The three NBA playoff games scheduled to take place on Thursday will be postponed, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter links). However, players have decided to resume the postseason and discussions are underway about when that will happen, Wojnarowski reports.
According to Charania (Twitter link), NBA players who met today want to find “new and improved ways” to make social justice statements as they prepare to restart play.
Another meeting will take place today on the Orlando campus at 4:00 pm eastern time, with two players from each team participating, per Goodman and Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter links). The goal of that meeting will be to formulate a specific action plan to address racial injustice issues and to work out the logistics of restarting play, a source tells MacMahon (Twitter link).
A meeting of NBA owners and players is also set up for later today, Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of ESPN report (via Twitter). It sounds like that will be a separate meeting, though it figures to focus on similar issues.
“The bubble is about more than just crowning a champion,” one veteran player told Spears (Twitter link). “More so now than ever. It felt like the message was fading. Hopeful this can create a new level of activism and commitment from our owners, (the) league, (and) teams towards real change.”
After the Bucks decided not to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Magic on Wednesday to protest social and racial injustices, the Rockets, Thunder, Lakers, and Trail Blazers followed suit, and the NBA postponed those games.
Today’s contests between the Nuggets and Jazz, Celtics and Raptors, and Mavericks and Clippers will also need to be rescheduled. Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link) hears that one “common-sense” scenario being considered is to simply push each game back by two days, from Wednesday to Friday and Thursday to Saturday.
Following Wednesday’s boycott, players gathered last night to discuss next steps and that meeting reportedly got “emotional.” Players from the Lakers and Clippers voted in favor of ending the season, while other teams voted to continue playing and some players – including CJ McCollum – cautioned against giving up the platform afforded by the NBA’s bubble.
After further discussions both last night and this morning, LeBron James and other prominent players changed their positions, agreeing that it’s in players’ best interest to finish the season, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Sources tell Charania that players today discussed the sacrifices they’ve made to reach this point of the 2019/20 season, as well as the sense of normalcy that will be gained when family members are allowed to enter the Orlando campus next week (Twitter link). Everyone was ultimately in agreement on restarting the season, one player told Goodman (Twitter link).