Paul George focused on two important names in his post-game comments.
Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers were back on the court Wednesday as NBA teams began exhibition play in Orlando. Just seeing basketball being played again was a great sign, but there was still more than just the game to discuss afterward.
George was LA’s best player in the contest, finishing with 18 points in 19 minutes, but rather than talk about the scrimmage, he used his time in his post-game interview to bring up the names of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.
Paul George is using his platform
There were plenty of eyes and ears on the Clippers as the team returned to action. George is not only a star on the team, but also one of the bigger names in the NBA. That gives him a tremendous platform, and using it to bring up Taylor and Floyd speaks volumes to him as a person and to his commitment to not letting basketball overshadow major societal problems.
That was one of the reported worries players had heading into Orlando: They didn’t want to just give up fighting social injustice. George has joined other stars who specifically focus on these issues in interviews. Anyone complaining about this is missing the whole point.
There is no reality in which modern NBA players just ignore major issues such as police brutality. Many were seen taking part in protests this summer and using a minute of time to speak on the topic is not a burden on anyone’s day.
It is a minor miracle to have NBA basketball being played again in a quarantined environment at Walt Disney World. Just read that sentence again. At the same time, players like George are choosing to embrace the focus that will be on them by using their voices to call out injustice in this country. That is just about as great as anything that can be accomplished on the court.