Prior to the Nets-Timberwolves game Tuesday afternoon at Target Center, there was a moment of silence to honor the memory of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, the unarmed young Black man who was the victim of a fatal police shooting during a routine traffic stop Sunday in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. The game originally was scheduled for Monday night but was postponed out of concern for public safety and the civil unrest arising from the event.
Players on both teams wore T-shirts that read: "With Liberty and Justice FOR ALL."
During his pregame remarks Nets coach Steve Nash discussed the frustration not only his own players but many across the NBA and the country are feeling over repeated police killings of unarmed Black people. "More tragedy, more senseless tragedy," Nash said. "Just heartbreaking for everyone, I think, I hope, to be in a civilization that behaves this way.
"I can’t imagine what it’s like to be an African-American, to be an African-American parent. It’s unacceptable, and it’s devastating just to be part of it . . . It’s the same thing over and over again. People are losing their lives for no reason."
Asked if he would have preferred not to play the game, Nash said, "It’s a much bigger issue than a basketball game. Before you know it, we’ll be in Philly, then we’ll be back home and then we’ll be in the next city, and this poor kid lost his life. A baby lost a father. It’s sickening."
The postponement created an unexpected back-to-back set for the Nets, who already were without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons/family matter), LaMarcus Aldridge (non-COVID illness), Tyler Johnson (right knee soreness) and James Harden (right hamstring strain). It was uncertain whether Irving and Aldridge would rejoin the Nets in Philadelphia on Wednesday and whether Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin, who played against the Timberwolves would be available for the second game of the back-to-back set.
"We weren’t trying to play guys in back-to-back sets, and so we’ll have to digest all the variables [Wednesday] morning and figure out what happens. But it definitely changes our approach to everything and puts us in a different position."