BUENA VISTA, Fla. – When his conversations after the Zoom conversation ended, before embarking on a triumphant exit to the team bus, Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz admitted that his favorite historical play was not going as planned.
“There was no need to receive mail,” Gobert said. “I had to get a dunk.”
Using Donovan Mitchell’s screen to get rid of it, finally ruining the missed point and turning back to the starting line against former teammate Derrick Favors, Gobert dropped the ball directly inside the Favors in 20 seconds on Thursday night. The short Gobert nod that followed seemed to acknowledge the importance of the result.
What Gobert eventually got was a launch that will be recorded as the first basket in the NBA basket in July. He scored the first two points and the last two points in Utah’s 106-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, the first start of the NBA game Walt Disney World, 141 days after March 11. Gobert’s positive coronavirus test resulted in indefinite suspension. season.
“Life is mysterious,” Gobert said.
This opening sequence and his targeted penalty throws, just 62.1 percent. The transgression of the shooter, helped to do so as a redemptive evening for Gobert – shortly after the moving social justice protest in an arena where there are no fans but full of unity and purpose, it did. a significant occasion with many layers from across the league.
More than four minutes before the Jazz and Pelicans subsided, the players, coaches and staff of both teams gathered side by side with the referees, continuing from the baseline to the baseline. They teamed up with the letters “BLACK LIVES MATTER” attached to the floor at the player’s table in each of the three venues at ESPN’s Wide World sports complex, then joined together to play the national anthem recorded by John Baptist.
“The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers, Staples Center dormitories and champion rivals have met to do the same before their game,” the Compton Kidz club from the Los Angeles area made over to the recorded anthem. LeBron James has just helped the Lakers win 103-101 by winning games at both ends in the last 12.8 seconds when TNT said in an interview after the game, “I hope our fans are proud of us.”
James didn’t talk about basketball. Nor did he mention the official return of the league after such a long history of coronavirus absence or hope that the NBA had begun efforts to build a so-called bubble (worth at least $ 180 million) in Disney with “television arena settings and daily coronavirus testing. Like most of the players involved in Thursday’s duel, James was most moved by the unity shown in protest of their anthem.
“I hope we’ve made Kaep proud,” James said, referring to former San Francisco 49ers quarterfinals Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2107. January 1, After the 2016 It was customary to kneel towards the anthem. to protest racial injustice.
“I hope we continue to be proud of Kaep every day,” James said.
Pelicans spokesman JJ Redick said: “Stick to the sports crowd, protect politics from sports, all of these things are pointless. You can not. Politics and sports coexist, and the league has recognized that. “
Indeed. NBA commissioner Adam Silver took part in both matches on Thursday night, wearing a blue hat and watching from the high floor outside the window, both the HP Field House (Jazz-Pelicans) and the Arena (Lakers-Clippers) as he has not yet been quarantined and therefore cannot be near any of the approximately 1,500 league bubble residents. However, Silver issued a statement confirming that the league would not implement its old, 1981 There are rules that oblige all team members to stand for the national anthem in a “dignified position” behind a sideline or foul.
Sports and the virus
Updated for 2020 July 31
Here’s what happens when the world of sports is slowly coming back to life:
- The NBA is back, and the Lakers have managed to beat the Clippers in a thriller. Zion Williamson played in the first match of the Pelicans night.
- Players, coaches and analysts are watching this season’s baseball games to see what impact the absence of fans has.
- In the absence of summer tournaments, high school basketball stars commit to colleges earlier. Villanova is one of the beneficiaries.
“I respect the united peaceful act of protest of our teams for social justice, and in such exceptional circumstances I will not implement our old rule of standing on our anthem,” Silver said.
The Commissioner had a lot to get involved. The games were played in two different gyms so Turner could broadcast them back without waiting for a disinfection delay. The Jazz eliminated a 16-point deficit against the home team’s Pelicans virtual fans, and James followed the clutch bounce back in the final seconds, resolutely defending both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who had the same assets, to overtake the short-handed clippers. Players wore Black Lives Matter shirts during the pre-game warm-up, and many had slogans of social justice on their backs: “Peace” to New Orleans-awarded rookie Zion Williamson, “I’m a Man.” for Utah Mike Conley, “Tell Your Name” to Utah Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell went even further in protest of systemic racism, entering a building covered in a bulletproof vest inscribed with the names of many victims of police brutality.
“The game was great, we won by two, but at the end of the day, Breonna Taylor’s killers are still free,” Mitchell said. “There are so many different things we could talk about sincerely. I will continue to talk about Breonna Taylor because she is close and dear to me. “
Mitchell, of course, played collegially in Louisville. On March 13, two days after Goberto’s positive coronavirus test led to the closure of the NBA, Taylor was fatally shot when police officers broke into an apartment in her Louisville state, Ky., With an invalidity warrant they used to execute drugs.
In a much smaller photo of the Utah Partnership, Mitchell, who marched in March. He was also positive about the coronavirus, and Gobert didn’t talk for a few weeks. This was partly due to the infamous video in which Gobert touched a table full of journalists ’recording devices before he learned he was infected, and led many critics to claim it didn’t go beyond the virus, but it later became clear that tensions between the two players bubbled for a while.
Tonight, Mitchell scored eight consecutive Utah points in a cracking time frame, then made a decisive contribution and helped create the free throws won by the Gobert game. Gobert ended up scoring 14 points, 12 rebounds, three blocked shots and a chance to reflect on the roller coaster of the past four months when the NBA was forced to rest.
“I’m just grateful to be back on the floor,” Gobert said. “Honestly, a lot has been said, a lot has happened, a lot of things are happening in the world right now. Being able to do what we love, being able to do it at the highest level, in safe conditions, being able to make a positive impact on communities and inspiring millions of people and children around the world is something that is more than just a game. ”