There's always added excitement when NBA superstar LeBron James comes into New York City to put his basketball skills on display, but Monday night's game between 'Bron's Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets had added significance.
Inside Barclays Center, Jay Z and Beyoncé took their usual courtside seats, while U.K. royals Prince William and Kate Middleton took in the game, too, creating a celebrity buzz throughout the five boroughs.
Outside of the newly built arena, there was a different buzz going on, however. Protestors gathered at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Downtown Brooklyn to speak out against last week's grand jury decision not to indict the police officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold shortly before he died back in July.
To be fair, there were meaningful protests inside the Barclays Center as well. But there were real differences when you compare the scenes in and out of the arena.
Outside: Protestors let their voices be heard
Inside: LeBron makes a statement at warm-ups. Kyrie Irving and several Nets players also wore black T-shirts with the phrase "I Can't Breathe" written across their chests. In a videotape of the incident, Garner, an asthmatic, could be heard repeatedly saying those words as police tackled him to the ground.
Outside: New Yorkers stage a "die-in"
Inside: The Carters meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Outside: Protestors fill the shopping mall across from Barclays
Inside: LeBron meets with Prince William and Kate Middleton
Outside: Police look on
Inside: Jay Z hand delivers protest shirts to the Brooklyn Nets