Milwaukee Bucks Star: NBA Restart Was a Mistake

Dan Mennella
August 24, 2020 - 8:38 pm
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At least two NBA stars on Monday expressed regret about playing the restarted season in Orlando, after video surfaced over the weekend showing Wisconsin police officers shooting an unarmed black man in the back.

Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill and Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell both suggested playing in the bubble was an impediment to achieving justice for victims of police brutality.

Their comments came after two Kenosha officers on Sunday night appeared to fire seven shots at point-blank range into the back of Jacob Blake, in view of his children. Blake was reportedly in grave condition on Monday.

Countless athletes registered a range of reactions to the tragic incident.

Hill, an 11-year veteran, sounded exasperated when he was asked what players can do to bring about change.

"We can't do anything," Hill said. "First of all, we shouldn't have came to this damn place to be honest.

"Coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are. But we're here. It is what it is. We can't do anything from right here. But definitely when it's all settled, some things need to be done."

Matters of social justice have been at the forefront of the NBA restart in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality, systemic racism, the handling of the coronavirus crisis, and mass unemployment.

Players have worn messages of social justice on their uniforms, kneeled during the national anthem, and used media availability to call attention to the Breonna Taylor case.

Earlier on Monday, a frustrated Mitchell -- fresh off a 50-point performance on Sunday -- demanded justice for Blake, and said "F THE GAMES AND PLAYOFFS!!!"

Hill's sentiment seemed to capture the frustration of many wanting to make a difference while working for a living.

"We’re down here playing in the bubble to do these things for social justice and all that, and to see it all still going on, and we’re just playing the games like it’s nothing -- it’s just a really messed up situation right now."

Hill, now in his second year with Milwaukee after coming over in a midseason trade last year, has enjoyed a renaissance as the primary backup point guard on the high-powered Bucks. The journeyman led the league with a scorching 46% shooting from deep.

The Indianapolis native and former Pacers star joined and spoke at a June protest against racial injustice there, alongside former WNBA star Tamika Catchings.