Heat stars turn attention to justice, Breonna Taylor after Game 4 win
Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

While Tyler Herro was basking in the glow of his career night - a 37-point performance to help carry his Miami Heat to a 112-109 over the Boston Celtics Wednesday - the media asked the rookie shooting guard about the social justice message he selected for the back of his No. 14 jersey.

"I chose 'Black Lives Matter' because Black lives matter," the 20-year-old, who is white, told reporters. "And I felt like this was - first, 'Black Lives Matter' is something that means something to me. My teammates are predominantly Black. The league is predominantly Black.

"There's obviously a problem going on in the world. And I feel like this stage, with this type of platform, putting that on my jersey, everybody's seeing my last name but they're also seeing 'Black Lives Matter' on my back. I think that's important. And I think we have to do better as a society and keep trying to push forward. And, you know, Black lives do matter."

Herro wasn't the only Heat standout who turned his attention to social justice postgame. Outcries came from around the league on the same day, following a Kentucky grand jury's indictment of just one police officer - on charges of first-degree wanton endangerment - in the shooting death of 26-year-old Louisville resident Breonna Taylor earlier this year.

Bam Adebayo, who played collegiate basketball at Kentucky two years before Herro's arrival in Lexington, dedicated the game to Taylor's memory.

"When you hear news like that, you kind've got to force your anger towards what you're doing at the moment," the 23-year-old big man said. "So, all of us tried to transfer our anger to the basketball game. I feel like this win was for her. This is a crazy world we live in, man."

Wednesday's outcome put Jimmy Butler within one win of his first-ever career Finals appearance, but the nine-year veteran's thoughts also came back to the news out of Louisville.

"It's always much bigger than a sport," he reflected. "It's always much bigger than basketball. Because that could be anybody. That could be me. That could be any African-American.

"So when you look at it like that, for me, it's always on my heart because I just think it's some bull crap. Going into the game, you do got to compete, but at the end of the day, we're people first, not just athletes."

Heat stars turn attention to justice, Breonna Taylor after Game 4 win
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