While the Lakers beat the Grizzlies on Tuesday night and LeBron James scored 26 points, the 36-year-old knew there were more important things happening across the country that would impact his and his kids' futures.
"I'm smart enough to know that even though we're playing a game of basketball that there's so much more that's going on in the world," James said in postgame interviews. "So much more that's even more important than us playing a game."
Earlier on Tuesday, a Wisconsin prosecutor declined to file charges against a police officer who shot Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed. The shooting occurred on Aug. 23, 2020, three months after George Floyd died while being violently restrained by police officers in Minneapolis. Floyd's death sparked protests across the world as the Black Lives Matter movement fought and advocated for racial and social justice.
In the wake of the Blake shooting, NBA and WNBA players elected not to play in several games in protest.
"To hear what happened in Kenosha today was a blow to the heart and to the gut," James said. "Not only to that community but to us and to every Black person that's been a part of this process and seeing these outcomes for so long. And not only just in the Black community but also in the white community as well who see moments like this happen to us, to happen to his family, to happen to the kid himself. To see that verdict was a blow to the gut and a blow to the heart.
"We got to continue to stay strong, got to continue to believe in each other and continue to push for the greater of change and the greater good."
Tuesday also marked the U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia, where Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler in one of Georgia's two runoff selections. The other runoff is between incumbent David Perdue and Jon Ossoff, which was called for Ossoff as of Wednesday afternoon.
"To hear my people turnout in Georgia in the fashion that they did, I'm definitely going to get some more information on it, but I heard they turned out in Georgia, and that's commendable," James said. "It's something that we started with More Than A Vote, and we want to continue to do that, continue to support actions like this and causes that went on today.
"Proud of my people for getting out there and doing what they do best, and that's being heard, being seen and being powerful and being engaged."
More Than A Vote is a nonprofit that aims to fight Black voter suppression and encourage minority voters across the nation. James confirmed in his postgame interviews that the organization isn't "going to stop" and is going to look for opportunities to grow and "create change."
One way that the NBA player may look to create change is in the WNBA. James tweeted after the game, "Think I’m gone put together an ownership group for The Dream." The Atlanta based team is co-owned by Sen. Loeffler, who the WNBA players have actively tried to take down after she filed a bill targeting trans woman and girl athletes. Loeffler had previously clashed with WNBA players over their support for Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name, a campaign spotlighting Black women killed by police.