In what was an incredibly powerful moment, the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers came together to kneel during the National Anthem. Every single player and member of the coaching staff took a knee together. It was a moment that both teams discussed before the game.
"Before yesterday, we all knew we were going to do that," Kawhi Leonard said. "Both teams together, came together, that we wanted to make a statement. Came out and did that."
Every single player and coach on the floor took great pride in the moment, whether they were a Clipper or a Laker. Paul George specifically had been waiting for the moment to make a statement.
"Played for something," George said. "We stood up for something. We kneeled for something. This league is all about unity. Can't say it enough. I love being a part of it because of the brotherhood of this league."
LeBron James had one big mission when making the stance: “I hope we made Kaep proud."
While players like LeBron and Kawhi didn't put statements on the backs of their jerseys, they've done more for the community than most players have. LeBron has consistently vocalized his thoughts about injustice throughout his career, and wanted to make sure Kaepernick was proud of him tonight.
The strongest words of the night came from Doc Rivers. Rivers has seen firsthand the evils of racism in a more extreme way than most as a man whose house was burnt down by racist arsonists. He's remained powerfully vocal about the subject throughout his career. Like coach Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers wants to ensure he can contribute towards making change. Here were his words:
"So the hardest thing that happened to me in the game today was kneeling for two minutes," Rivers said. "Like, my knee hurt. In the middle of it I'm thinking, in two minutes my knee is hurting, yet there was a guy that had his knee on someone's neck for eight minutes. Think about that.
The national anthem took two minutes. There were guys that needed towels and things to get under their knees. Yet someone kneeled on another human being's neck for eight minutes. That's nuts when you think about it."