The NBA – Early leader in recognizing the importance of MLK Day
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The NBA has been an early leader in recognizing the importance of Martin Luther King Day. Four years before the government recognized this day as a national holiday, the NBA was honoring the memory of Dr. King. Commissioner David Stern has been a member of the King Federal Holiday Commission, and the league has closed its offices since 1987 to observe the day.
In 1987, the NBA canceled the league meetings scheduled for September 18–21 in Scottsdale because Arizona did not observe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. In addition, in 1990, the NBA told the Phoenix Suns there would be no league events held in Arizona other than regular-season and playoff games without a King holiday.
NBA teams have long taken part in the tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. In the past, teams have made donations to the King Center, produced television tributes, as well as contributed scholarship money to children across the county.
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See more interview w/ athletes on ESPN’s tribute to King here