The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers have indicated they are in favor of not playing the remainder of the 2019-20 NBA season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Their decision comes after the players held an all-hands-on-deck meeting late on Wednesday night. Every other team, however, signaled that they would prefer to continue playing.
In a dramatic scene, LeBron James reportedly led the Lakers and Clippers out of the room, while Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem argued that the season could not go on without them, per Charania. The meeting ended “ugly” according to David Aldridge of The Athletic.
To open the emotional meeting, players spoke with the family of Jacob Blake, the Kenosha, Wisconsin man who was shot seven times in the back by police on Sunday, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As of now, there are no concrete plans moving forward, but at the minimum, it appears that Thursday’s playoff games will be postponed, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
Earlier in the day, in response to Blake’s shooting, and the deaths of two protesters from vigilante violence on Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Bucks chose not to take the floor for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series with the Orlando Magic. A short time later, the rest of the day’s games were postponed. While players across the league were supportive on social media, there was reportedly frustration about the way they blindsided the rest of the league, per Charania.
The NBA will be holding a special Board of Governors meeting on Thursday morning where discussions on continuing the season will be continued. In addition, players will be holding another meeting of their own at the same time, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
With emotions running high, the players were unable to come to any collective decision late on Wednesday. The hope is that Thursday’s meeting will be more productive now that everyone has had their opportunity to voice their feelings and frustrations with how things are going, both in the bubble and in the country in general.
“There were a lot of emotions in the meeting rather than coming up with a solution, but I think tomorrow will be better,” an unnamed player told veteran reporter Jeff Goodman. “I’m confident we will play, but tomorrow is a big meeting.”