MIAMI (AP) – With words and actions, several NBA teams showed indifference towards President Donald Trump on Wednesday to a violent crowd. And for not charging a police officer in response to a decision by a Wisconsin prosecutor Who shot a black man last year.
In Miami, the Heat and Boston Celtics issued a joint statement saying they were playing “with a heavy heart” in a game where most of the players and coaches were ready for the national anthem. In Milwaukee, both the Bucks and Detroit Pistons took turnovers on their first possessions – intentionally, all 10 players knelt on the court. In Phoenix, the Suns and the Toronto Raptors stood in a circle and added weapons for the American and Canadian Antems. Many other tributes occurred around the NBA.
Earlier in the day in the Capitol, a crowd delayed Congress to certify the results of the November election and pave the way for President-Elect Joe Biden to be sworn in later this month.
“It’s an embarrassing and embarrassing day in our country,” New Orleans coach Stan Van Ganni said.
Wednesday’s incidents came a day after the decision not to bring charges against the officer who shot Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake’s shooting was one of several issues focused on last season in the NBA restart bubble, with racial injustice and police vandalism being a frequent focus.
The United Heat-Celtics statement said, “2021 is a new year, but some things haven’t changed. We play tonight’s game with a heavy heart following the decision of Kenosha tonight, and knowing that our country In the capital city, protesters are treated differently by political leaders, depending on what issues they are on. “
The Celtics discussed Blake’s decision the day before the Capitol events unfolded. The Celtics met again as a team after arriving at the arena in Miami, discussing options, and coach Brad Stevens even called his wife to say she didn’t think her team would take the floor.
Boston eventually opted to play after beating Miami 107–105.
Stevens of Trump’s administration said, “He has acted in a win-at-all-attitude.” “I don’t know, our game world is a lot less important, obviously. But I’ve always thought that if you work with a win-at-all-cost attitude, it’s going to be a pretty great ending. And in this situation, a disgusting end. So, I’m waiting two weeks from now, because I know there are many others.
On January 20, Biden will be inaugurated two weeks from Wednesday.
It was not clear if any team that kneels would be subject to penalty. The NBA had a rule for decades that players and coaches should stand for the national anthem. That rule was relaxed last year when the season resumed in a bubble inside Walt Disney World.
The Bucks won the opening tap of their game, and placed the ball in the middle of all players, instead of running a play on NBA MVP Giannis Entetoconampo in a two-time reign. This resulted in a turnover, as was held by Detroit when Blake Griffin placed the ball and the players again knelt. The Bucks said they held the ball for 7 seconds after the game to shoot Blake seven times.
Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, “We want to help make changes, stay on the right side of the fight, keep the fight going, not in any way, shape or form distract or slow or move in the wrong direction”. “We need to keep moving forward in all ways, shapes and forms.”
Meanwhile, a men’s college basketball game to be played in Washington on Wednesday night was postponed after the city imposed curfew In response to mob actions in the Capitol. The Atlantic 10 Conference game between George Washington and UMass will be rescheduled by the league.
Georgetown, another Washington-based team, knelt for the anthem before facing Butler in Indianapolis. “I’m sad,” Hoyes coach Patrick Ewing said in response to the events of the day.
Wednesday’s NBA schedule had 11 games. All were played.
Before his club played in Atlanta, Charlotte coach James Borrego said, “It feels a little weird to play the game tonight.”
Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers, who is black, spoke of the difference between rallies across the US last summer that often included violent clashes between protesters and police and what he saw in the Capitol on Wednesday.
“A symbol of blowing up the capitol without force, if you’re a black American, it definitely touches you in a different way,” Rivers said. “It is not a black thing.” This is an American thing. “
AP Sportswriters Steve Megergey in Milwaukee, Brett Martell in New Orleans, Howard Fendrick in Washington, Dan Gelstone in Philadelphia and Charles Odum in Atlanta and AP Freelancer John Datton in Orlando, Florida contributed to this report.
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