NBA News Update: Coach Pop decides not to take a knee with his players during national anthem, Harrell suffers tragic personal loss

Gregg Popovich stood during the national anthem before today
Gregg Popovich stood during the national anthem before today's NBA game.
Vivek Parimi
Modified 01 Aug 2020

With day 2 of the restart of the season in the NBA bubble in Orlando, we got to see some amazing basketball action.

While Giannis Antetokounmpo dominated against the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets' superstar James Harden faced off against Dallas Mavericks' sensation Luka Doncic in a high-scoring game that went into overtime.

With all the basketball taking the limelight, here are some NBA news updates that you might have missed.

Coach Gregg Popovich chooses not to kneel during the national anthem

Before the start of the San Antonio Spurs vs Sacramento Kings game, most players and staff knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality. However, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and assistant coach Becky Hammon elected not to kneel.

When asked about his decision to stand during the national anthem, Coach Pop declined to comment, saying that it was a personal decision.

Some critics may not be too happy with Coach Popovich's decision but San Antonio Spurs' star DeMar DeRozan supported his coach, saying:

"We have no doubt in (what Pop and Hammon believe). Pop speaks out. Becky’s on the front line. She stands for equality. ... There’s no need to vilify someone for standing.”

While Coach Popovich did not kneel, he has been an advocate for social justice in the United States for a long time. He was wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt along with the rest of the team today.

In other NBA news, Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic chose not to kneel citing the gospel as his reason for his actions. He also chose not to wear a Black Lives Matter shirt to today's game.

Also Read: Toronto Raptors vs LA Lakers Prediction and Match Preview - 1st August 2020

LA Clippers' Montrezl Harrell's grandmother passes away

Montrezl Harrell in action for the LA Clippers
Montrezl Harrell in action for the LA Clippers

LA Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell posted about the unfortunate demise of his grandmother in an Instagram story on Friday.

Harrell had left the NBA bubble on July 17 to attend to an urgent family matter. While the specifics of his reason to leave were never addressed, he posted about his grandmother on his Instagram story as he left. There were speculations that his grandmother had the coronavirus but these rumours were never confirmed.

In other NBA news, Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers had bleak news about his grandmother as well. After Friday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Nurkic announced that his grandmother had fallen into a coma after contracting the coronavirus.

Nurkic beseeched people to take the pandemic seriously and use masks as he shared his thoughts about the pandemic and how it had affected his family.

NBA superstar LeBron James tweets out in support of Sabrina Ionescu after WNBA star's injury

LeBron James in no starnger to injury after 17 years in the NBA
LeBron James in no starnger to injury after 17 years in the NBA

WNBA rookie sensation Sabrina Ionescu suffered an ankle injury during a game. She had to be carried off the court but fortunately, initial X-rays showed that she does not have any fractures.

NBA superstar LeBron James tweeted out in support of the young WNBA star after her fall.

Also Read: Twitter marvels at James Harden's 49-point burst as Houston Rockets beat Dallas Mavericks 153-149 in overtime | NBA 2019-20

Published 01 Aug 2020
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