Few, if any, people in the NBA have as much experience as Rockets assistant coach John Lucas. The 66-year-old was drafted No. 1 overall in 1976, and he's been a fixture in the league ever since. On Wednesday, Lucas' perspective was certainly valuable. As players looked for what's next amid a strike, Lucas' four-plus decades in the NBA came in handy.
Lucas reportedly addressed players in Orlando on Wednesday after six teams sat out their round one contests following the shooting of Kenosha, Wis. resident Jacob Blake. Lucas did not offer a route moving forward as players protest racial injustice and police brutality, though his message was clear, per The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey: "Today was historic, don't f--- it up."
Lucas addressed his message to the league's players on Wednesday night.
"This was a historical moment for them," Lucas told FOX 26 Houston's Mark Berman. "What the players want I want for them as being a former player and a retired player and someone that's with them daily. I want what they want. They want social justice and to be able to make a difference in Black lives as well as all lives that matter, to end police brutality."
Lucas' playing days are far in the rearview mirror, and he's unlikely to ever assume another head coaching spot. But don't discount Lucas' impact both on the Rockets and the league writ large. Lucas has been front and center for the NBA's evolution over the last four decades. His insight is more than worthwhile as the league delves into uncharted territory.