Gregg Popovich, coach of San Antonio Spurs, said on Saturday that he had initially considered postponing the restart in Orlando given his age, but decided to do so because he was convinced of the precautions in place and the ability to continue discussions about social justice .
“I spoke to a lot of people, I spoke to Adam [Silver]and you find out pretty quickly what he and his co-workers have gone through many to put this thing together, “said Popovich.” I honestly believe, and I’m not just a loyal NBA soldier. My share of criticism here and there when I thought it was necessary, but I don’t know where else you would be as safe as we are now. You cannot spoil us here as much as you did before COVID ̵
Popovich, who is currently the oldest coach in the NBA at 71, considered not switching to the Spurs, but was medically cleared and held his first training session with the entire team on Saturday.
“Especially when I was 71 I thought, ‘Do I want to spend a lot of time here? Doing so under these circumstances?'” Popovich said. “For the past few days, I thought I was going to do my Dooley year (first year) in training camp at [Air Force] Academy.”
According to the CDC, people over 65 are at increased risk of complications from COVID-19. In early June, Adam Silver told TNT that the league may need to consider alternative options for older coaches. That was quickly pushed back, and coaches like Popovich, Alvin Gentry (65) and Mike D’Antoni (69) are with their teams in Orlando and fully participate.
“From an intellectual and medical point of view, I probably don’t have to say, but I’m safer here – if this bubble works – I’m safer here than in Texas. Safe. As you can see what’s going on there.”
Popovich has long been an active voice in the NBA on cultural and political issues, and sees the restart of Orlando as part of the responsibility for maintaining the global dynamic of social justice and racism.
“Since the decision was made to do this to restart the season with all precautions under these circumstances, what a great opportunity to make the race a priority, key social activity while we’re here are.” “Popovich said.” People will enjoy the games and the sportiness and the losses and the victories and excitement, but the message the league wants to send is one of justice. And no injustice to anyone and making people think about it every day. “Whether it’s a coach or a player, it’s the momentum that we have to maintain and the league can be a great thing for that Be a communicator. “
Most of Popovich’s nearly 30-minute video session on Saturday was spent discussing social justice and racism. When asked what he had learned over the past few months, Popovich said he always considered himself a well-educated and informed person about the breed, but was stunned as he continued to research, especially when it came to the black community goes.
“Even for people like me who think we have a good sense of injustice and inequality,” said Popovich, “we didn’t know any crap.”
“In particular, from about the end of the civil war until about 1950, I had no idea 6,500 lynchings,” said Popovich. “It’s hard to fathom … that’s two lynchings a week. For four decades. I can’t fathom that. I can’t …”
Popovich paused for a moment when he seemed to be getting emotional before continuing.
“This kind of information makes it even more critical that enough is enough. It has to stop. It can’t be thrown under the carpet. And here I hope that we can learn even more to find out the truth. The myths have been broken and the level of comfort for whites is completely destroyed. Because in my opinion it is impossible for us whites to accept wealth and privileges if we know when the virus made it so obvious how unfair how the system was cruel. You cannot live your life enjoy if you don’t understand what happened to so many. “
Popovich pointed out a number of factors and discussions, but said that the focus should again be on reparations.
“Many cities speak of the” 8 Can’t Wait “when it comes to the police, and it’s all great,” he said. “But we need to get to the point where action is being taken at multiple levels, certainly with the police, especially with police unions. But beyond that, we need to get to the reparations discussion.”
“None of us have been educated on what reconstruction really means,” he said. “When we all found out that Lincoln freed the slaves, he is a hero and the slaves are free. That was it. There was nothing else. And to date, there are millions of white Americans who still live according to all these myths and none have any idea of what actually happened in the rebuilding and what happened when the rebuilding became salvation and what all the Jim Crow laws meant. “
Popovich drew attention to a piece by Nikole Hannah-Jones about reparations recently published in the New York Times Magazine and encouraged people to read it.
“I would recommend it to everyone because I think it is a template to at least understand where we are, why we are and how we need to get to the reparations discussion and not just wait for laws and laws,” he said. “We had it.”