What Doc Rivers told players at Wednesday meeting
Players from the 13 teams remaining inside the NBA’s bubble complex met on Wednesday night to discuss the steps that need to be taken in the wake of three games being boycotted. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was among this group, and he delivered a simple, yet powerful message.
The meeting, as well as the boycotted games, came in light of Jacob Blake’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the weekend. According to reports, an unarmed Blake was shot several times in his backside by police officers who were responding to a domestic incident report. Sadly, Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down as a result of his injuries.
For disclosure, Rivers is the son of a police officer. He’s been a powerful voice throughout this movement, and many players look to him for guidance. It’s also worth noting that Rivers was the voice of the Clippers throughout the Donald Sterling scandal.
The night after Blake’s shooting, Rivers held back tears as he delivered an emotional statement:
“We keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back,” River said, via ESPN.
“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
Rivers took part in another meeting on Wednesday night. According to ESPN, he encouraged the players to come up with three clear items the league can help them act upon, such as police reform and accountability or voter registration and support.
Some players feel that sitting out is the proper way to protest these issues. However, Rivers, who is a former player himself, implored them to play, noting that their talent is their power.
“Your talent is your power,” Rivers told the players on Wednesday night, according to ESPN.
Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Chris Paul, who serves as the players’ union president, was in contact with Rivers as Wednesday’s events unfolded. Paul played under Rivers’ direction during the Sterling era. They’ve had their differences in the past, but the two are together in this effort.
Paul delivered a similar message, asking players to maintain a unified front with plans of action. He also wanted them to understand the financial perils that might await if the season does not proceed to the finish. If the players decide not to play the remainder of the season, they could lose 25-30 percent of their salary for next year.
Let’s see what course of action the NBA and its players decide on.