From LeBron James repping Manila to coach Doc Rivers’ speech on police brutality, here’s all the NBA recap you need
The NBA is officially back. And it feels so damn good.
The opening day of the NBA felt like Christmas Eve for many basketball fans. After almost five months of no live games, the first two days reminded everyone what’s at stake in the 2019-2020 season. That is, the eight-team race for the playoffs, the newfound rivalry between three-time NBA champion LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, and the chase for the golden brass ring. Here’s all the NBA recap from last weekend:
The king was repping Manila
In the second game between the Los Angeles Lakers and defending champions Toronto Raptors, James brought out the Nike LeBron XV11 Low “Titan” sneakers designed by Nike in collaboration with local shoe distributor Titan. The design represents the Filipinos’ love for basketball. For many, the shoe is probably just a random pair the King wore for a game. But not for Filipinos. The LeBron XV11 Titan symbolizes a decade’s worth of passion and dedication Titan has worked for to put the Philippines on the global basketball map of global basketball.
We need a seven-game Lakers versus Clippers series
James and Anthony Davis versus Leonard and Paul George for seven games? That could be one of—if not the most—exciting Western Conference matchups in a long time. Saturday’s main event was an indication that no one really knows who will win this year’s championship—unlike in the past few years when the Golden State Warriors were already the favorites from the start. The winner of the Western Conference this year is going to dictate multiple legacies and we are here to experience every single moment of it.
The NBA is using its platform to address social injustice
Players, coaches, and team staff are taking this time not just to focus on basketball but to address social injustice as well. Majority of the players have opted to kneel during the US national anthem before the tip-off to call attention to racial inequality and police brutality. Superstars like James and coaches like Clippers’ Doc Rivers have always made it a point to discuss racism and police brutality in all their interviews. Last Saturday, Rivers’ post-game interview was one of the most remarkable and powerful ones thus far.
“The national anthem took two minutes. There were guys who needed towels and things to get under their knees. And yet, someone kneeled on another human being’s neck for eight minutes. That’s nuts,” said the champion coach after the game.
The bubble is actually working
The NBA has reported zero COVID-19 cases since the players and staff arrived in the bubble. This is certainly good news for the league, especially since creating the bubble was a huge gamble. This could also be a preview of how other leagues around the world could resume their seasons given that the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t subsided. Will sports events take place without an audience from now on? Will this bubble system be the path to sports’ survival for now?
These are questions that will only be answered in the coming months. But at least for now, sports fans have something to be excited about again—and it feels so damn good.
That’s all the NBA recap for now.