Curry offers Warriors support to “wrongfully incarcerated” Griner at NBA ring ceremony

Stephen Curry took the microphone in the middle of the Golden State championship ring ceremony Tuesday night to make a passionate plea in support of Brittney Griner as the WNBA star spent her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison.

“We want to continue using our platform and the opportunity to shout at a very special member of the basketball community. Brittney Griner’s birthday is today, she’s 32,” Curry told the crowd on opening night before the reigning champions were home to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

“We want to continue to make her name known and pray … it’s been 243 days since she was wrongfully incarcerated in Russia. We hope that she will come home soon, that everyone will do their part to bring her home,” Curry said.

The Warriors, long engaged in social issues far beyond basketball, celebrated their fourth championship in eight years.

Griner is awaiting a hearing in Russia later this month on his appeal against a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.

She was sentenced on August 4 after Russian police said they found cannabis oil vaporizer containers in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Her defense attorneys said she had been prescribed cannabis for her pain. The WNBA star said he inadvertently packed them and had no criminal intentions.

The NBA season officially begins

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 35 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 126-117 Tuesday night in the NBA regular season opener.

Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points and Grant Williams finished with 15 when reigning Eastern Conference champions gave interim manager Joe Mazzulla a win on his debut.

Mazzulla was tasked with leading the team after Ime Udoka was suspended for the season following an investigation by a law firm that found he committed multiple violations of the team’s policies.

Mazzulla successfully led a Celtics team that closely resembled the one that made a surprise run to the NBA Finals a season ago.

Boston opened a 110-97 lead with 8 minutes left and has never been behind again.

James Harden scored 35 points, the highest since joining the 76ers last season, including 12 of 12 from the free throw line. He also had five 3 points.

Joel Embiid added 26 points and 15 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey finished with 21 points.

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