Kerr might be the most charismatic speaker in the NBA today, and on Monday he addressed the media about the power and importance of celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. before his Warriors took on Cleveland. The head coach singled out NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s progressive stance on “tolerance and equality” then moved on to thank his players and others in the community for their efforts to help those in need and carry out King’s vision for America.
“It’s a great day,” Kerr said when asked about the American holiday on which his former NBA champions hosted the reigning champs. “It’s a great day for our league. It’s a great day for our country. It’s one of the best days of the year in the NBA.”
Kerr said playing on Martin Luther King’s birthday gives the league and its teams a chance to look back on what King meant to the United States’ fight for civil rights and the impact it’s had on the league’s players and fans.
We celebrate the game, we celebrate the game and Dr. King’s legacy and his impact, and I have to say I’m really really proud to be part of the NBA. I’m proud of Adam Silver’s leadership. I’m proud that the league is so progressive in terms of really promoting tolerance and equality and they back it up, truly from the heart.
I’m proud of our players for the work that they do, and I just want to say thank you to all the people out there who are working towards all those ideals. Not only in the league but everywhere, teachers, mentors, philanthropists. A lot of people out there are doing wonderful stuff, so thank you.
Kerr also wore a shirt with King Jr.’s face and a quote on it to the press conference.
Kerr’s words bring a gravity to the day that can be difficult to achieve at a sporting event. While simply a day off for some, many in the NBA have strong emotional ties to the social issues Martin Luther King Jr. died fighting for. Clearly Kerr and his players took time to look back on that struggle on Monday.