Clippers honor Martin Luther King Jr. in many ways
Glen "Big Baby" Davis started Martin Luther King Day by honoring King’s wisdom in a pregame message to Clippers fans at Staples Center.
"We all know what he stood for. So I want you to turn to your neighbor and say ‘I love you, neighbor’" Davis said.
The Clippers also showed a video tribute to King, which elicited a standing ovation from fans. Before the Clippers played the Celtics on Monday, Doc Rivers talked to them about Martin Luther King Jr., as he said he does every year.
"I didn’t go on the black history thing, I went on the American history thing," Doc Rivers said. "I said, ‘when we’ve really made it as a country, it will be called American history, in my opinion.’ I told them the story about George Raveling, and George Raveling will speak to them (Tuesday). Half of them know who George Raveling is and half don’t."
Raveling is well-known in Los Angeles since he’s the former USC men’s basketball coach from 1986-94. Every year, he has a wonderful story to tell since he was at King’s speech at the Washington, D.C. Civil Rights March in 1963. He still has King’s paper with the speech from that day.
The Clippers don’t practice on Tuesday, but they will meet at the team facility in Playa Vista. Doc Rivers asked Raveling to talk to them and tell his story.
"What a lot of people don’t know is that George Raveling actually has possession of the ‘I have a dream speech,’" Rivers said. "He was doing security that day. Basically he just went to see the speech. They said, ‘hey kid, you want to do security?’ He said sure. If you ever watch it again, which you will, you look to your right and George Raveling is standing right next to the podium. Right after the speech, he basically asked him, ‘Mr. King, can I have the speech?’ And he handed it to him. The most amazing part about the speech is that ‘I have a dream’ was not in the speech."
Chris Paul believes it’s an honor that the Clippers played on the day that honors King.
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"It’s big. A lot of us look at making it to the NBA and being so successful and sometimes we lose sight of how we got here in the first place," Paul said. "It’s always special to play on Martin Luther King Day. It’s crazy for me now, being a father and teaching my son. He was at home yesterday talking about what today is."
Blake Griffin discussed keeping King’s dream alive.
"It’s very important," Griffin said. "A guy like that who fought for so much and fought in the right way, stood for the right things. He did it without violence. He did it in the right way. He did it the smart way. It’s important to keep that dream alive and educate younger people to keep that dream alive."