Los Angeles, CA—Lebron James have been very vocal about social issues and injustices in the last few years. His voice carries a lot of a weight in the NBA.
James and his teammates were upset after a Wisconsin prosecutor on Tuesday decided not to charge a police officer who shot a Black man last year.
Then came Wednesday when a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump marched to the U.S. Capitol to delay Congress from certifying the results of November’s election.
James watched everything unfold on television with his family continued to reinforce his view of the wide divide in the country.
“We live in two Americas and a prime example of that was yesterday. If you don’t understand or see that then you need to take a step back. Not just one step but four or five or even 10 steps backward,” James said Thursday night. “How do you want your kids or grandkids to live in this beautiful country? Yesterday was not it. I couldn’t help but to wonder if those were my kind storming the Capitol what would have been the outcome. We all know what would have happened if anyone even got close let alone storm or get in the offices.”
James donned a t-shirt walking into Staples Cente Arena before the game that said “Do you understand now.” He also had the saying on his sneakers during the game. Players and coaches from both teams locked arms in a circle at half-court during the anthem.
Lebron said he wants people to understand what athletes and Black people are saying. So that is why he wore the shirt.
“You will never understand the feeling of being a black man and woman in America,” James said. “Do you understand how hard it is to continue to inspire and give everything we got? Everyone jumps on the bandwagon of what we provide, what we bring. How we dress, our music, our culture, our food. Everyone steals from what we do and then they want to act like we did it or brought it to this world. We don’t get our due diligence or anything back to his country except a slap in the face.”
With all of that going on, the San Antonio beat the Lakers at the Staples Center Arena on Thursday 118-109.
The Spurs were 16 of 35 on 3-pointers after making 20 from downtown against the Clippers. Eight players made treys with Aldridge and Rudy Gay leading San Antonio with three apiece.
Gay hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 9-2 run halfway through the fourth quarter that broke the game open after the Lakers had trim the lead got within three (96-93) on Montrezl Harrell’s layup.
“We were sharing the ball. Once you get into a good rhythm shooting it is contagious. When guys share the ball we have nights like tonight,” Demar DeRozan said.
LeBron James scored 27 points and 12 assists while Anthony Davis chipped in 23 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
“We played a real poor defensive first half,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “We didn’t handle Aldridge well enough and as a result we got outplayed.”
James has remained a staunch critic of Trump during his years in the White House and said that what happened at the U.S. National Capitol was a direct correlation of what the President represents.
“He doesn’t care about this country or his family. We saw the tweets along the whole path to this destruction. Over the last four years we all knew,” he said. “One thing you can never get back is time. We’ve literally just thrown away four years.”
“Yesterday was shameful. We are supposed to be setting an example for all other countries on how to run things and change the world and yesterday we looked like a third-, fourth-, fifth-world country. It was embarrassing.”
LaMarcus Aldridge led San Antonio with a season-high 28 points and was one of five in double figures. Demar DeRozan added 19 points and eight assists.
San Antonio scored the first nine points and led the entire way. Lonnie Walker IV’s jumper gave the Spurs a 84-74 lead in the third quarter before the Lakers went on a 15-5 run to tie the game. Harrell’s putback off Talen Horton-Tucker’s miss knot it at 89 with 1:04 remaining in the contest before the Spurs regained their composure.
The Spurs largest advantage was 15 points late in the first quarter and they were up 65-56 at the break.
“We played a real poor defensive first half,” coach Frank Vogel said. “We didn’t handle Aldridge well enough and as a result we got outplayed.”
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who also hasn’t held his tongue regarding his views about President Trump, said he believed Trump enjoyed Wednesday’s insurrection.
“I believe with all my heart that Trump enjoyed it,” Popovich said before tipoff. “They talked about the police and how easy it was and the barriers were pulled and they just walked right in. That doesn’t happen unless there’s a wink and a nod somewhere. That just doesn’t happen. It’s never happened at any protest anybody’s ever been to.
“That’s why I don’t think it’s so far fetched for people to start talking about the 25th amendment. We know it probably won’t happen.”