OKC Thunder In the news: Paul George, LeBron James use platform to voice opinion

LeBron James, Paul George, OKC Thunder, (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
LeBron James, Paul George, OKC Thunder, (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder in the news for September 5 features LeBron James tour with a Schroder $10k charity shot and Paul George’s support of Nike and Kaepernick.

Lots of action in the news for the OKC Thunder on Wednesday, September 5. With school back in session and fall inching ever closer we’re clinging to the last days of summer. Well, everyone that is except hoop heads as those last few weeks until NBA training camp can’t pass quickly enough.

In spite of the lazy days of late August and early September the players are actively preparing for the season and keeping fans entertained.

Schroeder philanthropic perimeter shot:

First up new OKC Thunder backup point guard took on LeBron James in his native Germany. James is there as part of his ‘More Than An Athlete Wold Tour’ which continues from a recent stop in Paris. James Nike sponsored tour kicked off in Shanghai, China.

As the German host Schroder and LeBron squared off in a shoot-out for philanthropy. Schroder won the contest and with it $10 thousand dollars for charity. While it won’t count towards the OKC Thunder win column it might serve as a harbinger the upcoming season. Let’s hope Schroder’s perimeter stroke remains this sweet and pure come October.

As for James and his tour it’s aptly titled and likely links back to February. At the time LeBron James and former Thunder star Kevin Durant were critical of President Donald Trump. In response, Fox News TV Host Laura Ingals  quipped “shut up and dribble” Ingals’  implications was athletes voices aren’t welcome in society.  Whether you agree with James and K.D.’s opinion or politics isn’t the issue. The fact James is willing to speak out on social issues and be a role model is the more important aspect of his message.

Clearly James tour is reflective of his stance as he tours to meet his  wide ranging base of international fans. Although James was always actively involved in philanthropic issues this turn of events only dialed up his intensity. As the best player in the NBA James takes his platform and reach seriously. So he’s using it to  spread messages of equality and humanity.

George supports Nike and Kaepernick:

Closer to home, OKC Thunder star Paul George also used his platform as he sent a message of support to currently unemployed quarterback Colin Kapernick. The instagram post is the Nike “Just Do It’ 30th anniversary campaign featuring Kaepernick.


Typical for Nike their headline is equally as powerful as their tagline. Super imposed on Kaepernick’s face is the campaign message: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

The quarterback who spearheaded NFL players rights to kneel during the anthem in protest of racial injustices and police brutality hasn’t played for two seasons.

The situation is polarizing and in many ways points to how the two professional leagues (NBA -NFL) address conflict, free speech and the time and place for each.

In terms of NBA protocol for anthems players are required to stand. However, players are welcome to  show solidarity (as many teams do) via linking arms. In doing so, the NBA is seen to be keeping politics off their courts while also supporting social issues and their athletes right to peacefully show solidarity and unity.

Conversely,  Kaepernick became the player the NFL elected to ostracize for this decision given he’s qualified to be playing, and were it not for his role in championing this action would likely still be.

Whether you agree with the quarterback or not, there is no denying he was attempting to do something he felt strongly about. I wonder if history will look upon Kaepernick as they did Muhammad Ali who also took a stance and paid a price professionally.

More from Thunderous Intentions

The bigger takeaway here is the diverse spectrum of how the NFL and NBA address these type of polarizing situations.  While the NBA avoided overt demonstrations by enforcing everyone stand they also found common ground via allowing their players to showcase their stance via linked arms.

Whereas the NFL’s hard stance and inability to find resolution gives the appearance of the league  being associated with politics and by many to be taking a stance on one side of the argument.

Although I may vent about Adam Silver’s plodding to bring a coaches challenge to the NBA on social or political issues of this nature the association is adept in expeditious resolution.

Silver may well be the best of the major sports leagues for for addressing non-game related situations swiftly and keeping everything on the court related to sport.

Moreover the relationship between the league and players union is solid and seemingly improved since Michele Roberts became the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

Moving forward, the NFL equivalents NFLPA Director DeMaurice F. Smith and Commissioner Roger Goodell may want to take a page out of Silver and Roberts book.

Next. Offseason report card – Grading every Sam Presti move. dark

That wraps up OKC Thunder in the news for September 5. Enjoy your day and see you back here tomorrow.