Among key NBA players, there’s optimism that a majority of players want to continue the playoffs and complete the 2019/20 season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Sources tell Wojnarowski that several members of the Lakers, as well as players around the league, stayed up for hours after Wednesday night’s meeting to continue discussing the issues.
Doc Rivers and Chris Paul were among those who called upon players at last night’s meeting to come away with a plan of action and two or three “clear items” that the NBA can help them act upon, such as police reform and accountability or voter registration, according to an ESPN report.
Paul also wanted to make sure that players understand the financial ramifications of not finishing the 2019/20 season, which could be “cataclysmic,” one league executive told ESPN. NBPA leadership told players that they could lose about about 25-30% of their salaries for next season and would risk termination of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
According to ESPN’s report, CJ McCollum challenged players who wanted to end the season not to forfeit their platform by quietly heading back home, while Jaylen Brown and Andre Iguodala were among those who called for players to join the “front lines” of the fight for social justice if they stop the season.
While players would reportedly like to see team owners do more to address the issues the players are protesting, some owners have privately wondered what more they can do, according to ESPN. The league’s Board of Governors recently committed $300MM over the next 10 years to a foundation that aims to “create economic opportunity and empowerment in the Black community,” ESPN notes.
The players want the Board of Governors’ support in pushing for policy changes, according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Turning teams’ arenas into voting centers for this year’s election could be another actionable item for franchises. Several clubs have already announced their intentions to use their arenas as voting centers, with the Rockets becoming the latest to do so this morning.