NBA Season On Verge Of Cancellation?
Three NBA games were set to take place on Wednesday. All three ended up getting postponed, after players embarked on what amounts to league-wide strike following the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha Police.
Now it appears as though the entire season could be in jeopardy. According to Arizona Sports 98.7 radio host John Gambadoro, the option is currently on the table.
“Players meeting in the bubble tonight,” he tweeted.
“Was told by a player that the season is in jeopardy.”
Players meeting in the bubble tonight. Was told by a player that the season is in jeopardy.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) August 26, 2020
Adrian Wojnarowski’s player sources told him the same thing.
Emotions are raw, players were already worn out of bubble environment prior to the Jacob Blake shooting and sources say discussions within teams are ongoing about postponing tomorrow’s three games too — and beyond. “The season is in jeopardy,” one vet player here tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020
As of Wednesday morning, there was loose talk of players taking a stand of some sort in response to Blake’s shooting, but nothing was set in stone. That all changed by the afternoon, when the Milwaukee Bucks opted not to take the floor for their Game 5 showdown against the Orlando Magic.
In response, the league cancelled all three outings that were scheduled to take place. All three Game 5s will ultimately be rescheduled, the NBA promised.
After the games were postponed, a statement was released by the Magic and the DeVos family.
“Today we stand united with the NBA Office, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of color,” it read.
As of Wednesday afternoon, no definitive decisions regarding the rest of the season have been made. However, at this point, everything appears to be on the table.
NBA Players Speak Out
After all of the Game 5s scheduled for Wednesday got postponed, players took to social media to express their takes on what had transpired.
WE DEMAND CHANGE! SALUTE @Bucks ✊🏾🙏🏾🗣
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) August 26, 2020
WE DEMAND JUSTICE!!!
— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) August 26, 2020
FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 26, 2020
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) August 26, 2020
— LaMarcus Aldridge (@aldridge_12) August 26, 2020
BIGGER THAN BASKETBALL!
— Damion Lee (@Dami0nLee) August 26, 2020
Earlier in the week, on Monday, Bucks guard George Hill expressed his disappointment with the state of affairs outside the bubble.
“We can’t do anything [from Orlando],” Hill said at the time. “First of all, we shouldn’t have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are.”
Pascal Siakam echoed that sentiment.
“We came here for a reason, to use our platform and wanting to send a message and hopefully bring awareness and make a change,” he said.
“But if feels like we’re stuck. We’re not doing anything productive … these things hurt. I don’t care where you’re from.”
As it turns out, both Hill and Siakam ultimately figured out a way to make their voices heard from inside the bubble after all.
NFL Players React To NBA Strike
NBA players were not the only ones to get vocal on social media Wednesday. NFL players took the opportunity to speak out as well.
The NFL world reacts to the Bucks boycotting Game 5 of their series vs. the Magic. pic.twitter.com/m8AzkwyjHk
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 26, 2020
At this point, it is unclear where all this will go. It feels like the start of some sort of movement, and movements typically don’t go away within 24 to 48 hours.
It is very difficult to see how the NBA Playoffs will resume this week. And if they don’t end up resuming, season cancellation suddenly becomes a much more realistic possibility.