- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Nets will play Game 2 against the Celtics on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death. Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
Nets forward Jeff Green says players in the locker room have continually discussed Floyd’s death because people of color continue to fall victim to police brutality at rates disproportional to those of a different background.
“We try to find ways that we can shed light on the incidents that’s taken place. We try to show respect to the families. We try to bring awareness to everything that’s going on. We do everything in our power to make sure it stays in light and we don’t allow it to kind of fade away,” Green said. “It’s something we try to keep in the public eye that these things still happen. It needs to continue to be talked about until we find some kind of solution, some kind of conversation where we can fix things.”
Green did not rule out an act of solidarity on the one-year anniversary.
“It’s a long journey, but you have to keep that conversation going. We talked briefly about it, about trying to do some things to shed light on George Floyd’s life. The conversation is started. Will it be something like the bubble? We haven’t talked to Boston as far as what they’re trying to do,” he said. “But we’ve had a lot of conversation within the last couple hours just at practice about what we’re trying to do and how we’re going to show respect to George Floyd.”
Steve Nash likened it to a movie set. Jeff Green didn’t fully process it until he got home. And Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden were equally thrown aback by the so-called “nonexistent” Nets fan base that showed itself in full force for Game 1 of Brooklyn’s first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
Barclays Center hosted a sell-out crowd of 14,391 fans on Saturday and is expected to draw a similar crowd for every home game of their championship run. For reference, New York State protocols capped the arena’s max capacity at about 1,730 fans during the regular season, just 10% of the stadium’s seat total.
“I don’t want to say overwhelmed, but it was such a shock to walk out on the floor and see all those fans. Incredible energy from the national anthem,” Nash said. “It was such, even for us coaches, we were like, it felt like we were on a movie set because it was so strange after the experience of this season to have the building so electric and so many fans so I think there was an adjustment for both teams probably.”
Most NBA teams have had strict and government-mandated restrictions on how many fans their arenas can host. The restrictions were part of an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, with state officials electing to shut down large indoor events.
Most teams, however, have also seen significant easing of those restrictions entering the playoffs, and the Celtics have one of the most rabid fan bases in all of basketball. Boston’s TD Garden can host 19,580 fans, and interestingly enough, the Celtics will be allowed to welcome a completely sold-out crowd beginning on May 29 at the direction of their local government.
Nets players said their fans gave them a jolt, which means the Celtics can expect a similar wave of energy when their supporters roll up later this week.
Or, as Celtics center Tristan Thompson so eloquently put it: “We just need some f—king fans in the arena.”
The Nets have three of the best isolation scorers in NBA history. That doesn’t mean they have to go iso on every possession they touch the ball.
Nash called it a luxury to have those special scorers on the roster, but the iso-heavy play is part of the reason why the Nets fell behind 32-20 to start Game 1.
“That’s not necessarily the way we want to go. We were probably more iso heavy the first game because it’s all so new … and Boston switched a lot of stuff,” he said. “I think that pushed us towards more isos. But it will be interesting to see, it’s just all so new that we, like I don’t know, if that’s going to be something that we dominate the direction we go in or if we’re going to be able to get away from that more so and run more action.
“The luxury is they all are incredible isolation players and it’s not the worst thing in the world, but I would like us to get more to where we’re playing off one another.”