Jacob Blake: The hidden impact of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Lakers and their cross the hall rivals are not backing out. But that’s all anyone knows!

Despite the reports and false rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers wanting to quit the playoffs, the season should resume Saturday. But it’s easy to see why Avery Bradley stayed out, Dwight Howard waited until the last minute or Rajon Rondo (Who lives in Kentucky where Breonna Taylor was killed!) reportedly wanted to get out of dodge.

Since the NBA resumed play inside its bubble in Florida, there have been “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts and patches, and jerseys reading “Enough” and “Equality” and “Education Reform” and “Listen to Us.”

It didn’t work.

The players and coaches locked arms and kneeled during the National Anthem.

It didn’t work.

They’ve avoided answering basketball questions to instead shine a light on the fact that the Louisville officers who killed Breonna Taylor are still walking free, two of the three still employed. The Los Angeles Lakers took the MAGA hats and changed them to send a message to arrest Breonna’s killers.

It didn’t work.

They’ve encouraged all of us to vote. That remains to be seen.

The NBA and the players association have pledged to donate $300 million to bolster Black economic empowerment, helping education and youth employment programs. If that makes a difference or matters remains to be seen.

The problem is now, there is a perception that none of these things has led to any meaningful change other than slick political comments from the President and other political figures. None of this kept Blake from being shot multiple times in the back, likely paralyzing him for the rest of his life. Finally, it won’t bring back George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain or Breonna Taylor.

James made it clear that he can both compete and fight for positive social change according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

"“I still have a job to do because I’m here. Because I committed. And when I commit to something, I feel like I have to come through. That’s just who I am,” James said. “But that does not mean that I don’t see what’s going on and I won’t say anything or continue to use my platform, continue to use my voice and continue to uplift all of the other athletes to let them know that they can say and do what’s right and not fear what other people’s opinions are.”"

This storyline has now overshadowed the NBA playoffs. That’s a good thing. Sports is entertainment and like Kyrie Irving warned us all, a possible distraction. This is no longer a publicity stunt no matter how some spin it. It’s way past the hardwood now. The players have the support. Kenny Smith left the TNT set in support of the players.

Keep believing that won’t make difference. The TNT show wins Emmys every year and is considered the best basketball show on television.

This will end an emotional article about a much broader issue. The Los Angeles Lakers have cemented themselves in history as one of the classiest organizations in sports. Black Lives Matter is not a cool slogan to market to them. They have gotten behind LeBron James and have a chance to really make changes for generations to come.

Racism is real. For any non-African American that doesn’t see this as a problem, we close with Lakers analyst Robert Horry.

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Black Lives Matter!