The 2020 NBA Playoffs may not continue, as some NBA teams are beginning to indicate that they are ready to walk away from the Orlando bubble. All teams scheduled to play games today elected not to take the court. This evening, participating teams gathered to discuss the road forward. According to multiple reports, some teams are voting to end the season.
The walkout comes as an extension of nationwide protests over systemic violence against black Americans, rekindled by the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Milwaukee Bucks were the first team to remain in their locker room instead of taking the floor today, followed quickly by their opponents, the Orlando Magic. As the day wore on, other teams followed.
National media are beginning to report on the results of the evening gathering. According to those reports, votes were divided.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers have voted to boycott the rest of the playoffs and were the first two teams to exit the meeting, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 27, 2020
Sources: Every team besides Lakers and Clippers voted to continue playing. LeBron James said in meeting he want owners to be more involved/take action.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2020
The NBA Board of Governors has called a special meeting for Thursday morning to discuss the matter.
Told the players’ meeting ended "ugly," per a source, with uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow. The union will be present at the special Board of Governors meeting, per a source.— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) August 27, 2020
Sources to @YahooSports: Board of governors meeting scheduled for 11 AM ET. So the Clippers and Lakers power move is giving the owners a timeline on a plan— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) August 27, 2020
We’ll post more on the story as it becomes available.
Update 8:10 PM Pacific
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN indicates that Thursday’s slate of playoffs games will probably not happen.
Discussions on continuing season will extend into tomorrow, sources tell ESPN, but appears unlikely the three playoff games on Thursday will be played. "Everyone is still too emotional," one high-ranking source tells ESPN. "There needs to be more time to come together on this."— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
Update 8:13 PM
Analyst Jeff Goodman relays this:
One NBA player to me following the meeting: “It was emotional. Heated. It doesn’t look good right now, but we’re all hoping that everyone will sleep on it and maybe we can figure it out tomorrow because most of us still want to find a way to play.”— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) August 27, 2020
Update 8:18 PM
A league source in the bubble tells ESPN there was “no sense of accomplishment” now that tonight’s meeting has been adjourned. Added that the feeling of “uncertainty” will remain until tomorrow’s emergency 11 a.m. ET Board of Governors meeting occurs.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) August 27, 2020
Update 9:23 PM
Lots of people are tweeting fragments that may or may not add to the story (and frankly may or may not be solid interpretations). Wojnarowski has the best summary:
Sources: As some in tonight's meeting wanted to hear Bucks' explanation for making an abrupt decision independent of rest of teams to boycott game, Boston's Jaylen Brown essentially said that the Bucks didn't need to explain themselves and he fully supported what they did today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
ESPN Sources: Among themes in meeting: NBPA explained financial implications of ending season, including possible lockout next year. Chris Paul on leaving meeting unified; CJ McCollum on needing a plan of action. Doc Rivers on using platform, voting, holding police accountable.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020