Gary’s Word: Race on the eve of the NBA Playoffs

Draymond Green, Stephen Curry
FILE - In this June 2, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. While there have been 14 rematches in NBA Finals history, this year's meeting between LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors will be the first trilogy in league history. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

 

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Race is a part of everything in America.

On the eve of the much-anticipated Warriors-Cleveland NBA championship series, LeBron James is answering questions about a home he owns in Southern California being painted with N-word graffiti.

Sure, it can be passed off as just one sick individual, but I think this story is fuel for more conversation.

Growing up playing playground basketball, I learned early that if “you have attitude and talent,” racial barriers can slowly dissolve.

The racial divide first hit me while traveling with our predominately black team at the University of Nevada Las Vegas…UNLV.

We don’t have the space to list all situations, but checking into a hotel, I saw over and over again people getting a little nervous around a confident 6 foot 10 inch African American.

Years later, I don’t think it’s changed much.

Not saying all people are racists, of course not, but it is a matter of being comfortable. This goes for all races.

People tend to want to associate with people like themselves, be it socially or in the workplace. This is my opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

What’s the sports tie-in?

On an athletic field, I’ve almost always discovered that if you have the talent and determination to help your team, there is little time to worry about color.

Too bad society couldn’t all be part of a team.

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