LeBron James on Thursday said Breonna Taylor's case has hit home for him because he can't help but imagine his daughter, wife, or mother being shot, saying he couldn't "forgive who did it."
James called Taylor's case a "tragedy" saying he hopes for justice "no matter how long it takes" after none of the officers involved in Taylor's shooting were charged directly for the act of shooting her.
NBA players previously protested the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August, and James called playing the games in the bubble "difficult" and "challenging."
After helping the Los Angeles Lakers take a 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals on Thursday, LeBron James told TNT's Allie LaForce that the Breonna Taylor case has been hanging "heavy" over players.
On Wednesday, a grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, charged former police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of "wanton endangerment" for the drug raid that killed Taylor in her apartment. The charges are only for firing shots into a neighbor's apartment, not for shooting Taylor herself. The other officers involved in the raid were not charged.
James said the case has hit home for him because he has imagined how he would react if someone "gunned down" his daughter, wife, or mother.
"I've got a daughter of mine at home and a wife and my mom and so many predominantly Black women in my life, to think about if they wasn't here the next day, or to think if they were gunned down, it would be something I would never be able to forgive myself or forgive who did it," James said.
James was one of several athletes to speak out about the lack of charges in Taylor's case, tweeting on Wednesday: "I've been lost for words today! I'm devastated, hurt, sad, mad! We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors apartment walls and not her beautiful life. Was I surprised at the verdict. Absolutely not but damnit I was & still am hurt and heavy hearted! I send my love to Breonna mother, family and friends! I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!!"
James said the case and ensuing protests in Louisville have been hard for his Lakers teammate Rajon Rondo, who is from Louisville.
On August 26, the NBA bubble shut down after the remaining playoffs teams sat out of games in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. James and the Lakers reportedly voted to end the season, though players later agreed to resume play, feeling their voices and platforms were bigger if they continued the season.
There has been no indication the Lakers, Nuggets, or Boston Celtics or Miami Heat considered protesting the charges on Wednesday, but James said it has been difficult for players to focus.
"We're here playing this game, and it's very challenging on us, it's very difficult. But at the same time, our hearts is with [Taylor's] family, with that city.
"It's just so unjust what's going on ... It's just a tragedy. It's a tragedy. We just hope that there's better days."
James called Taylor a "beautiful woman" and added: "We want justice no matter how long it takes."
Watch James' comments below:
—SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 25, 2020
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