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BBNBA: Fox posts career-high 39 points as protests continue in Orlando Bubble



Good morning, folks. Day two of the restart was more exciting than I think any of us were expecting. Let’s talk NBA Bubble.


Protests against racial injustice continue

Picking up where the teams that played on Thursday left off, all six games on Friday saw both sides kneeling before the national anthem as a sign of protest against the racial and social injustices that have been ravaging the United States. Donning “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts with arms locked and teams kneeling side-by-side, Friday was another example of the commitment these players and coaches have in their fight against the systemic issues facing this nation.

While a small handful of people decided against kneeling–notably San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and assistant Becky Hammon–they still stood strong with their players by wearing the same “Black Lives Matter” shirt across their chests, later echoing their support for BLM.

The only player who appears to be actively refusing to participate in the protests thus far is Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac, who has elected to stand for the anthem, not wear the “Black Lives Matter” shirt, and did not choose to put a social message on the back of his jersey.

All three presented reasoning for their decisions and their peers, for the most part, have been in support of their choices.

”Everybody has to make a personal decision,” Popovich said after the Spurs played on Friday. ”The league’s been great about that. Everybody has the freedom to react any way they want. Whatever reasons I have, I reacted the way I wanted to.”

Fox’s career-high and Keldon Johnson’s improvement

I hope De’Aaron Fox has to play in an enclosed Bubble environment for the rest of his basketball career if it means he posts the kind of numbers he did on Friday. The Sacramento Kings point guard EXPLODED for a career-high 39 points, although in a 129-120 losing effort to Keldon Johnson and the San Antonio Spurs.

Fox shot 17-33 from the floor, driving the Kings offense all game despite coming off a sprained ankle that has only recently allowed him to step back on the court. He added three rebounds and six assists to his stat line, as well, and the Kings held a slight 65-64 lead at halftime before losing the lead late. Considering how close these two teams are in terms of the playoff standings, the importance of this game was apparent and both sides played as such. With the win, the Spurs were able to leapfrog the New Orleans Pelicans in the standings, moving them to 10th in the Western Conference and just a half-game back of the Portland Trail Blazers for the ninth-seed. As a reminder, if the ninth-place team finishes within four games of the eighth-seed, a play-in round is forced.

On the San Antonio bench, former Wildcat Keldon Johnson proved that he’s wasn’t just a preseason darling. He played 30 minutes for the Spurs–easily a career-high–while posting eight points, six rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Johnson drilled two triples, as well, but it was his defense that shined. Right now, he might be better on the defensive end than he is on offense. I was somewhat shocked to see him play so many minutes in the opening game, but he proved to everybody that he deserves to be on the floor. I hope it continues. Funny enough, this Bubble could be his coming-out party to the rest of the league.

Devin Booker and the Suns sneak by Washington

The Washington Wizards are missing its three best players down in Orlando and you don’t have to watch them for more than a couple of minutes to realize it. No John Wall, no Bradley Beal, and no Davis Bertans have the Wizards running with a collection of reserve players and former G Leaguers. As a result, Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns took advantage.

Booker dropped 27 points, five rebounds, and four steals in the 125-112 win while hitting all nine of his free throw attempts, however, he shot just 8-21 from the floor and turned the ball over five times while playing mediocre (and that’s a generous way to put it) defense. Phoenix is in the toughest position among all 22 teams in Orlando. Even with the win over Washington, who has arguably the worst roster in the Bubble, the Suns are still 2.5 games behind the Blazers for the nine-seed. Booker and the Suns earned the win, but it’s still going to be a tough up-hill battle from here that only gets more competitive.

Other Bubble notes

Eric Bledsoe (MIL) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL) were both held out of their respective games on Friday, with their head coaches citing conditioning and late arrivals to the Bubble as the reason for keeping them out. Bledsoe tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago and has not yet gotten into game shape. As for MKG, there is no report that he tested positive for the virus, but his head coach also cited his late arrival to the Bubble as the reason for keeping him on the sidelines.

Boston Celtics backup center Enes Kanter appeared in just 11 minutes in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, contributing two points and three rebounds.


PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)120-129 L @ SAS3917-33 (1-7)36113-1237
Devin Booker (PHX)125-112 W @ WAS278-21 (2-7)54105+2435
Keldon Johnson (SAS)129-120 W vs. SAC83-7 (2-4)62100+730
Enes Kanter (BOS)112-119 L @ MIL21-2 (0-0)30100-211
Wenyen Gabriel (POR)140-135 (OT) W vs. MEMDNP-CD----------------
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)149-153 (OT) L vs. HOUDNP-Conditioning----------------
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)119-112 W vs. BOSDNP-Conditioning----------------


1:00 (ESPN): Heat (Adebayo, Herro) @ Nuggets (Murray-questionable)

3:30 (ESPN): Jazz @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel)

6:00 (ESPN): Pelicans @ Clippers (Patterson)

7:00: 76ers @ Pacers

8:30 (ESPN): Lakers (Davis, Rondo-out) @ Raptors

Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

23 Comments for BBNBA: Fox posts career-high 39 points as protests continue in Orlando Bubble

  1. chessplayer1974
    10:53 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

    Anything to get attention. And you writers just lap it up. All this BS is making me numb towards their so called cause.

    • IrishCat
      10:56 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

      Not true. You were already numb to it. No loss.

    • chessplayer1974
      3:42 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      IrishCat….. thank you for your professional evaluation of my mental health. Im sure you’re putting many years of education into your responses here.

