Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said his city is struggling with the death of Tyre Nichols.
"I just want to start off my press conference by acknowledging a tragedy that's happened back in Memphis. Our city is struggling right now," he said at a pre-game press conference in Minneapolis, where the Grizzlies were taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The game started with a moment of silence for Nichols.
The video of Nichols' beating at the hands of several Memphis police officers was released right as the game was tipping off. Jenkins noted the game is in Minneapolis, which was hit three years ago by rioting and protests after the murder of George Floyd by officers.
"Sadly, we're here again, right? Being here in Minneapolis evokes a lot of emotions, for sure," Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he and his staff talked with with the team about the turmoil back home. Conversations have focused on being there for each other and "how we have to be there for our city most of all, knowing that we are hopefully a positive piece to the soul of our city," Jenkins said.
The game was certain to elicit emotions on both sides, Jenkins said. Players from the Timberwolves and Grizzles have talked privately. Several with Minnesota connections talked about "having gone through it (and) on how we've gotta be leaders throughout this," Jenkins said.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx released a statement saying the teams were "deeply saddened by the tragic killing of Tyre Nichols. We extend our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies to Tyre's family, friends, loved ones, the Memphis community, and communities across the country during this difficult time."
Staff writer Kim Hyatt contributed to this report.