Wednesday’s schedule of NBA games was ultimately postponed as Bucks players decided to boycott their scheduled game against the Magic. The Rockets and Thunder followed suit, followed by the Trail Blazers and Lakers.
“We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers be held accountable,” the Bucks said in a team statement. “For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action, and remember to vote on Nov. 3.”
Other sports leagues followed in the NBA’s footsteps by not playing games as well. But was this a one day thing, or will it be a trend moving forward? Below, we’ll explain what we know about Thursday’s matchups between the Nuggets vs. Jazz, Celtics vs. Raptors and Clippers vs. Mavericks, as well as what happens moving forward.
Are there NBA games today?
There are three games on the schedule at the moment: Denver at Utah (4:00 p.m.), Boston at Toronto (6:30 p.m.) and Los Angeles at Dallas (9:00 p.m.). None of the games have been postponed as of this writing. But Celtics and Raptors players had already been talking about boycotting their game, even prior to the Bucks’ boycott.
In its statement Wednesday, the NBA only addressed the games being played that day. There has been no official update regarding future games.
Despite the lack of an official word, context clues tell us it’d be surprising if these games don’t eventually get postponed. According to ESPN, NBA players will hold a meeting Thursday morning “to continue the discussion on how they’ll proceed with the playoffs.”
The players originally met Wednesday evening and The Athletic reported the Lakers and Clippers voted to boycott the remainder of the NBA season. Considering the Clippers felt comfortable not playing the rest of the season, it’d be surprising if the team felt comfortable playing their game Thursday night.
Here is a look at the NBA’s upcoming schedule for the weekend prior to the stoppage:
Why are NBA teams boycotting?
A video released Sunday night showed police shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back in Kenosha, Wis. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was attempting to get into his SUV where his three children (ages 3, 5 and 8) were reportedly inside. Blake family attorney Ben Crump said Blake is paralyzed and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.
Since the shooting took place in Milwaukee, the Bucks felt a duty to step up and demand action.
“The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings,” the team said in a statement. “Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”
Will the 2020 NBA season ever resume play?
To be determined. There was a player meeting Wednesday evening where the Clippers and Lakers voted to boycott the season, but the other teams voted to keep playing, per reports. The Los Angeles Times reported LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard “were adamant about not playing the rest of the playoffs.” Veteran NBA reporter David Aldridge reported there is “uncertainty about what will happen” on Thursday.
There is no official ruling on what will happen moving forward. There should be more clarity after the meeting Thursday morning.
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