Mike Scott sat down in front of a computer on Thursday, preparing for his media session within the NBA bubble in Orlando as reporters asked questions via Zoom.
“Happy belated birthday to you, Mike,” a reporter said. “My question actually has to do with that. I feel like the 76ers have had the most bubble birthdays so far … so what are you guys doing right now for birthday celebrations?”
Scott, a former Virginia star and current member of the Philadelphia 76ers, celebrated his 32nd birthday on July 16. The 6-foot-7 small forward wasn’t interested in chatting about birthdays, though. Scott had more important topics on his mind.
He joined teammate Tobias Harris in using his media availability to ask for justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville woman who was killed by police in March. Scott wants the officers who killed Taylor arrested.
“I appreciate the birthdays, and yeah, we definitely have a lot of birthdays, but I just want to continue to reiterate that Daniel Cameron, we’re still waiting,” Scott answered. “We don’t know what’s taking so long. We still want justice for Breonna Taylor’s murder.”
Daniel Cameron is Kentucky’s Attorney General.
“We still want justice for Breonna Taylor … and that’s it,” Scott said. “That’s gonna be my answer every time you guys interview me.”
Scott thanked the reporters for taking the time to join the Zoom call, which also included availability with Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown and center Joel Embiid.
“I appreciate everyone here that’s doing their job,” Scott said. “It’s probably not the answers you all want, but at the end of the day that’s all I’m going to continue to keep saying. We want justice, and I just don’t get what’s taking so long.”
Earlier in the week, during Monday’s media availability, Harris shared a similar sentiment. He took one question, asking for justice in Taylor’s death, before exiting the media session.
“We want to make sure that Daniel Cameron will arrest the cops and officers involved with Breonna Taylor’s death, and that’s all I got to say,” Harris said Monday.
In early July, Scott was critical of the NBA’s plan to allow players to wear jerseys with short messages on the back instead of their last names. The league sent out a preapproved list of phrases for the jerseys, rather than allowing players to decide what they want on the back of their jerseys.
He called the decision to send a preapproved list a “bad miss.”
“They didn’t give players a chance to voice our opinions on it, they just have us a list to pick from,” Scott said in a previous media session. “So that was bad, that was terrible.”
Philadelphia finds itself in the playoff mix heading into the NBA’s resumption of play in Orlando. Scott, who has been used largely as a reserve this season, will likely play a role in helping the team try to win a championship.
While NBA games resume in roughly a week, there’s more than basketball on the minds of players within the bubble. Scott, his teammates and others want justice for Taylor.
On a larger scale, they want to action to help combat systemic racism in the U.S.
Between COVID-19 safety protocols and social justice initiatives, the rest of the NBA season isn’t just about basketball. For Scott and many others, more important topics than team birthday celebrations need to be addressed.