Stephen Curry

‘Race and Sports in America: Conversations’ primetime special covers social justice, combating inequality

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Athletes, including Olympians, discussed social justice, locker room conversations about race and ways that sports can help combat inequality in “Race and Sports in America: Conversations,” airing Monday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Olympic Channel, Golf Channel and NBC Sports Regional Networks.

NBC Sports’ Damon Hack hosted roundtables with active and retired athletes at the American Century Championship Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, last week.

Panelists, including Olympians James Blake and Charles Barkley and Tokyo Olympic hopeful Stephen Curry, also reflected on personal experiences.

Barkley, an Olympic gold medalist in 1992 and 1996, said coaches recently reached out to him to speak to their teams.

“First of all, relax and breathe,” Barkley said. “This crap started 400 years ago. We can’t do nothing about that. We can’t do anything about systematic racism. What I challenge every Black person, every white person to do: What can I do today going forward?

“You have to ask yourself, I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Because if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Blake, a retired former top-five tennis player and 2008 Olympian, was wrestled to the ground, handcuffed and arrested by a plainclothes New York City police officer in 2015 in a case of mistaken identity caught on video. The police officer’s punishment was a loss of five vacation days.

“The first thing I said when I got tackled was, I’m complying 100 percent,” Blake said. “And that shouldn’t have to be your response the first time you interact with a police officer. And because that’s the way my dad taught me is stay alive. Do whatever you can to stay alive. Sort it out later with lawyers or however you want to do it, and stay alive in that moment. The fact you have to have those rules in 2020 means maybe we have to do something drastic to change the way police interact with the African-American community and the way the community interacts with the police.”

Curry said his daughters, 7-year-old Riley and 5-year-old Ryan, asked questions about the images they recently saw. He’s not shielding them, but rather being honest about society, going back centuries.

“We have to continue to double down and double down and keep people accountable in all walks of life, all industries, all forms of leadership, the judicial system, all those type of things,” Curry said. “And hopefully for my kids’ generation, their kids, we will see change. I’m hopeful and optimistic about, but I understand how much work will need to go into that.”

The full list of athletes who participated in the “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” roundtables:

• Charles Barkley – 1992 and 1996 Olympic basketball champion
• James Blake – 10-time ATP tennis champion, 2008 Olympian
• Stephen Curry – two-time NBA MVP, two-time FIBA world champion
• Troy Mullins – World Long Drive competitor
• Anthony Lynn – Los Angeles Chargers head coach
• Jimmy Rollins – World Series champion shortstop
• Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings tight end
• Ozzie Smith – Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

Additionally, Hack was joined by Super Bowl champion running back Jerome Bettis for an extended interview that will be published on NBC Sports’ digital and podcast platforms.

MORE: Elana Meyers Taylor’s claims of racism in bobsled being investigated

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LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry in Olympic player pool

LeBron James, Kevin Durant
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LeBron JamesKevin Durant and Stephen Curry headline the 35-player U.S. men’s basketball team expected to attend a July minicamp in Las Vegas.

The 12-man rosters for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Olympics are expected to be comprised wholly from players on the national team, though the player pool is fluid. Players can be added and subtracted from the national team at any time.

All of the biggest U.S. stars in the NBA are in the player pool, including all 13 players who made All-NBA teams last season and the entire All-NBA First Team (Russell WestbrookJames HardenKawhi Leonard, James and Anthony Davis).

All but one player from the 2016 Olympic team is back to train under new coach Gregg Popovich, who succeeds Mike Krzyzewski.

The exception is Carmelo Anthony, who retired from international play after winning a U.S. men’s record third gold medal in Rio, where he became the U.S.’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Olympic play.

James earned gold medals in 2008 and 2012, while Durant took gold in 2012 and 2016. Curry has never played with both James and Durant in an international tournament. He was on the 2010 and 2014 World Cup teams (without James) but was not among 20 finalists for the 2012 Olympic team.

Curry withdrew from 2016 Olympic consideration two months before the Games, citing several reasons, including knee and ankle injuries. James withdrew from the Rio team two weeks later.

Four players from the 2014 FIBA World Cup team are also not on the national team — Kenneth FariedRudy GayMason Plumlee and Derrick Rose — all of whom are primarily bench players in the NBA now.

The full national team:

Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Jimmy Butler (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Mike Conley Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)
DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)
Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets)
Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Tobias Harris (Los Angeles Clippers)
Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics)
Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics)
LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)
CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)
Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers)
Chris Paul (Houston Rockets)
Isaiah Thomas (Los Angeles Lakers)
Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)
John Wall (Washington Wizards)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

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MORE: Candace Parker not in U.S. national team player pool

Stephen Curry tries shot put in warm-up (video)

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Stephen Curry skipped the Rio Olympics, but perhaps he took in some track and field during the Games.

Curry warmed up before Wednesday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors by treating shooting a basketball like a shot put.

He chose the spin technique rather than the glide.

Some shot putters have been known to be two-sport stars, most notably 1984 Olympic silver medalist Michael Carter, who went on to win three Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers.

Carter’s daughter, Michelle Carter, became the first U.S. Olympic women’s shot put champion in Rio. Ryan Crouser made it a sweep of shot put golds for the U.S.

VIDEO: Deer stampedes cross-country runner

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