Moments before tipoff on Thursday evening, the players, including the coaches and sports officials, all succumbed.
Players also wore a black “Black Lives Matter” shirt on both during the warm-up and the national anthem. There were some messages, such as “Equality,” “I am a man,” “Ally,” and, “Say his name,” sending a clear message in support of the social justice movement.
The NBA is not the first league to resume its season with players kneeling in support of the movement.
The WNBA, when the league began its season last week, dedicated the season to the Brio Taylor and Sawyer Every Name campaign. Outside of basketball, many MLB players also succumbed as their season resumed earlier this month.
Amidst all of these performances, the unrest in the US comes from the deaths of Aberdey, Bryo Taylor and George Floyd, and Colin Kaepernick’s mirror unrest during the 2016–17 NFL season.
The NBA returned after a 20-week hiatus in a so-called bubble in Orlando, Florida.
The league closed on March 11 when – shortly before the Utah Jazz were relegated to the Thunder in Oklahoma City – it was revealed that Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Kovid-19.
It was fitting when the game resumed on Thursday night, then, that Gobert made the first basket in a layoff.