Chris Paul helped lead the Oklahoma City Thunder out of a 14-point hole in the second half to a 117-114 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series on Monday afternoon at Walt Disney World.
The win was critical for the Thunder, too, as it evened the series 2-2.
Yet immediately after the game, Paul didn’t care about what had just happened on the court.
He wanted to talk about Jacob Blake and the importance of voting.
‘The win is good, but voting is real’
Blake, a Black man, is in stable condition after he was shot in the back seven times by a white police officer as he tried to get into his car — where his three children were waiting in the backseat — on Sunday afternoon.
A lawyer for the family said that Blake had been trying to break up an argument between two women when police arrived to the scene in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Horrific video of the incident taken from across the street showed the officer shoot him multiple times.
The three officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
The shooting sparked massive protests in the city and drew widespread condemnation both from inside the sports world and out.
“I don’t know. That’s all good and well,” Paul said on TNT when asked about the late run. “I just want to send my prayers out to Jacob Blake and their family. The things that we decided to come down here to play for and said we’re going to speak on, the social injustice and the things that continue to happen to our people, is not right. It’s not right.”
What was more important to Paul while standing on the court at Walt Disney World was the need to encourage people to vote.
He even issued a challenge to his fellow NBA players and other athletes across the sports world.
“The win is good, but voting is real,” Paul said on TNT. “I’m going to challenge all my NBA guys, other sports guys, let's try to get our entire teams registered to vote. It’s a lot of stuff going on in the country. Sports is cool, it’s good and well. It’s how we take care of our families, but those are the real issues that we’ve got to start addressing.”
Paul scored 26 points in the Thunder’s win while shooting 10-of-19 from the field and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
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