NBA Players Reportedly 'Optimistic' After Call with Owners amid Playoff Protest

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 28, 2020

Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz stand in front of a Black Lives Matter logo on the court before the start of an NBA basketball game Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

NBA players reportedly left their call Thursday with league governors optimistic they can substantively advance the ongoing social justice movement to combat systemic racism.

Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report relayed sentiments from that call, which occurred one day after the NBA postseason paused in protest of systemic racism and police brutality following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.

"Everybody said they were optimistic," Rooks reported on NBA TV.

"They felt that the call was productive, which I think is the most that you can ask for: people listening to you, people hearing you and people understanding.

"And there's this overwhelming feeling here that the owners are getting it more than maybe people thought before the bubble, but it helps that there are stars really backing it."

Rooks reiterated her report from earlier in the day, stating that four-time NBA MVP and Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James was the "last voice on the call."

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Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic also relayed moments from that meeting:

The Milwaukee Bucks' decision to sit the fifth game of their first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic, which was scheduled for Wednesday, eventually led to the rest of the day's NBA postseason slate being postponed. Thursday's matchups were called off as well. 

The season was potentially in "jeopardy," per one veteran to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, but players made the call Thursday to continue the season.

Thirteen teams are left inside the Disney World campus near Orlando, Florida, where the remainder of the league ledger is being held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the league's suspension from mid-March to late July.