The Lakers and Clippers voted tonight to boycott the remainder of the 2019/20 NBA season, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links). According to Charania, the rest of the teams in the NBA’s Orlando bubble voted to continue playing. The meeting has now concluded, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers and Clippers were the first two teams to exit the meeting after registering their votes, per Haynes (Twitter link). According to David Aldridge of The Athletic (Twitter link), the meeting ended “ugly” and there’s uncertainty about what will happen on Thursday.
Sources tell Charania (Twitter link) that Heat veteran Udonis Haslem spoke during tonight’s meeting and essentially said that it would be impossible for the season to continue without the top two teams in the West. However, tonight’s vote was considered “more of a polling” than a final decision, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who tweets that the resumption of the postseason remains up in the air.
Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter) that the discussion about whether to continue the season will extend into tomorrow, but for now it seems unlikely that that Thursday’s three postseason games will be played as scheduled.
“Everyone is still too emotional,” a high-ranking source told Woj. “There needs to be more time to come together on this.”
According to both Charania and Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter links), LeBron James was vocal in calling out the league’s team owners, indicating that he wants them to be more involved and take action on the social justice issues being highlighted by the players. Washburn adds that James wants commissioner Adam Silver to do more as well, with some players expressing annoyance that Silver has been “noticeably absent” for the majority of the summer restart.
While the East’s top two teams apparently didn’t vote to boycott the rest of the season, the Bucks and Raptors provided “some of the strongest voices” on the idea of shutting down the bubble, according to Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link).
The Raptors were the first team to publicly talk about a boycott earlier this week, while the Bucks were the first team to do so earlier today. Charania reports (via Twitter) that there was some frustration expressed in the meeting tonight by those who felt blindsided by Milwaukee’s walk-out plan.
If the 2019/20 season isn’t completed, it would have a serious impact on the NBA’s revenues and salary cap and would potentially blow up the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link), Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum asked for a financial breakdown of the potential effect on the CBA. Players have been told that lost revenue would be between 15-35% if they stop playing and go home tomorrow, a source tells Pompey.
Besides the financial impact of ending the season, some of the other themes of the meeting were Chris Paul expressed a desire for player unity, McCollum expressing a need for a plan of action, and Clippers head coach Doc Rivers talking about using the NBA’s platform to push voting and police accountability (Twitter link via Wojnarowski).