ESPN: NBA players have decided to resume playoffs

ESPN: NBA players have decided to resume playoffs

Taylor Martinez

NBA players have decided to resume the playoffs, according to multiple reports.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news. Wojnarowski also reports Thursday’s three playoff games will be postponed. ESPN reports the season is expected to resume by the weekend or as early as Friday.

CNN has reached out to the league and the players union for confirmation and comment.

The decision comes after a historic day for professional sports in the US, with athletes banding together to stand against racial injustice and refusing to play in games across the country following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Three NBA playoff games were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks decided not to take the floor against the Orlando Magic as players took a stand with their Bucks counterparts. Three WNBA, five Major League Soccer and three Major League Baseball games were also postponed.

And following the postponement of its opening series against the Portland Trail Blazers, players from the Los Angeles Lakers — as well as its city counterparts the Los Angeles Clippers — voted to boycott the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season, according to Shams Charania, who is with both The Athletic and Stadium.

Blake, a Black man, was shot in the back by police on Sunday as he tried to enter his vehicle in Kenosha, Wisconsin. His shooting became the latest incident to prompt outrage nationwide over racial injustice and police brutality.

According to Elle Duncan of ESPN, NBA players boycotting a game has happened only once before. Almost 60 years ago, Hall of Famer Bill Russell and some of his Boston Celtics teammates sat out a game in 1961 in protest of racial injustice.

Strikes are banned under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, which means the Bucks players broke their own contract in order to protest racial injustice and police violence.

In a players’ meeting on Wednesday night, the LA teams were reportedly the only two NBA teams who voted to boycott the NBA season. Charania, who cites unnamed sources in his reporting, said all other NBA teams voted to continue playing.

The vote that was taken doesn’t appear to be binding. According to Wojnarowski, who cited unnamed sources, it was more of a poll than a final vote.

When reached by CNN, the NBA said it had nothing to share beyond the statement that the league put out earlier in the day, when it was announced that Wednesday’s games would be postponed and that the games would be rescheduled.

Two playoff games were scheduled to take place on Thursday.


More information to follow.

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