Brooklyn, NY — This past Thursday, basketball fans from around the country tuned in for the 2019 NBA draft. It was a great night for lots of high school basketball players- and their families. Obviously, each draft class is special but 2019 stood out in a unique way. Many of the players who were drafted shattered time-ole stereotypes: absent Black fathers and toxic masculinity seemed to be things of the past for lots of these players.
(For those of us who don’t know) The 2019 NBA draft was held on June 20, 2019. It took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. It was televised nationally on ESPN. This draft was the first to feature a new weighted lottery system in which the three worst teams each had a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery; these teams were the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Phoenix Suns. The lottery took place on May 14, during the NBA playoffs. Three of the four teams who held the top four picks of the draft this year rose up from at least six spots in the lottery, including the New Orleans Pelicans, who won with 6 percent odds. Shoutout to Wikipedia!
RJ Barrett after fluently speaking French: "That was nice wasn't it."🤣 pic.twitter.com/qQ3b3qhJm4— Chris Montano (@gswchris) June 21, 2019
The Maple Mamba is a Canadian so speaking French isn’t that big of a deal. But if you pair his fluent French with his head-to-toe pink suit- the future Knick is definitely a poster child for “black boy joy”. The NBA draft media corp were not ready!
Spike Lee's reaction when the Knicks selected RJ Barrett at No. 3 … 🙌 pic.twitter.com/vxT3vGUecE— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 21, 2019
Spike Lee is arguably the biggest fan of the New York Knicks. His reaction to his team’s draft pick made our hearts flutter. True support and pride!
Coby White/ Cam Johnson
If you’ve ever played organized sports, you know how important camaraderie among teammates is- but what happens when your time on the same team is over? Coby White showed us that true brotherhood is through and through. His reaction to finding out that his former teammate had been drafted was priceless.
Dads. What would we do without them?! Despite most of the damaging stereotypes about black fathers- many of them were front and center for one of the biggest nights in their sons’ lives. After the NBA draft, Ja Morant jokingly called his dad his “biggest hater” while he recalled how hard his dad would train him in their backyard. But all that work clearly paid off!
And of course, there’s mom. Many of the draftees showed their moms love. Zion Williamson was one of a handful of players to give tribute to their mothers after being selected!