Basketball fans often have a tendency to fixate on the importance of the NBA Finals, the conclusion of the basketball season and the most widely respected indicator of success in the sport. Yet, no matter how much we argue about a player's legacy or the strategic battles of a series, we're still looking at grown men playing like a child's game for millions of dollars. In the grand scheme of things, they've all already won. There are much more important issues in the world, and sometimes it helps to be reminded of that.
Kudos, then, to the Miami Heat for helping to raise awareness of sexual abuse during the playoffs. From Laken Litman at For The Win:
[Mike Miller is] shooting 80% from three-point range for the Miami Heat and averaging 9.7 points per game. Watching Miller rise and fire, you might catch a glimpse of the teal band around his right wrist. The wristband reads ‘42 million.’
That’s the number of survivors of childhood sexual abuse per year. The other side of the bracelet reads “Lauren’s Kids”, a foundation the Heat have supported for the past three years. [...]
Lauren Book is the founder of Lauren’s Kids and a Heat fan.
“It’s amazing to see them wearing the bands because when I was an 11-year-old kid, I didn’t think anyone cared,” Book said. “No matter what happens on the court, all of them are champions off it. They have hearts of gold.”
The Heat's actions to support Lauren's Kids fairly common around the NBA — each team and player usually has a few preferred charities — but that doesn't make them any less worthy of attention. The team is using their very public platform to spread a positive message, even if just in a casual way.
It's a reminder that, while we usually focus on measurable basketball accomplishments around this time of year, the sport can be used to express more general concepts and causes that affect people in all walks of life.