MEMPHIS, Tenn — The return of the NBA is about more than just basketball.
Before heading to Orlando, NBA players were at the forefront of the national conversation on racial equality and social justice. While the league is now physically removed from the outside world, the players still plan to impact it from within.
"There is a lot going on in our country right now," Justise Winslow said at his virtual media availability in Orlando. "So just continuing that conversation."
Some players across the Association openly questioned if refusing to play was the best way to go about using their platform.
"We've got to continue to fight," Winslow said. "I wasn't sure if me staying home was the best way to do it."
Most of the league chose to enter the bubble, where those inside will have a unique platform to voice their concerns with the eyes of the world watching.
"Just continue to push that movement. Using that momentum and our platform to bring about awareness but also bring about real change," Winslow said. "Really creating change and new infrastructures and trying to correct the system, that's what is really going to matter."
"That kind of stuff is always top priority," Jaren Jackson Jr. said "You always want to make sure you're doing your part and doing whatever you can while also doing your job."
Last month, Kyle Anderson attended a Black Lives Matter protest.
"I felt I had to be a part of it," Anderson said. "I felt it was my due diligence and it was great to get out there and take a stand and really put the time in for something that we believe in and something that we stand for. So it was extremely important to me to get out there and have my voice heard as much as I could."
Little has been revealed about the league's specific plans for demonstrations during the season restart, but players have been meeting over Zoom, and now in-person, about how they can best use their platform over the next three months to help bring about change.