There’s been another collision at the intersection of the games we play and real life in America. So, there's no playoff basketball in Orlando Wednesday night, and there's at least a chance there won't be any more games there.
The Milwaukee Bucks finally reached their breaking point after the latest police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Wisconsin, so they decided not to play their game against Orlando. Also, Houston, Oklahoma City, Lakers and Portland decided not to play either.
There have been players in the bubble talking about the fact that maybe playing their games was taking attention away from the bigger problem. They’ve put names and phrases on their jerseys, and they’ve worn T-shirts to show their support. They’ve even taken a knee during the anthem, and yet, the senseless killings continue.
Jacob Blake was unarmed. I don't care what Jacob Blake did or didn't do, I don't care. He’s unarmed, and that police officer shoots him in the back at least seven times in front of his three young children who were in the car. That cop should go to prison, but I doubt he will.
And yet, there are a lot of you who are only mad because the NBA won't play their games for your entertainment Wednesday night.
I said back in May, when George Floyd was killed in Minnesota, that we would all complain, we would march in the streets and some of the protests would become violent because there's always an element of every crowd who doesn't really care about why the crowd is there.
I understand the anger, the frustration and pain. I even understand the violence. But every fire that someone starts, and every bottle they throw sets the cause back and enables the racists among us to say, "I told you so."
I also said back in May that nothing would change. Our politicians and leaders would promise to fix the problem, but no one ever would. And three months after the death of George Floyd, and now the shooting of Jacob Blake, nothing has changed.
We paint some of our streets. We hang ribbons on a pole. The NBA won't play games.
But that's not the change we need.
We need the good cops to call out the bad cops. We need the good people to call out the bad people.
We need every American to know that our history doesn't have to define us. We don't have to be who we were. We can indeed be the better angel we all think we are.
And if not playing a basketball game can help us to get there, I hope they don't ever play until we do.