Today is the day set aside to honor one of America’s most iconic leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was one of the many civil rights leaders fighting for the rights of not just African Americans, but minorities in general, as he also worked with other leaders like Caesar Chavez. Though King is long gone, his legacy lives on and the NBA continues honor and remember that legacy.
On Friday, the association posted a video titled, “NBA/MLK: Barrier Breakers.” The video details many NBA players who have made history in the NBA, beginning with Chuck Cooper, the first African American man drafted by an NBA team (Boston Celtics) in 1950. Because of him and Walter Brown, the Celtics owner at that time, others were able to follow suit. In 2013, over 60 years later, 76.3 percent of the players were African American and 81 percent were people of color.
Today, NBA teams and players have taken to social media to express their admiration and respect for King, consisting of various tweets and tribute videos. On top of this, the association has a full lineup of games throughout the day in lieu of the holiday. Charlotte Hornets players wore warm-up shirts in an effort to celebrate King’s life.
Here’s the MLK Day schedule (times are EST):
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Charlotte Hornets currently being aired on NBA League Pass.
- Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards also currently being aired on NBA League Pass.
- Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks at 2:30 p.m. to be aired on ESPN.
- Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers at 3:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
- Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors 4 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
- Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies at 5 p.m. on NBATV.
- Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets at 5:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
- New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks at 5:30 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
- Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. to be aired on TNT.
- Toronto Raptors at Milwaukee Bucks at 8 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
- Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. to be aired on NBA League Pass.
- Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns at 10 p.m. to be aired on TNT.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to everyone! May we not only honor him in word and holiday, but strive to continue the work he started by treating everyone equally and seek to tear down barriers.