Davis explained his reasoning while speaking with reporters in a virtual press conference on Sunday.
“I think the name ‘Davis’ is something I try to represent every time I step on the floor with my family. I was torn between the two,” Davis said, per Mark Medina of USA Today. “My last name is very important to me.”
In answering why he chose not to put a social justice message on the back of his jersey, Anthony Davis focused on the importance he places on representing his family name. That's why he wanted to keep Davis on his jersey.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) July 12, 2020
Here are the 29 statements the NBA and NBPA agreed upon, per The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears.
- Black Lives Matter
- Say Their Names
- I Can’t Breathe
- Power to the People
- Justice Now
- Say Her Name
- Si Se Puede
- See Us
- Hear Us
- Respect Us
- Love Us
- Listen to Us
- Stand Up
- I Am A Man
- Speak Up
- How Many More
- Group Economics
- Education Reform
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players will wear messages on their jerseys.
List Did Not Resonate With LeBron James
James has been an active catalyst for social change over his career, but especially of late with his support for various causes, living up to his “More Than an Athlete” slogan. However, the four-time MVP will not wear a message on his jersey, a move he explained while recently speaking to reporters.
“I actually didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” James said on a video conference call with reporters. “It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players. I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.
“I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey. I had a couple things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process, which is OK. I’m absolutely OK with that. … I don’t need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I’m about and what I’m here to do.”
LeBron James Ready for Run at NBA Championship
Before the season was put on hold, James had put together a MVP-caliber season. In his 17th season, James was averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and a career-best 10.6 assists, taking over the primary ball handing duties in Los Angeles.
James been sporting a long beard and grown out hair in quarantine, but has been staying in shape. He has some tread on his tired with more than 1,500 games played in his career — 1,258 in the regular season and 239 in the playoffs — but is more than ready to lead the Lakers’ quest for a 17th championship. James said he never considered sitting out the restart and feels like having the platform of a highly-anticipated NBA season returning will help in spreading messages of equality and change.
“It never crossed my mind that we did not need to play this beautiful game of basketball that brings so many people together, that brings happiness, that brings joy,” James said. “I’m happy to have a platform where not only people will gain joy by the way I play the game, by the way our team plays the game, but for also for what I’m able to do off the court, as well.
“Being able to use my platform, use the NBA’s platform, to continue to talk about what’s going on. Because I will not stop until I see real change for us in Black America, for African Americans, for people of color. And I also believe I can do both, though.”