The past two weeks have been an exercise in confrontations with disturbing reality. It started off with another disturbing reminder of the discount we place in the value of black life, led then to disturbing displays of police units happy to crack heads with cameras rolling, all with the background of a disturbing discussion about the ways to address the underlying human inequity that the country functions atop of. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” declares the ostensible leader of all US citizens.
Amid the devastating images have been salves. The outpouring of support from citizens of all backgrounds and across the entire country rises foremost in the imagery we’ve seen since the killing of George Floyd. Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Bucks - both players and organization - stepped forth to lend physical presence to peaceful marches for change:
#Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo and several teammates join the protests wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts.— Lily Zhao (@LilySZhao) June 7, 2020
Giannis: “This is our city... we want change, we want justice... I want my kid to grow up here in Milwaukee, and not to be scared to walk in the streets.” (Via Frank Nitty) pic.twitter.com/b3SZ9o0ckr
It’s a welcome sight to have these individuals, for all their relative stature in the community, so decisively come out to lend aid to a cause as critical as this. There is power in words, but in the present moment there is even more power in action. Indeed, it would have been strange if the Bucks - known for championing causes such as prison reform and combatting police brutality - had left it at a team statement on Twitter. The players stepping forward should be commended; as Giannis said, this is their city too. Look no further than what happened to Sterling Brown to really understand just how true that is - it’s their city to live in, to love, and to support; it’s also their city to get ganged up on by the police and tased for a parking violation.
Keep That Same Energy (The Flock)
I’ve been proud to watch so many of my fellow staff members come out strongly on the topics of police brutality, systemic racism, and how we can meaningfully alter behaviors to do our individual parts in making a better tomorrow possible. It’s powerful and, frankly, humbling.
Following on from the into is this piece from Eric Nehm going deeper on the display of activism from Bucks players over the weekend.
A push for improvement to the lives of a significant portion of society will continue to find its greatest proponents in the ordinary citizens at the heart of protests, but it never hurts to have individuals of public stature alongside within the community and pursuing other projects off the streets.
We’ve got the rough idea for how the NBA is going to structure the return (eight-game seeding round, then the ‘typical’ 1-8 seeding for both Eastern and Western Conference, everything in Orlando), but I wonder at how many more policies the NBA will tip their hand on before things start up. The biggest thing in my mind continues to be the worries about a quick spreading of disease among a particular team. It’s fine to quarantine a single player if they’re ill, yet there is still the chance of faulty testing or asymptomatic individuals accidentally infecting teammates and opponents.
I’d love for everything to go off without a hitch and minimal player minutes lost to illness. That just doesn’t strike me as super realistic, especially with another potential wave of infection on the horizon.
Now this is impressive honesty from a regional sports affiliate that we’ve come to expect quite the opposite from. From the outlet best known for wondering whether the Bucks would trade Giannis for the memory of Festus Ezeli and a few old jerseys, we finally see a writer stepping back and realistically trying to breakdown why something happening in the world doesn’t automatically mean Giannis is coming to San Francisco.
Maybe this is the start of something new...
Los Angeles Lakers’ Advantage Over Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks Revealed (International Business Times)
I’m pretty sure this is IBT’s first time on the MMMR, which means we’re really digging deeper than we’ve ever dug for digital ink to put in here. It’s been awhile since I saw a site as full of ads as this (no, Brew Hoop doesn’t count), but you can’t help but get hooked by that headline.
The difference that was “revealed”? Experience winning rings. Saved you a click, I guess.
The Social Media Section
Khris also showing his support
Kyle does the same
View this post on Instagram
Here’s what I DON’T know. I don't know a single thing about what it's like to be a black or brown person in a country with an unjust, and often violent, system embedded in its institutions. I don’t know the right words to say all the time. I don’t know many of the books I should read. I don’t know enough of America’s history of oppression that’s often left out of official histories. I don’t know what I don’t know. Those are all forms of privilege. But I just wanted to write a short post about what I DO know. As a white person, and a white man, I want to talk about OUR OWN communities. White communities. Privileged communities. As white people, WE need to start talking to other white people about systemic injustice and racism. This can be done as we’re simultaneously looking to our black and brown friends and co-workers and leaders to guide us. But this part is on us: We need to start having our own versions of "The Talk," where we — at home, at the office, on the basketball court, at church, etc. — struggle in a serious way with our responsibility in this larger conversation about racism. Because even if we are ill-informed, we know enough by looking with our own eyes: people who are struggling against injustice shouldn’t have the burden to explain why that injustice matters to them and to us. They shouldn't have to constantly give us advice about how to help. As people who enjoy privileges, let’s take that initiative on ourselves. Not out of guilt. But out of responsibility. Out of a sense of the true meaning of community and family — that if we say we’re in it together, we can’t only be in it together when we’re called out on it. That starts with me. And you. And it seems to me that it’s the minimum requirement! But I believe we should start there. Please share your comments. #BlackLivesMatter #TheWhiteTalk
George Hill is working on education initiatives while caring for his Zebras
Kyle and Adam were back this week to reunite the Brew Hoop Podcast. My fiancée was thrilled:
When I told my fiancée what my plans were this morning, she groaned. When I followed up with, "It should be a short one" she couldn't hide her contemptuous disbelief.— Riley Feldmann (@RileyFeldmann) June 7, 2020
That can only mean one thing: The @brewhoop Podcast is back with @adamrparis and @KyleCoche.
We lost more good ones over at the mothership this past week (and over at The Athletic, too)
My time at SB Nation has ended.— Mike Prada. I have spoken (@MikePradaNBA) June 5, 2020
Dec. 11, 2006 - June 5, 2020 pic.twitter.com/j4Pg2GQUqM
...Herd league champions?
If you thought Christian Wood was going to stop with the Twitter stuff after beating Covid-19, you were dead wrong
Free agency just got more complicated for the Pistons. https://t.co/fuYXTYB3wI— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) June 4, 2020
Consider this your reminder that, while the NBA is stepping forward towards a season’s completion, we’re still eight weeks away from anything besides training happening. The timelines have been thrown so haywire that such a wait still stretches far before us. At some point those weeks will melt by and we can get inspired to talk about why the Orlando Magic Are A Threat In The First Round, but until then...