NBA Match Reviews:
It was a special night in the Barkley Center as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were among the crowd. It was close between the Nets and the Cavaliers before Prince William and his wife, Kate, had arrived in the arena – “Yeah, they brought luck to us,” said James after the game. Indeed, that was the case, as from the moment both royalties sat on the courtside seats, Cleveland was able to outscore Brooklyn 49-27.
After half-time, only a one point lead for the Cavaliers separated both teams, as neither could pull away early. After midway through the third quarter, it was all Cleveland. James finished with 18 points and 7 assists, while Dion Waiters led the Cavs in scoring 26 big points. Irving, surprisingly had an off night, scoring only 7 points on 2 of 10 shooting. It was the Cleveland bench that kept the team in the game, as the guys that came of the pine, combined to score 59 total points, compared to 42 from Brooklyn’s reserves. For the Nets, the veteran Kevin Garnett led the way with 14 points and 7 rebounds while Deron Williams had 13 points and 11 assists, but shot just 3 for 14 from the field. Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson could not participate in the meeting as both players are suffering injuries.
However, the events that happened on this game, were quite bigger than basketball. First it was the visit of the Royal Family, who had met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver before they came into the arena and secondly, it was the statement that some players made with wearing “I can’t breathe” t-shirts. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and two other Nets wore those warmup shirts as a support to the family of Eric Garner, who had died in July after a police officer had put him in a chokehold while attempting arrest for selling loose untaxed cigarettes. The jurisdiction case is controversial in the USA, as during it, video recordings of Garner saying “I can’t breathe have been shown.”
After the game, James showed great respect for the Royal family as he had brought them some gifts, which included cupcakes from a bakery in his hometown of Akron, Ohio and also Cavaliers jerseys, as one of them had “Cambridge” written on its back. “It was their first time watching a basketball game, so it was an honor that I would be that guy they decided they wanted to watch,” – James stated after the match. It’s interesting to see if such an event could occur anytime soon with any other royalties attending a NBA game anytime soon. Only time will tell.
Highlights from the game:
Photo by Keith Allison