'Inside the NBA' to Air Special Thursday on Social Injustice, League's Return

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2020

Shaquille O'Neal, from left, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley speak at the NBA Awards on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Inside the NBA is returning to TNT for a special edition on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal, along with special guests, will focus on the ongoing protests across the world, as well as the latest news around the NBA:

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the NBA's board of governors is expected to approve this week a plan to restart the 2019-20 season in Orlando, Florida, with 22 teams. Team training would begin in July ahead of an eight-game regular-season slate prior to the playoffs.

While that represents significant progress toward the return of basketball, larger issues have forced sports to take a back seat.

In the days since George Floyd's killing, protesters have demonstrated to call for reforms addressing police brutality and systemic racism.

On May 25, Minneapolis police officers approached Floyd in his car because he matched the description of a suspect in an alleged forgery. The officers removed him from the vehicle and placed him face-down on the ground.

In a video of the encounter, officer Derek Chauvin was shown kneeling on Floyd's neck. Floyd told the officers he couldn't breathe, yet Chauvin continued kneeling for nearly nine minutes and three other officers involved in the arrest did not attempt to intervene. Floyd later died at a local hospital.

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The officers involved were fired, and prosecutors initially charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

The case has since moved to the office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. The Star Tribune's Stephen Montemayor and Chao Xiong reported Ellison is planning to amend the charge to second-degree murder. The other three officers will face a charge of aiding and abetting murder.

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