“It’s Our Duty to Keep His Name Alive”: Paolo Banchero and Other Magic Stars Pay Emotional Tribute on Martin Luther King Day

Published 01/15/2024, 11:02 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

As the country observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the NBA takes center stage once more, with its efforts to pay tribute and honor his legacy. This long-standing custom of recognizing Dr. King’s legacy has become a defining feature of the NBA, underscoring the league’s dedication to social justice. Teams across the league are actively participating in programs to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., with a specific emphasis on the cities that were important to his life.

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So, joining the celebration, the Sunshine State and its players give a special tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and share some words of wisdom as to why this day is celebrated.

Orlando Magic gives tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

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Orlando Magic star forward Paulo Banchero spoke about the importance of this day on social media and said, “I think it is important to keep celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. day just because of all he went through to help us to get where we at and now in terms of the country. Obviously, there is some more work to be done, but you know without him who knows where we would be.”

 

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He further added to that and said, “He fought for us, so I feel like it’s our duty to keep his name alive and well.” Not only him but even his teammate Jalen Suggs showed his respect toward Martin Luther King Jr. by acknowledging all the pain and sacrifices he made for the country.

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The NBA has a long history with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, dating back to its national designation as a federal holiday in 1986. The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks faced off in the league’s first MLK Day game on January 20, 1986, setting a historic tradition. Since then, the NBA has continuously supported this day of commemoration, with at least five games played each year, showing a dedication that goes beyond the simple sentiment.

This year, the Memphis Grizzlies are stepping up their involvement by partnering with the National Civil Rights Museum to hold an economic development discussion featuring Renee Montgomery and Carmeon Hamilton. The club will celebrate sportsmen who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights before their game against the Golden State Warriors. The sportsmen include stars like MLB Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome and eight-time NBA All-Star Alex English.

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However, aside from team-specific celebrations, the NBA will air a unique promotion called “It’s Time” throughout all MLK Day game broadcasts. This project demonstrates the league’s dedication to leveraging its position to promote social justice, unity, and the principles that Dr. King campaigned for throughout his life.

Watch this Story: LeBron James Complains About the HOF, Sue Bird Has an Answer for the King

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Written by:

Dhruv Shastry

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Edited by:

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