NBA honors the life and legacy of MLK

(All MLK weekend, the NBA has honored Dr. Martin Luther King)

The NBA family tipped off league-wide efforts to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout the weekend, the league, teams, coaches and current and former players engaged in the national dialogue on race and equality on NBA’s platforms and encourage collective action in its communities nationwide.

On Monday 18th January, NBA will celebrate with a compelling lineup of five nationally televised games on TNT and NBA TV tipping off at 12pm ET.

New ‘We Must Learn’ MLK Spot

The league unveiled ‘We Must Learn’, a new spot that encourages all to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life by continuing his legacy.  Featuring soundbites of Dr. King and the instrumental of Public Enemy’s ‘Harder Than You Think’, the spot depicts still images and video from peaceful protests throughout the Civil Rights Movement infused with footage of NBA players, coaches and leaders demonstrating in their communities in the wake of social injustice over the past year.

The words of Dr. King are exemplified through the imagery of people of all backgrounds coming together on the basketball court:

More than anything else, we’ve got to learn to loveBecause we are all tied together. We must act nowWe are in America and we got to learn how to live together. We ain’t going nowhere. We need to learn how to love…”

The spot – featuring members of the NBA family including Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown, Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban and Luka Dončić, Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, New Orleans Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball and Zion Williamson, Sacramento Kings’ Vivek Ranadivé, San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, and Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal – premiered last week during the Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks game. Watch below;

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Custom Nike Warm-Ups

NBA teams playing 14th – 18th January will wear custom Nike MLK Day warm-up t-shirts designed in collaboration with the NBPA, MLK Foundation and Martin Luther King III.

The front of the t-shirt features words from MLK’s timeless ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at the March on Washington on 28th August 1963, ‘NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE JUSTICE A REALITY FOR ALL’, while the back reads ‘HONOR KING’ with the lettering adorned with Dr. King Jr.’s signature.

Both messages are printed in a font derived from the carrying signs used in Dr. King Jr.’s memorial march on 8th April 1968.

NBA MLK Virtual Roundtable

As part of the celebrations, the league will host an NBA Virtual Roundtable to discuss Dr. King’s vision for racial equality and the modern movement for social justice.

NBA Champion and the league’s first Black general manager, Wayne Embry; National Civil Rights Museum president, Terri Freeman; and founder of E Pluribus Unum and former mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, will join host Caron Butler, NBA Champion, Miami Heat assistant coach and Vera Institute of Justice board member, for a candid discussion on Dr. King’s life and vision for equality, as well as the impact of racism and inequity in America today.

The conversation will explore ways that people of all backgrounds can create meaningful change in their own lives and communities.

The 40-minute discussion will stream live on the NBA Twitter account on Monday 18th January at 11am ET.

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NBA on MLK Day National TV Schedule:

Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks – 12pm ET on NBA TV

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks – 2pm ET on NBA TV

Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 5pm ET on TNT

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets – 7pm ET on TNT

Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 10pm ET on TNT