Last night’s NBA games were exactly what all basketball fans would have expected
Finally, last night was the day in which basketball action returned to the NBA after more than four months of break that was imposed on all sports because of the coronavirus. The NBA restarted its 2019-20 season at the ESPN facilities in Orlando, while sports fans from all across the world were glued to their TVs, tablets and computers, not wanting to miss a second of live basketball action, and they weren’t disappointed. The first two games saw the LA Lakers take on the LA Clippers, while the Utah Jazz faced the New Orleans Pelicans. Besides the excitement of the game, the league had another goal of following up with its promise of promoting social justice awareness.
While the National Anthem was being played, as expected, all players, coaches and even referees kneeled while all of them were sporting a t-shirt with the “Black Lives Matter” slogan on it. After the music stopped, players removed the shirts and revealed their usual jerseys and footwear that also contained messages related to this cause, which were approved by the NBA, so the league can continue bringing awareness about the importance of social and racial equity. Words and phrases like “Equality” and “Say her name” were displayed in the players’ jerseys; the “say her name” slogan was in reference to Breonna Taylor, a black emergency medical technician who was murdered by Kentucky police, which is one of the many cases of abuse of force across the country that have caused a major uproar.
The first night of this modified NBA season had two games with impressive endings. The game between the Jazz and Pelicans had a surprising ending after the Pelicans had the lead most of the game – and by a huge margin. But, as the clock continued to run, Jazz went on a scoring streak to take the lead, and ended up winning 106-104 as the Pels lost a buzzer-beater from beyond the paint that would have resulted in a one-point lead.
The Lakers-Clippers showdown started a little rusty, but everyone quickly got the rhythm of the game. Leave it up to King James to be the go-to man; he showed why he’s the basketball master from start to finish. Just like in the Jazz-Pelicans game, this one came down to the wire, and it was LeBron who made sure that the Lakers emerged victorious when a three-pointer that would have given the Clippers the win fell short thanks to his pressure. The Lakers won 103-101.