Following the boycotts that forced the NBA to postpone its playoff games on Wednesday, the league is calling for a special Board of Governors meeting on Thursday morning, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Owners and front offices were not anticipating a wave of player boycotts on Wednesday in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake – an unarmed Black man from Wisconsin who is now paralyzed from the waist down -- and now uncertainty hangs over the remainder of the NBA season.
Both Wojnarowski and SI’s Chris Mannix reported a player telling them that the season “was in jeopardy” and the sentiment was the same following a meeting among players on Wednesday night.
Per Mannix, players spoke about voting and police reform, but the sense is that if owners do not come up with something that makes them believe staying will help move these important issues forward, the season is done.
There is a strong belief that all three games scheduled for Thursday will also be postponed, according to Mannix. The Raptors and Celtics were already planning to boycott Game 1 of their series.
Statements from the NBA Coaches Association, NBPA executive director as well as some team owners have been supportive of the decision to boycott the games, but there is certainly a lot at stake and incentive to have the players continue with the season.
Per Wojnarowski, the sentiment among players on the Bucks is that the team wants to continue to play, too.
The Bucks led the charge by refusing to take the court on Wednesday in their Game 5 matchup against the Magic. Players remained in the locker room and arena for several hours afterward and joined a conference call with the Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.
Per ESPN’s Romana Shelburne, Barnes said that the players just wanted to know what they could do and told them to press for action at “every level of government.”
“They wanted something tangible that they could do in the short and long term. They wanted the walk out to be Step 1.”
In a statement read by Sterling Brown and George Hill, the Bucks expressed it was “imperative for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene after months of inaction.”
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has called a special session of the State Legislature and urged lawmakers to vote on a legislative package that includes police reform.”