Many athletes voiced their opinions over social media last Monday after learning a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African American.
The news that the white officer would not face charges sparked debate over race relations, protests, looting and outrage in Ferguson and across the country. The situation deeply affected Kings guard Ben McLemore, who is from St. Louis, which is near Ferguson.
On Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies at Sleep Train Arena, McLemore played with “R.I.P. Mike Brown” written on his shoes.
“I used to live about 15 minutes away,” McLemore said. “I moved my mom out, but my sister, she moved (to the Ferguson area), her and her kids, so I’m always getting information back on different stuff about Ferguson. It’s tough to hear and see the things going on out there.”
McLemore is proud of his St. Louis roots. During the baseball playoffs, he often wears Cardinals gear. Through the message on his shoes, McLemore said he wanted to let those back home know he is thinking about them.
“Just my thoughts and prayers to Mike Brown’s family and also just to Ferguson and the Ferguson community,” McLemore said. “Hopefully, things can get back to normal.”
McLemore said it was good to see the likes of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Magic Johnson give their views on what was happening in his home state.
“Those guys are big faces, and they have a big voice to say something and give their opinion on different aspects of the situation,” McLemore said.
Called back – The Kings recalled rookie forward Eric Moreland from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League in time for Sunday’s game.
Moreland was assigned to the Bighorns on Friday after a one-game stint with the Kings last week.
In his latest stint with the Bighorns, Moreland had 32 points, 36 rebounds and nine blocks in two games. The Oregon State product had 14 points and 21 rebounds in a 149-126 win against the Idaho Stampede on Saturday.
Moreland averaged 14.4 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in five games for Reno.
With the Kings not traveling as much this month, Moreland likely will be around Sacramento more to practice with the team. The Kings prefer to send Moreland to Reno when they travel because practice time is limited and it gives him a chance to practice and play.