After sitting out Wednesday’s entire slate of games and contemplating the cancellation of the remainder of the NBA Playoffs, the league’s players decided today to continue postseason play.
In a meeting that began at 11 a.m. ET today, players decided to postpone today’s games, but resume the playoffs as a whole.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the initial news, with several other national reporters adding context to the situation soon after.
The NBA's players have decided to resume the playoffs, source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
The news comes after the Milwaukee Bucks opted to stay in their locker rooms at tip-off against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday afternoon, leading to the postponement of the game. When members of the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder planned to do the same in the second game of the day originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, the NBA decided to postpone the entire slate of games.
The initial decision came in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In a league-wide meeting Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voted against resuming the playoffs and abruptly left the meeting, with mixed reviews on how to move forward coming from the other remaining teams in the Orlando Bubble.
After sleeping on the decision Wednesday evening, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman broke the news that the players came to a group decision to resume the playoffs with no outliers.
As for the restart of games, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that NBA players and the league as a whole are aiming to return to play starting Friday, but added they will continue to “find new and improved ways to make social justice statements.”
“Players today discussed the sacrifices all of them have made to reach this point in the postseason, and sense of normalcy returning with families entering Disney Campus,” said Charania. “Players who voted not to play on Wednesday night understood. … NBA players in meeting today agreed to continue playing this postseason — but want to find new and improved ways to make social justice statements. Players expect games to resume this weekend.”
According to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, players felt ending the playoffs and leaving the bubble would “take away their platform,” adding that they can use their stage to create “real change and awareness.”
As of now, it appears an NBA champion will still be crowned in the Disney bubble.