Before draining a 17-footer over DeAndre Jordan with 1.3 seconds left to stun the Clippers 102-100, Jack warmed up in a T-shirt that had the words "BLACK HISTORY MONTH" on it but the word "MONTH" crossed out with the word "YEARS" written underneath it. Jack's shirt was different than the Adidas shooting shirts worn by players on Monday night to honor African American History month. Those Adidas shirts were collaborated on by the NBA and the NBA Players Association.
This isn't the first time Jack has worn a shirt in an attempt to make a statement. Before playing against Cleveland on Dec. 8, Jack wore and distributed "I Can't Breathe" shirts to some of his teammates and opponents, including the Cavaliers' LeBron James. The "I Can't Breathe" statement was a show of support for the family of Eric Garner.
"I thought the shirt made a dope statement," Jack said of his latest shirt. "That is just what I believe. Things shouldn't just be highlighted within any sort of time frame. I think we should celebrate everything, as much as we can. Know what I mean? I don't want to over speak or put myself in a compromising position. I just feel that there is a contribution from a bunch of nationalities that we should just celebrate.
"It doesn't have to be a monthly thing," the point guard continued. "It doesn't have to be a daily thing. ... It can be all the time. We can celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln in the same breath. They come from two totally different walks of life, but the contributions that they made to society, they stack up. They are both for riding in the same car so to speak, fighting for the same things I think."
Jack said he did not ask the NBA for permission to wear his latest shirt. In December, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he respected players such as Chicago's Derrick Rose, who also donned the "I Can't Breathe" shirt in a separate game, for "voicing their personal views on important issues."
"But my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules," Silver added.
The NBA requires players to wear Adidas, the league's official apparel sponsor. Still, the league did not fine players who wore the "I Can't Breathe" shirts.
Jack's latest message was meant to promote diversity.
"There are a number of people that could be celebrated within this month that don't necessarily have to be African-American," Jack said. "So I think that is more so what my shirt means than anything."