Doc Rivers Had A Simple Message For NBA Players
Doc Rivers delivered a simple message to NBA players on this week.
“Your talent is your power,” he told the room full of stars and coaches during their all-hands meeting on Wednesday. He urged all involved to use that power to promote meaningful change.
The poignant statement resonated with many in attendance, following an emotional day that saw players embark on an unplanned strike to protest racial injustice in the United States.
Rivers emerged as a voice of wisdom, pain and sorrow earlier in the week when he spoke out about the shooting Jacob Clark, and what it meant to black men both in the NBA and outside of it.
“It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back,” he said on Tuesday night.
“It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.”
Doc Rivers delivers an emotional message on the police shooting of Jacob Blake. pic.twitter.com/A0T26OfsDG
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 26, 2020
One day later, the Milwaukee Bucks elected not to take the floor for their Game 5 showdown against the Orlando Magic.
That decision served as the spark for all of the games scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday to ultimately be postponed.
Late Wednesday night, in a room full of players torn between playing out the remainder of the NBA postseason and calling the whole thing off, Rivers served as a voice of calmness and reason. He and his former star, Chris Paul, both urged players to think of meaningful, substantive measures that could be promoted to address the issues that had been hanging over them ever since the Blake shooting happened.
According to sources, Doc Rivers told the players you power is your talent, and guys should stay and play.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) August 27, 2020
But Rivers didn’t just talk – he listened, too. When Patrick Beverley suggested that players may be uncomfortable expressing a desire to cancel the season with coaches in the room, Rivers led the coaches out.
On Thursday morning, the players met again and decided to play out the remainder of the NBA season. It is hard to imagine that happening if not for Rivers’ steady support of them throughout this process.
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Doc Rivers Will Be Key To What Happens Next
It as been an emotional 24 hours for players and coaches alike. They have decided to resume the NBA season with some notable changes, but it remains to be seen what that will actually entail.
Players and coaches have been speaking out on social justice issues this entire time. The NBA had already pledged to support them. What will be different when action resumes? That is unclear at this stage.
Everyone will likely take the next steps cautiously. Commissioner Adam Silver has not said much throughout this process, and that is unlikely to change. He will look towards the league’s biggest names to lead the way.
LeBron James, Rivers and many others have been very vocal regarding the subject of race relations in America, and that will continue.
All parties involved will try to put together the broken pieces and move on. But the next few days will be telling. A very delicate truce has been established, and it could break at any point.
Rivers’ leadership was critical to save the NBA season, and it will continue to be vital to ensuring that things don’t fall apart going forward.
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