Lakers star LeBron James is that much closer to the second round of the NBA playoffs but he told media yesterday that he couldn’t even enjoy the team’s 135-115 victory over the Portland Trailblazers.
According to NBC News, James said that the police shooting of Jacob Blake has affected him to the point that he is barely thinking about a possible championship that would solidify his legacy among the NBA’s all-time greats.
As theGrio reported, Blake, 29, was shot in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after intervening in a domestic violence incident. Video shows Blake walking to the car, trailed by several police officers, where his three sons were sitting and opening the door. An officer then shot him at least seven times at close range. Blake’s father says that he’s now paralyzed from the waist down.
James says that the incident shook him.
“If you’re sitting here telling me that there was no way to subdue that gentleman or detain him before the firing of guns, then you’re sitting here lying not only to me, but you’re lying to every African American, every Black person in the community,” he told the media from ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in the NBA ‘bubble’ where players have been sequestered since July 30.
James, also a father of three, lamented that the incident, which was captured by bystander video, had to end the way that it did.
“Why does it always have to get to a point where we see the guns firing?”
James tweeted his disgust after hearing of the shooting, which happened on Sunday.
James said that contrary to what many whites expect from the police, his childhood in Akron, Ohio reflects that of other Black men who saw them as more of a threat than someone to count on.
“When I lived in the projects, when I seen a cop going, we hid behind a brick wall and waited for it to roll out. If we saw the cop’s lights go on, we ran, even if we didn’t do nothing wrong. We were just scared,” he said.
Watch James talk about the game and the Blake shooting below:
James also announced his new initiative More Than a Vote in conjunction with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which will help to train poll workers to get out the vote in November.
James scored 30 points, with ten assists, 6 rebounds, and a block in the game, which put the Lakers up 3-1 on the Trailblazers. The team scored the victory on “Mamba Day” which was celebrated a day after what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 42nd birthday.
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