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Instantly the first night for the NBA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL. – When his interview after the Zoom draw ended, before reaching the winning exit to the team bus, Rudy Robert from Utah Jazz admitted that the historical play he enjoyed did not go as planned.

“I shouldn’t have received the mail,” said Robert. “I had to dive.”

After using Donovan Mitchell’s screen to get rid of, finally playing a rejected pass and then returning to the baseline against former teammate Derrick Favors, Robert threw the ball directly over the Favorite within the first 20 seconds on Thursday night. Gobert̵

7;s short nod that followed seemed to acknowledge the importance of the score.

Eventually, Robert received a plan to be recorded as the first NBA basket in July that ever counted. He scored the first two points, and the last two points in Utah’s 106-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Walt Disney’s first NBA restart game, 141 days after a positive test for Robert’s coronavirus on March 11 led to an indefinite halt to the season.

“Life works mysteriously,” said Robert.

This introductory sequence and his clear free kicks, like just a 62.1 percent foul by a shooter, helped make Robert a ransom night – shortly after a violent social justice protest in an arena without fans but full of unity and purpose, made it important. drive with many layers for the entire league.

More than four minutes before the jazz and pelicans ran away, the players of both teams, coaches and staff, along with the referees, gathered side by side, stretching from baseline to baseline. They gathered at the BLACK LIFE ANSWER sign attached to the floor at the scorers’ table on each of the three playgrounds at ESPN Wide World Sports Sports, then knelt to meet him while playing the anthem recorded by John Batiste.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, co-authors of the Staples Center and rivals of the championship, gathered to do the same before their game during the recorded anthem of the Compton Kidz club from the Los Angeles area. LeBron James had just helped the Lakers win a 103-101 victory, winning plays in both ends in the last 12.8 seconds when he told TNT in an after-game interview: “I hope our fans are proud of us.”

James wasn’t talking about basketball. He also did not refer to the official return of the league after such a long absence of coronavirus or the expected start of the NBA’s efforts to build a so-called bubble on the Disney campus (worth at least $ 180 million) settings for the television arena and daily coronavirus testing. Like most of the players taking part in Thursday’s double, James has moved the most because of the unity demonstrated by their protest anthem.

“I hope we made Cape proud,” said James, referring to former San Francisco 49ers defender Colin Copernicus, who has not played in the NFL since Jan. 1, 2107, after his usual knee in 2016. stand up for the anthem to protest against racial injustice.

“I hope we continue to be proud of Cape every day,” James said.

Pelican JJ Reddick said, “Stick to the sports crowd, keep politics out of sports, all these things, they’re pointless now. You can’t. Politics and sports now coexist, and the league has recognized that.”

Indeed. NBA commissioner Adam Silver attended both games on Thursday night, wearing a blue hat and watching plexiglass high above the floor at the HP Field House (Jazz Pelicans) and the Arena (Lakers Clippers) because he didn’t have it yet were quarantined, and thus cannot be around any of the league’s 1,500 bubble residents. Silver, however, issued a statement confirming that the league would not comply with its old rule, starting in 1981, which required all team staff to play for the national anthem in a “decent pose” on the sidelines or violations.

“I respect the only peaceful protest of our teams for social justice and in these unique circumstances will not comply with our old rule that requires standing during the performance of our national anthem,” said Silver.

The commissioner had a lot to take. The games were played in two different gyms so that Turner could pass them back to his back without waiting for a sanitation delay. Jazz threw a deficit of 16 points in front of virtual fans of the “home” team “Pelicans”, and James went to the basket to bounce the clutch with a strong defense against Kavha Leonard and Paul George, who fell into the same possession in the last seconds to knock down Clip with a short arm. Players wore Black Lives Matter Matter T-shirts during pre-game warm-ups, and many wore social justice slogans on their backs instead of their names: “Peace” for New Orleans newcomer Zion Williamson, “I’m a Man” for Utah Mike Conley. , “Say Her Name” for Donovan Mitchell of Utah.

Mitchell went even further, protesting against systemic racism, entering the building wearing a bulletproof vest inscribed with the names of numerous victims of police brutality.

“The game was great, the two of us won, but at the end of the day, Breona Taylor’s killers were still free,” Mitchell said. “There are so many different things we can honestly talk about. I will continue to talk about Breona Taylor, because it is very dear to me. “

Mitchell, of course, played collegially in Louisville. On March 13, two days after a positive test for Hubert’s coronavirus led to the NBA shutdown, Taylor was fatally shot when police stormed her apartment in Louisville, Kurichton, without a warrant, which they used in a drug investigation.

In the much smaller picture of their partnership in Utah, Mitchell, who also tested positive for coronavirus in March, and Gober spent weeks without talking. This is partly due to the infamous video of Robert touching a table filled with journalists’ recorders before he knew he was infected, prompting many critics to say he did not take the virus seriously, but later revealed tensions between the two players. .

That night, Mitchell scored eight consecutive points for Utah for the crunch, and then made a decisive drive and help, which set up for Robert’s winning free throws. Hubert finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, three blocked shots and the opportunity to think about roller coasters over the past four months when the NBA was forced to sleep.

“I’m just grateful to be back on the floor,” said Robert. “Honestly, a lot of things have been said, a lot has happened, a lot of things are happening in the world now. Being able to do what we love, being able to do it at the highest level, in a safe environment, having a positive impact on communities and inspiring millions of people and children around the world is truly something more than just a game. ”

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