NBA playoffs return, athletes fight on

NEW YORK (Tom Goldman/NPR)—The NBA playoffs will resume.But not before a second day of postponed games.

In a statement, the league said Thursday’s playoff games won’t be played as scheduled.

“We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday.”

The decision came after lengthy and sometimes angry discussions Wednesday night and Thursday morning, in which players debated the merits of starting back up versus cancelling the season entirely. Initially, two championship-contending teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, led by superstar LeBron James, and the L.A. Clippers and their star Kawhi Leonard, favored calling off the season, which restarted in July in a pandemic-protected bubble near Orlando, Fla. after being shut down in March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

But according to reports, the Lakers and Clippers realized the consensus among players and teams was to finish the season. And they agreed.

James was one of many players however, who made it clear the dramatic work stoppage that grabbed so much attention, was simply a start.

“Change doesn’t happen with just talk!!” James tweeted. “It happens with action and needs to happen NOW! For my @IPROMISESchool kids, kids and communities across the country, it’s on US to make a difference. Together. That’s why your vote is @morethanavote. #BlackLivesMatter.”

A video conference call meeting was scheduled for late Thursday between a group of players and team, league and union officials to discuss next steps in the player’s quest to affect social change.

The Milwaukee Bucks laid out their ideas for moving the issues forward, when they released a statement Wednesday following the decision to not play Game 5 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic.

That decision prompted the NBA postponements that spread to other pro sports leagues, and continued Thursday.

The WNBA, a longtime leader in speaking out on social issues, postponed games for a second day in a row.


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