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Mike Conley explains meaning behind jersey statement

Mike Conley, Jazz

Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley will wear “I Am A Man” on the back of his jersey for the “bubble” games down in Orlando, Florida.

The Jazz floor general told reporters on Monday he consulted with his family and thought it would be appropriate, given that it references the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike.

Conley may no longer play for the Memphis Grizzlies, but the lefty will always hold the city and organization close to his heart.

Activists and civil rights leaders like Rev. James Lawson and T.O. Jones courageously waged the battle on behalf of striking sanitation workers back in 1968. The iconic strikers with the “I Am a Man” signs are a staple in Memphis history and Conley wanted to honor them in Orlando.

Before the 2020 playoffs start, the Jazz will face the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs (twice), Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks in the eight seeding games. Utah has already clinched a spot in the postseason, so the team will use the seeding games to knock off the rust after such a long hiatus.

Prior to the season getting suspended in March, Conley was averaging 13.8 points while shooting 40.5 percent from the field, 37.6 percent from beyond the arc and 79.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Jazz are going to need the veteran guard to perform well in Orlando and be Donovan Mitchell’s “Robin” since Bojan Bogdanovic isn’t playing.