LeBron James returned to the court Thursday night when the Lakers took on the Dallas Mavericks in their first Orlando scrimmage. Following Los Angeles' 104-108 loss, James conducted a postgame press conference that primarily focused on his calls for social justice.
"First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that’s going on with that situation," James said, when asked about his team’s Thursday night loss.
LeBron played tonight with Breonna Taylor on his shoes and in mind. pic.twitter.com/K4TGqMYc9M— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) July 24, 2020
Another journalist pointed out that James had written "#Justice4BreonnaT" on the sneakers he wore for the scrimmage; he then asked James what steps need to occur to ensure justice for Taylor—the 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by Kentucky police executing a no-knock warrant.
"We want the cops arrested who committed that crime," James responded. "… As one of the leaders of this league, I want [Taylor’s] family to know and the state of Kentucky to know … we want justice. And that’s what it’s all about. What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. And this is a wrong situation that’s going on." James was later asked if he believes the country has made any progress in regards to social justice. He asserted we still have a long way to go.
Lakers’ LeBron James on Breonna Taylor: “We want the cops arrested.” pic.twitter.com/TmMSYgoJQi— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 24, 2020
"In 2016, Barack [Obama] was our President. We know what’s going on now. Is that progress? I think we can all sit here and say that’s not progress."
Lakers’ LeBron James on whether he’s seen progress in USA on social justice: “In 2016, Barack [Obama] was our President. We know what’s going on now. Is that progress? I think we can all sit here and say that’s not progress. ... We’ve got a long way to go.” pic.twitter.com/UjSgnr2UXr— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 24, 2020
You can check out the full press conference below.
James is among the growing list of NBA players who have used their press conferences to demand justice for Taylor. He follows 76ers Tobias Harris, Lakers stars Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso, and Celtics guard Marcus Smart.
"Justice for Breonna Taylor. That's my answer for everything."— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) July 21, 2020
NBA players are skipping basketball questions to keep the focus on Breonna Taylor during interviews. 👏 pic.twitter.com/QmRbNTyMwT