An assembly, organized by players who are emotionally traumatized by the latest police-involved shooting of an African American that was captured on video, was held Tuesday night at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, sources said, and there were multiple conversations about what actions could be taken throughout the day.
Oklahoma City Thunder star Chris Paul — the union president — and Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala — first vice president of the union — were in attendance to show support, sources said. Players began reaching out to the committee in recent days, sharing that they’re not in the right frame of mind to play basketball, sources said.
The union’s approach is to educate players on the pros and cons of boycotting games and reassuring them that they would be supported regardless of whatever they decide to do, sources said. There is ongoing dialogue on what more could be done inside the bubble to raise awareness to racial injustice in an effort to enact change and thwart police brutality toward people of color, sources said.
The hearts of players are heavy, with some feeling intense guilt for playing and that they’re providing entertainment that is drowning out the injustices that are plaguing this country, sources said. Players can request to speak with a counselor in the bubble by setting up an appointment in the league’s campus app, but because of confidentiality it’s not known if that resource is being utilized, sources said.
October 22, 2021 | 4:21 pm EDT Update
Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo is not traveling with the team to Indianapolis, a league source told Fieldhouse Files. The IU grad and former Pacer remains sidelined after having surgery to repair his right quadricep tendon, the same one that ruptured when he was with Indiana on Jan. 23, 2019 against the Raptors.
Malika Andrews: A snippet of our interview with Damian Lillard on NBA Today: “I just wanted it to be clear. It’s not one of those situations where I’m waiting for some adversity to hit… The last thing I’m thinking about is waiting for it to get tough and then bailing out on (Chauncey Billups).”
Sean Highkin: Damian Lillard on being included in the NBA’s Top 75 list: “I was surprised. … It’s a great honor. Being included among the best of the best across the whole history of the NBA. … I appreciate it, but I’ve got a lot I still need to accomplish.”
Keith Pompey: There’s scheduled to be an enhanced police/security presence at the Wells Fargo Center tonight for what was expected to Ben Simmons’ first home game, a league source said. The source expects the enhanced presence to remain even though Simmons won’t play.
October 22, 2021 | 3:37 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: NBA vet Lance Stephenson will be a featured name in Saturday’s @nbagleague draft and there is a growing belief, sources say, that Stephenson is likely to land with the Denver @Nuggets’ affiliate in Grand Rapids. More tomorrow via This Week In Basketball: marcstein.Substack.com