NBA players and teams canceled and then resumed their season yesterday in a flawed response to the arrest of Jacob Blake. CBS Sports reports (abridged):
After Wednesday’s three NBA playoff games were postponed following the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision not to take the court for their first-round, Game 5 matchup against the Orlando Magic, the players reached an independent decision on Thursday morning to resume the postseason. The postseason will likely pick back up Friday or Saturday, NBA Executive Vice President Mike Bass said in a statement.
Below is everything you need to know about how we got to this point and the circumstances that led to the players’ decision to resume playing.
The NBA and its players, coaches and owners have taken myriad measures to make clear their support for the Black Lives Matter movement while standing against all racial injustice and police brutality, but in the wake of a Black man named Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday, Bucks players collectively decided to take the league’s most extreme action yet by not taking the court for their game against the Magic.
Shortly thereafter, the NBA released a statement that all three of Wednesday’s postseason games — Milwaukee vs. Orlando, Houston vs. Oklahoma City and Portland vs. the L.A. Lakers — were being postponed. And so began a series of protests across professional sports, with the WNBA canceling its full slate of games for Wednesday (and also Thursday), and three MLB games getting postponed as well.
The players inside the bubble met Wednesday night, first with coaches invited to attend and then on their own, to discuss next steps. During these initial meetings, it was reported by Shams Charania of the Athletic that the Lakers and Clippers were in favor of canceling the rest of the postseason, while the other 11 teams remaining in the bubble voted to resume playing.
Multiple reports indicated that LeBron James was particularly firm in his desire to shut down the rest of the postseason, citing that he didn’t believe team owners were doing enough, and Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that Kawhi Leonard was on LeBron’s side in being “adamant” about canceling the rest of the playoffs.
Either way, ending the season or not, is fine by me! I long ago stopped watching a play of NBA ball.
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