ORLANDO (CBSLA) — The Lakers played their first scrimmage of the NBA’s planned restart on Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks, and while the Lakers fell 108-104, the result on the floor didn’t matter nearly as much as LeBron James’ media availability afterwards.
James took time to speak out about racial and social injustice, the death of Breonna Taylor and Black Lives Matter in his post game interview. First, he lamented the fact that the police officers who were involved in Taylor’s death have yet to be arrested.
“The same energy we had on the floor is the same energy we have toward having justice for Breonna Taylor and her family,” said James. “It’s unfortunate. It’s fortunate that we had the George Floyd video to see it, but is that what we need to see, a video of Breonna being killed, for people to realize how bad the situation is? I don’t even believe they were at the right place. The cops weren’t even in at the right place. They knocked down the wrong door and started doing what they do at that time and just started shooting away. And that’s just not okay…. We want the cops arrested. Justice for Breonna Taylor is number one on our lists right now.”
James then went on to address how he’s feeling after seeing a story like one earlier this week in which a Black man had police called on him while he was trying out a bicycle to buy for his son at a Walmart in Pennsylvania.
“It’s just heartbreaking. You guys don’t understand,” said James. “Unless you’re a person of color, you guys don’t understand. I understand you might feel for us. But you will never truly understand what it is to be black in America.”
He continued on to address Black Lives Matter and the classification of it as a movement. James said that’s not the way that he and other Black Americans look at it.
“A lot of people use this analogy that Black Lives Matter is a movement. It’s not a movement. When you’re black, it’s not a movement. It’s a lifestyle,” said James. “This is a walk of life. I don’t like the word ‘movement’ because unfortunately in America and in society there ain’t been no damn movement for us.”
The 35-year-old James has been active in calling for social justice and racial equality throughout the last five years. He has become more politically active as well, starting a voting rights advocacy group with several other NBA and WNBA players.