Kings coach Luke Walton has squad thinking “bigger than basketball”
There’s one big criticism the NBA receives with regards to the upcoming season restart. The NBA could potentially serve as a distraction from the bigger socio-political issues at hand. For his part, Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton believes it’s up to the teams to make sure that’s not the case.
Speaking to Jason Jones of The Athletic, Walton explained why he emphasizes the importance of their actions right now, and how he hopes his players are able to take on a mindset of carrying on with the fight against systemic racism in the nation.
“The message to our team is ‘Look, we’re here to do something that’s bigger than basketball,’” Walton said. “It’s a chance for us to play the game we love, yes. But it’s also a chance for us to continue to have a platform to speak on things that are important to us and also bring some joy to people in a world right now that’s pretty mixed up as far as everything that’s going on. That’s the mindset we have.”
The Kings will be fighting for the final playoff spot in the West, and while it’s going to be an uphill battle, the mere fact that they were invited to the Disney World bubble means that they have a fighting chance.
Nevertheless, Walton wants his players to keep in mind that there are much more important things than basketball. This appears to be something that Kings star guard De’Aaron Fox has already imbibed, with the 22-year-old already deciding on a strong message he wants to replace his name with on his jersey. Hopefully, the rest of the team follows suit.