The NBA descended upon Las Vegas on Wednesday to prepare for the semifinals of the league's inaugural In-Season Tournament. The Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers will play for the new NBA Cup in the coming days, but the city hosting the event experienced a tragedy on Wednesday when three people were killed and another is in critical condition following a shooting on the campus of UNLV.
Mass shootings have sadly become far too common in the United States, and NBA players have frequently spoken out against the laws and lawmakers that make them possible. Most notable among them is LeBron James, who expressed his sadness and frustration following the UNLV shooting Wednesday by criticizing the country for its failure to prevent such tragedies.
"My brother from back home texted me and told me to be safe out here because he heard about the shooting at UNLV," James said. "First of all, my condolences go to the families that lost loved ones. Families and friends. It just goes back to what I said before about guns in America. I think it's just a longer conversation but we are the only ones who keep dealing with the same story, the same conversation every single time it happens and it just continues to happen. The ability to get a gun, the ability to do these things over and over and over, and there has been no change is literally ridiculous. It makes no sense that we continue to lose innocent lives on campuses, on schools, at shopping markets and movie theaters. All types of stuff. It's just ridiculous. It's ridiculous and the fact that we haven't changed anything, it's actually been a lot easier to be able to own a firearm. It's stupid."
James has spoken about gun violence on multiple occasions in the past. In 2022, he shared his thoughts and prayers following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
My thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of love ones loss & injured at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX! Like when is enough enough man!!! These are kids and we keep putting them in harms way at school. Like seriously "AT SCHOOL" where it's suppose to be the safest!— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 24, 2022
Most famously, in 2016, James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul spoke on stage at the ESPYs about violence against black men by police officers. "We all feel helpless and frustrated by the violence," James said at the time. Sadly, mass shootings have remained a part of American life ever since, and nothing the NBA or its players have done has been able to stop them.