The NBA Playoffs resume Saturday following a three-day, players-led boycott of games. The pause, as they’ve called it, came in the wake of .
They’re returning to the court after agreeing with NBA owners on a unified action plan to fight racial injustice that includes working to turn arenas, and possibly practice facilities, intofor the upcoming election.
Andre Iguodala, vice president of National Basketball Players Association, opened up to “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Dana Jacobson about the thought process behind the players’ agreement to return to the court.
“I think ultimately, you know, we wanted to take a step back,” Iguodala said. “We wanted to regroup, refocus, and just like a refresh button because it’s just, things can get heavy in your heart. And, you know, sometimes you ask yourself, what’s your purpose? And what it boils down to is: Is the platform working for us to get our messages out there? And there’s a real human issue here and we’re trying to shed light on that and we’re going to try to put things in place to change that.”
“So it was really the platform, understanding how big our platform is,” he said. “And they’ve been telling us to ‘shut up and dribble’ because they don’t want to hear us talk. So we realize if we aren’t playing, it’s going to shut us up and we’re not going to be dribbling. So you kind of get hit with the double whammy. And we realize, you know, we can have just as much leverage doing both playing and speaking and being about change and action.”
“Can you give us a sense of what it is like for you with so much going on outside that you want to be a part of, but knowing that you have a platform by playing inside that bubble?” Jacobson asked.
“Just one of those circumstances where it can be the perfect storm for the mind to kind of, you know, tear you down. But I think what we’ve been able to do is, knowing before we got here, you know, we’re coming here with a purpose,” the veteran Miami Heat swingman said. “So we realized it was the ultimate decision– was to come down here and play for something bigger than ourselves and bigger than basketball.”
“And a lot of people don’t want to talk about the financial aspect of it, but, you know, building wealth for our communities, you know, us being able to accumulate that wealth and then being able to take it back to our communities. And at the same time bringing the awareness, which is the main goal coming out here, shedding and light using this platform. You know, you’re seeing a lot of reactions to what we’ve been doing from other leagues, and that shows a lot of power, a lot of influence that we’re having and using that influence in the right way just to shed light on a lot of the social injustices that have been occurring.”
“I think Doc Rivers said that, ‘You love this country, but the country isn’t loving you back,'” Jacobson said.
“And I had an interesting conversation with Killer Mike, who’s a rapper. And we’ve had many great conversations before coming to the bubble, things we should try to do to bring more awareness to the situation and then try to build up our communities through our platform as well,” Iguodala said. “And he had similar sentiments and saying, you know, it’s interesting how we’ve been all over the world, but, you know, at the end of the day, we still would rather live here. And that’s a struggle in the mind, constantly just looking for a place in the world where we’re accepted as equals.”
Iguodala said he wanted people to know that even though athletes are exalted, they’re still human.
“I think you look at the athlete and it goes all the way back to, you know, Greek mythology. And we’re looked at as these godlike beings, but at the end of the day, we’re humans and, you know, we have emotions,” Iguodala said. “And although we give people away from their issues and bring joy to them, we need time to focus on our mental health as well. And a big part of it is, you know, you want the next generation to be better than you are and it wouldn’t be right if we left those communities that we grew up in, we left them behind when situations like this happen.”