Andrew Bogut grew up in a richly diverse area of Melbourne, Australia, and has estimated that he went to school with people from nearly 100 different nationalities.He has fondly referred to his home as a tolerant and inclusive community, one largely devoid of racial tension that many of his NBA teammates faced growing up in the United States. But Bogut and other international players have been on the periphery, if not part of, discussions in locker rooms as their teammates address social issues like police brutality and racial profiling, concerns that prompted Colin Kaepernick to begin kneeling during the nation anthem in September.When Bogut reported to training camp with the Dallas Mavericks and the subject of anthem protests started to surface, he said he couldnt really identify with the plight of some of his African-American teammates who were considering joining the San Francisco 49ers quarterback and others in the demonstrations.I think its a country that prides itself on free speech, Bogut said of the U.S. And if ... they want to do that its more than their right. On a personal level, I know theres a lot of history here that goes centuries back that I dont really relate to too much growing up in Australia.Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, who is from Slovenia, doesnt fully grasp it either.Its kind of hard for me to understand, since Im coming from a different country, Dragic said. But if those things were happening in my country, of course I would have something to say -- while being true to the country, because thats where I grew up and they gave me everything.Officials in teams front offices and at league headquarters have had ongoing discussions with the players union about what do. Both sides appear to be more focused on developing programs to address social injustices rather than demonstrations like Kaepernicks public displays during the anthem.But that doesnt mean there wont be protests as the league tips off its latest season on Tuesday night. The NBA has long embraced a reputation for being the most socially conscious league in the United States, but there is a rule in the collective bargaining agreement that requires players to stand respectfully for the anthem.Many of the roughly 22 percent of the leagues players who come from outside the U.S. are white Europeans or Australians and do not have the same perspectives that their African-American teammates had growing up here even though racial inequality is a problem that exists throughout the world.Dragic had conversations with several of his black teammates before the Heat decided to lock arms during the anthem in the preseason in a show of unity. It is sensitive, complex ground to navigate and requires a deep understanding of the issues before teammates feel comfortable enough to put themselves out there.I understand that were putting a message out there for society to be better, Dragic said. But at the same time, we dont disrespect the flag or the national anthem and I think thats good. We dont want to be too aggressive but at the same time we want to let people know that something wrong is happening out there and we want to correct those things.LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade got things started with a call for action at the ESPY awards in July, and Anthony organized a town hall forum later that month. There have been many other efforts, including the Chicago Bulls hosting their second annual basketball tournament geared toward creating dialogue between the police and the community and new Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale helping revive the citys Police Athletic League, which helps mentor law enforcement on how to become coaches in youth leagues.Ive thought a lot about this, and (NBPA executive director) Michele Roberts and I have talked a lot about these issues, that there may be no organization in our society better positioned than the NBA and its players to try to have an impact on these difficult issues plaguing many of our cities, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said last week.It isnt just foreign players and African-Americans in the NBA who are engaging.For me, I cant personally understand what some other players go through, said Minnesota Timberwolves center Cole Aldrich, who grew up in the predominantly white Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. I grew up differently than (Serbian Nemanja Bjelica) or (African-American) Karl-Anthony Towns or whoever. I personally love ... trying to broaden my (horizons) on that.Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, a Turkish citizen born in Georgia, said he has spoken to his new teammates about the current climate.Draymond (Green) said it the best. We can show as much about this as we want but question is, what is going to be done to fix the problem and fix the issues? Pachulia said. Thats the message already sent by individuals and by groups. Now what? Whatever we do, we do as a team.Several foreign players remain conflicted. Many left their native countries and have found great success and wealth in the NBA. But they also understand that the path some of their teammates took to get to the same place came with difficulties -- and still deal with issues -- that they could never imagine.I understand from an African-Americans point of view or a teammates point of view if they didnt want to stand and be part of that kind of protest, Bogut said. But at the same time, Im thankful Americas provided a lot for myself and my family. Its a tough one. Im very supportive of my teammates. But at the same time, the country, much like Australia, is built on free speech. Everybody has an opinion on different types of things.---AP Basketball Writers Tim Reynolds in Miami and Brian Mahoney in New York and AP Sports Writers Schuyler Dixon in Dallas and Janie McCauley in Oakland, California, contributed to this story. Cheap Basketball Jerseys China
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. Louis Blues. Shane Hnidy joins Brian Munz for the broadcast on TSN 1290 Radio at 7pm ct. WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- John Collins sure liked the statistics next to his name in the first game of his second season for Wake Forest.?? The sophomore forward had career highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Demon Deacons defeated Radford 80-59 in the season opener Friday night.?? I feel I came out with a solid start to my sophomore campaign, Collins said. Statistically, it says it is my best game.?? Devin Thomas was a four-year player for Wake Forest and often helped control the lane. He has moved on, so Collins said he understands the importance of picking up the slack.?? Theres no DT any more to get those tenacious rebounds, Collins said. Somebody needs to fill that void.?? Collins, who made 7 of 11 shots from the field, had plenty of help. Keyshawn Woods scored nine points in the first 12 minutes of the second half on his way to 14 points in his Wake Forest debut.?? Bryant Crawford also added 14 points and eight assists for the Demon Deacons, though he went down with what he later described as a foot cramp after a dunk with less than two minutes to play.?? Wake Forest shot 62.5 percent from the field in the second half. At the other end, the Demon Deacons racked up 10 blocked shots, contributing to Radfords 35.8-percent shooting from the field.?? I thought we played hard enough to win the game for the majority of the game, Radford coach Mike Jones said. As the game wore on, I thought their size really affected us. I thought it took a toll on us in the second half. I thought we got a little tired.?? Ed Polite Jr. paced Radford with 11 points.??? Woods, a redshirt sophomore who sat out last season after transferring from Charlotte, scored all but three of his points in the second half. He made consecutive jumpers as part of aa personal 5-0 run as the Demon Deacons built a 56-39 edge.dddddddddddd??? Wake Forest coach Danny Manning liked what Woods provided.?? Hes kind of a jack-of-all-trades for us, Manning said. Were very happy that hes out there on the court with us.?? Wake Forest held several 11-point leads in the first half, but led 36-28 at the break.?? Still there were moments in the game we could have put them away earlier, Crawford said.? The Demon Deacons came into the season touting improved perimeter shooting and the games first basket was a 3-pointer by graduate transfer Austin Arians. But by the end of the half, they were 3 of 12 on 3s.?? Radford sputtered offensively early, shooting 2-for-15 from the field in the first 10 1/2 minutes.?? We were not in sync. They disrupted our flow, Jones said. We got some good looks and didnt capitalize and I think a lot of that was their defense.?BIG PICTURERadford: The Highlanders had seven seniors on last years team, leaving only fourth-year junior guard Justin Cousin and sophomore forward Ed Polite Jr. as primary returners. They combined for 14 points in the opener.The Highlanders couldnt repeat the type of result they earned in last years opener when they notched a triple-overtime triumph at Georgetown.Wake Forest: Wake Forest opened the season with a home game for the 13th year in a row, stretching its first-game winning streak to six seasons.?UP NEXTWake Forest is back in action Sunday at home against Bucknell before heading to the Charleston Classic for three games next week.Radford plays its lone home game among its first seven games when Central Penn visits Wednesday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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