NBA Board of Gov. Meeting Reportedly Scheduled Thursday Following Player ProtestAugust 27, 2020
The NBA has scheduled a Board of Governors meeting after a player-guided decision to sit out of games in protest of systemic racism and police brutality led to the official postponement of all three of the league's playoff games on Wednesday, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Milwaukee Bucks did not leave their locker room to take the court for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Word soon surfaced that they decided not to play the game amid renewed protests sparked by the Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, on Sunday.
The Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers games were also postponed after reports those teams were also discussing not playing.
The status for Thursday's three-game playoff slate is currently up in the air, per Wojnarowski, with one veteran player telling the reporter that the remainder of the postseason is in jeopardy.
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that there is a "growing sense that, at a minimum, the three games scheduled for [Thursday] will not be played."
Per Wojnarowski and ESPN's Zach Lowe, players held a meeting in a Disney World ballroom on Wednesday evening to discuss where they felt they should go from here.
Speakers included NBPA president and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, NBPA vice president and Miami Heat guard/forward Andre Iguodala, Bucks guard Kyle Korver and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, per Lowe and Wojnarowski.
Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James and Portland Trail Blazers teammates Carmelo Anthony and Damian Lillard also spoke, per Mannix.
Mannix provided more insight into the meeting: "Players spoke passionately about voting and police reform, per sources. There's a sense from some that if owners don't come up with something that makes them believe staying will help move these important issues forward, this season is done."
The NBA season was suspended for four-and-a-half months beginning March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It resumed play on July 30 with 22 teams in a de-facto bubble on the Walt Disney World campus near Orlando, Florida, with games played in ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.
The league is currently wrapping up the first round of its postseason. Three teams have already advanced to the conference semifinal round, and five first-round series are to be determined. Thirteen teams are left overall.