  2. light my fire
    10:55 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

    Today in the bubble at 3:30, anti American kneeling.

    7:00 kneeling for something that only make more people resent you more

    • IrishCat
      10:59 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

      That’s a good thing. It’s time for all of you behind-the-scenes racists to embrace your true nature, instead of hiding it.

    • UKFanSC
      11:39 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

      I think we need to add the word “perceived” to racial and social injustice phrase.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      1:15 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      IrishCat, I like your screen name because I have Irish heritage too, but it is not racist to be of the opinion that keeling during the anthem is disrespectful. I can value all lives and still have that opinion. Is that okay?

    • runningunnin.454
      1:56 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      Agree, Chris; it seems Irish is a world class conclusion jumper…too bad it’s not an Olympic event. Regardless of the athletes’ words/spin, they are refusing to honor our country, and those that fought/died in her service; including the African Americans that gave all in every war in U.S. history including the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan…

  3. Headhurts
    10:58 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

    I’ll watch right at tip-off and not a minute before, they can stand on their head if they choose.

  4. 2Dogs
    11:21 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

    So we’re to the point where a player or coach is questioned why he or she ISN’T kneeling? Regardless of what their feelings may or may not be toward social injustice? Apparently kneeling during the anthem is the only way one can demonstrate their opposition to inequality or police brutality. After reading an article calling out Jonathan Isaac, the Orlando player who didn’t kneel, it appears you’d better get with the program or get trampled. I don’t like Kaepernick any more now than I did 4 years ago. But somehow, some way, I have a little more respect for him now.

  5. Eddiemcwildcat
    11:56 am August 1, 2020 Permalink

    More liberal garbage

  6. UKFanSC
    12:21 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    Beyoncé new film….. Black is King. Nothing racist about that !

    • chardun20
      1:38 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      For the record, I don’t like Beyonce or care about her film. The national anthem with the 3rd verse is racist, but I don’t hear none of you all lives matter people complaining about that.

  7. mikep
    1:02 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    I quit watching the NFL because of kneeling. Now I refuse to watch any more NBA and MLB games. I just hope the Cats don’t follow the bs trend because I really love UK basketball and don’t want to quit watching the CATS go for number 9. I don’t know how many Americans are truly offended by the kneeling. I know I am, I was raised to love my country and respect our flag.

  8. chardun20
    1:35 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    The simple thing would be not playing the national anthem before sporting events. Why are people so offended by Black Lives Matter movement? For a lot of people who don’t watch the NBA, they don’t need or miss you, y’all sure comment on it a lot.

    • StoneColdSaidSo
      2:43 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      Because BLM is hollow sloganeering when it actually stands for much, much more than black injustice. And even when it comes to black injustice, there are statistics that even call into question that narrative itself. Some believe the BLM movement is focused on anecdotal events that EVERYONE agrees is bad (I.e. the Floyd murder) and is not considering the wider scope of police interaction within certain communities.
      Anyone demonstrating things that I’ve mentioned here is immediately labeled a racist and is said to not care about “black lives.” Not everyone agrees that America is stuck in the 60s. All people like this author have to do is say “injustice is ravishing black communities” without even giving consideration to whether if, or to what extent, that statement is even true.

    • chardun20
      5:00 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      stonecoldsaidso so BLM is offensive is to you like the national anthem is offensive to me. By your standard if you are offended by something, ignore it. That has worked real good hasn’t? If not today, when?

    • StoneColdSaidSo
      5:57 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

      I’m not so much offended, I just think that protests about systematic racism, and that somehow America has “a long way to go”, is ill-founded and counter productive. For example, find me a single person who thinks that black lives don’t matter. Or even better, find me one single person who watched the Floyd video and wasn’t appalled by it. It also creates the illusion for millions of people that the country they live in hates them and doesn’t care about their lives, which is completely nonsensical. Virtually everyone was on the same page about George Floyd and everyone believes in the virtue of equality, so who are these protestors protesting to?
      I think the players should be able to kneel, stand, or not even come out. I think people should be able to express themselves even if I think they’re wrong, but on the flip side of that I should be able to voice why I think a protest is counter productive without immediately being shouted down and labeled a racist when I think I have important things to bring to the table.

  9. Dr. Tom
    1:58 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    KSR writers following their leader’s marching orders. Too bad sports writing can’t be about the game anymore. An honest poll would show a majority of the nation opposes kneeling during the anthem. But the KSR agenda stays the course of promoting and incorporating their extreme liberal agenda into a sports blog. I don’t care to see photos of who kneels or who doesn’t kneel before a game. Please just report about the games and not about the social consciousness of the players.

  10. light my fire
    2:01 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    How about the nba social justice warriors protest gangs, especially in Chicago because they kill more black lives in a month than police do in a year. Or are they afraid because of their own gang affiliation

  11. Keets
    2:38 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    Lot of space, weight and obvious support given to certain sides of this protest, while not even an attempt to share the reason (even if only a brief quote) behind the ONE player who hasn’t kneeled nor put on a BLM shirt. Well here it is: Jesus is involved. Jonathan Isaac believes that black lives matter and believes that Jesus Christ is the answer.

    Wonder if the NBPA & NBA had included “God Bless America” or “Jesus Is The Answer” as options – maybe then Isaac would feel his views were just as valued as those of other players (as the NBA proclaims) and he’d choose a jersey message as his protest for black lives mattering?

  12. light my fire
    2:57 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    Nice Keets

    Great point

  13. Bluehender
    3:05 pm August 1, 2020 Permalink

    In other news De’Aaron Fox had 39 points last night….