On Saturday, in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors will take on Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
During NBA All-Star weekend, where Black History Month was celebrated in a amazing performance of “Stand Up For Something”, players shared the impact Black History has on their story in sports and beyond.
“People have sacrificed and made bold steps to open the door for guys like me, guys like the majority of NBA players in the league, to just even have the opportunity to play this game at the level that we do,” Steph Curry, point guard for the Golden State Warriors and former MVP, told NBCBLK.
Curry has worked with several community organizations including Brotherhood Crusade, his charity of choice for the 2018 NBA All-Star game. They received $150,000 from the NBA that was then matched from the Warriors’ CEO Charisse Bremond.
Kevin Durant has also made an impact on the community consistently and for that reason, believes Black History should be celebrated all year long.
“We’re making an impact as black men every single day, so its more than just a month for me. It’s cool you want to recognize us, but this is an all year, 24/7 thing,” Durant told NBCBLK.
Black History was also a year-round study for Oklahoma City Thunder Guard and 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. He shared that he was an African-American Studies major in college because, “I wanted to learn and understand different things about our race and our history and understand the importance of it.”
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors guard, also spoke on the importance of a conversation surrounding Black History and sports.
“Sports has been a great platform, especially in the Black community, for people to make and spark change and create topics that make people uncomfortable.” said Thompson, who is son of former player and NBA champion Mychal Thompson. “Black history and sports go hand in hand because there are so many athletes that have changed the way people think and how people are treated. I think we still have a platform to do that if we wanted to.”
Klay’s inspiration from elders and those that paved the way, resonates with many current leaders in Los Angeles. Makiah Green, founder of Black Book LA, one of the largest groups of young professionals in the area, also believes Black History is about those that sacrificed in the past to make their successors thrive.
“Black history to me is in the present. It’s all of the people and the events that lead up to me being allowed to be my full self today so I take that with me everywhere that I go.”