in an instant.
After tons of discussions and meetings, the league decided it would come back at the end of July with tons of safety precautions to keep the players safe. That’s when the “Orlando Bubble” was introduced. Players were sent to Orlando to finish off the season in quarantine. Day-to-day, players are tested, reminded to keep their hands clean, and follow other safety rules due to the pandemic. Some players decided to opt out.

Yesterday, the first two NBA games to resume the 2019-2020 season kicked off 140 days after the last game played. The four teams – Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans – all took a knee (coaches included) during the National Anthem. They lined up on the side of the court in front of the Black Lives Matter logo to stand in solidarity in the protest against police brutality. They all wore “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts as well.

 

 
 

 

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The NBA returned tonight with a major social justice impact. The single header night saw the Lakers and the Jazz both get W’s, and coaches, staff and players putting on a united front while kneeling during the National Anthem and rocking phrases on their jerseys and clothing that bring attention to elements of social justice reform.
A post shared by TheYBF (@theybf_daily) on Jul 31, 2020 at 12:35am PDT

 
After the Lakers (barely beat) beat the Clippers, LeBron James reminded everyone that this is bigger than basketball and that we can’t allow the Black Lives Matter movement to slow down until there’s change. Check it:
It’s bigger than basketball.
“We want to keep our foot on the gas.” pic.twitter.com/Bfymlz5lyf
— NBA (@NBA) July 31, 2020

You can peep his post-game conference below:

A few days ago, it was announced King James and his voting rights group donated $100,000 to help ex-felons in Florida pay their fines so they can register to vote. Deets HERE.
Jazz baller Donovan Mitchell – who was the 2nd player in the NBA to test positive for COVID-19 – has recovered and is ready to play. But, he also wants his voice heard. The NBA star made a strong statement when he pulled up for the relaunch of the season. He wore a bulletproof vest that displayed the names of several victims killed by police. He added the question, “Am I next?,” to the vest.
 
A statement – Donovan Mitchell has a bullet proof vest.
The vest features the name of numerous people killed because of police brutality.
He adds the quote “Am I next?” pic.twitter.com/wUp1QYYNQk
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) July 31, 2020
 
“I have pretty much every possible name of everyone that’s died of police brutality and police violence,” the 23-year-old told Taylor Rooks of Turner Sports. “There was a quote that said ‘am I next?’ on the back of somebody’s jersey. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how famous you are, as an African-American male that’s who we are.”
He continued, “It doesn’t matter what your job is, what your name is. Being able to wear a bulletproof vest just shows we kind of have our hands up as well, just kinda like hands up, don’t shoot. We’re tired of seeing this. … We’re sick and tired of being afraid.”

Peep the clip above.
The Utah Jazz ended up defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, 106 – 104.
Here’s today’s lineup of games:
Magic vs. Nets
Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers
Kings vs. Spurs
Suns vs. Wizards
Celtics vs. Bucks
Rockets vs. Mavericks

Who are you rooting for?
 
BONUS:
 

 

 
 

 

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Not exactly sure who this tweet is shading, but absolutely here for Lebron’s commentary. #ItsWhoIAm #BlackLove #LebronJames #BlackWivesMatter #BlackLoveExists
A post shared by BlackLoveExists (@blackloveexists) on Jul 30, 2020 at 3:44pm PDT

 
During a recent press conference, King James had to remind people that he’s really about that #BlackPride life. Peep the clip above.
Photos: Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP