Silver, NBA shift focus to fighting racism

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NATIONAL Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver asked all 30 teams to encourage and embrace the push for social change.

Silver issued a memo to every NBA team late Sunday as nationwide protests surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, all of whom were black and unarmed, raged for another night.

“As a league, we share the outrage and offer our sincere condolences to their families and friends,” Silver wrote in the memo. “Just as we are fighting a pandemic, which is impacting communities and people of color more than anyone else, we are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed. Racism, police brutality and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored. At the same time, those who serve and protect our communities honorably and heroically are again left to answer for those who don’t.”

Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James and Jayson Tatum are among the chorus of NBA legends and current stars calling for public support to meet the need for social change.

“This moment also requires greater introspection from those of us, including me, who may never know the full pain and fear many of our colleagues and players experience every day,” Silver said in his memo. “We have to reach out, listen to each other and work together to be part of the solution. And as an organization, we need to do everything in our power to make a meaningful difference.”

Meanwhile, in a another story, former NBA player and coach Brian Shaw has agreed to become head coach of the G League’s elite pro team, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday.

The new team is set to launch next season in Los Angeles. It is part of the NBA’s professional pathway program that will pay elite prospects and provide a one-year development program.

Five-star recruits Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix are among the players committed to the team for the 2020–21 season.

Also part of the team is Filipino prospect Kai Sotto.

Shaw, 54, played parts of 14 seasons with seven NBA teams. He won three straight NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999–2000 through 2001–02.

After serving as an assistant coach with the Lakers from 2005–11 and as associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers from 2011–13, Shaw was the head coach of the Denver Nuggets during the 2013–14 and 2014–15 seasons. He compiled a 56-85 record in Denver before being fired in March 2015.

Shaw rejoined the Lakers as an associate head coach from 2016–19. — Reuters