Tim Bontemps: The NBA and NBPA have put out the following joint statement about play resuming Saturday, along with initiatives the players and league will work on together: pic.twitter.com/2Y2e9eFEfd
Taylor Rooks: Spoke to some players who say that Pat Bev and Michele Roberts did have a ‘moment’ - but they spoke to each other yesterday morning and it has been completely resolved.
Tim Reynolds: Bucks, Raptors, Heat have all canceled media sessions for today. "As we return to the court today, our team focus will be on our overall performance and well-being," the Bucks said.
ESPN Cleveland: Cavs Coach @jbbickerstaff_ on NBA Boycott "I was proud of those guys for standing up for what they believe in."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: For me, what really brought the hearth fire of hope back to life was the instantaneous support of other sports teams and athletes. Major League Soccer, in which only 26% of players are black, postponed five games that day, with players from two teams, Inter Miami and Atlanta United, locking arms and refusing to play. Major League Baseball, with only about 8% African American players, also joined in with players from the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds sitting out their games and the Seattle Mariners voted unanimously to postpone their Wednesday game. More baseball teams joined the boycott on Thursday. In tennis, perhaps the whitest of all the sports, former US Open champion Naomi Osaka walked away from her semi-final match at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday, tweeting, “I don’t expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction.” Professional tennis organizations USTA, ATP, and WTA issued a statement in support of her stance and postponed tournament play on Thursday. I have never been prouder of my athlete colleagues.
LeBron James was one of the many players miffed with the Bucks’ handling of the situation as well, sources said. To him and so many others, it put them in a no-win situation. His frustration with Hill and the Bucks was because the players didn’t have a plan of action that would warrant players returning to play, sources said. James’ mindset, sources said, was if they’re refusing to play, then what’s the end game and what demands must be met to continue?
With emotions all over the place, Haslem pressed James and asked the star what he planned to do, reminding him that he’s the face of the league and it goes as he goes, sources said. James then said, “We’re out,” and walked out with almost all of his teammates following behind, sources said, with Dwight Howard being the only Laker who remained.
On the call, James was stern in calling on owners to do more in aiding the Black community and to play more of a role in using their resources to combat systemic racism, sources said. James had already told players he was in, but depending on how the meeting went with owners, he would have reversed course if things went sideways, sources said. After the meeting, James felt comfortable with returning to the court, sources said. Owners promised that they would get to work on real action items that would benefit the Black community, sources said.
Roberts asked politely if she could continue with her point, and Beverley responded, “No, I pay your salary,” sources said. This caused an uproar with Paul, Haslem and others, who intervened and told Beverley that disrespect would not be tolerated, sources said.
LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his players are ready to continue the NBA postseason after "they thought it was over" following Wednesday's emotional players' meeting. "Oh, they want to," Rivers said when asked if his team is ready to move forward during an interview Thursday on Fox Prime Ticket. "They are really looking forward to it. Yesterday was a very difficult day though. Like their emotions were all over the place. "They thought it was over. It was just a really tough day for all of them."
Marc J. Spears: The @nbpa and @nba could be putting out a joint statement tonight following the conference call between the union and owners. They could be announcing a direct action plan that includes a push for police accountability, voting registration and support for the George Floyd Bill.
Taylor Rooks: Sources say Lebron James was the last player to speak on the call and he delivered a strong, thoughtful message to the owners. His main point was that the work has to continue, and the owners have to truly dedicate to advancing this cause.
Shams Charania: Sources: In NBA players/owners meeting: Players challenged owners to be proactive, not reactive, to social justice changes; create actions, not simply financial commitments. And: NBA/NBPA will create a new program to work on player-created initiatives on daily basis.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Doc Rivers on Fox Prime Ticket: “You forget that being in the bubble is hard... Listening to these guys speak, just mental awareness, we got to be a little sharper on that. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that everyone in this bubble just seems to be a little more emotional.”
Steve Ballmer: I am again angry over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake. Doc Rivers and the Bucks players said it well: We need real police accountability. Give citizens data to do so. Let's have criminal justice reform that keeps all people safe, but not senselessly imprisoned or afraid. Now is the time to research and vote for the mayors, council people, commissioners, legislators, governors, judges, prosecutors, and attorneys general who can make it happen. Now is the time to work out bipartisan national police reform.
Later Wednesday evening at 8:00, several of the league’s top NBPA player representatives, including Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala, spoke. Bucks forward Kyle Korver, Clippers players Patrick Beverley and Kawhi Leonard, and coaches Doc Rivers, Armond Hill, and John Lucas, Portland’s CJ McCollum and many others spoke. According to one source who was in the meeting, the major themes included voting, police brutality, and more direct action with owners. Another source said more open discussion got done once coaches left the players’ meeting. For reference, Rivers has spoken about players remaining in the bubble and using their platform to continue speaking on the issue of racism in the country.
There was a sense some players didn’t want to speak up around coaches, according to some in the meeting. Some players wanted to learn what the financial ramifications would be if the season was canceled. Players, including Boston’s Jaylen Brown, stressed the fight for justice is not over once the season concludes. Brown was also among the players who didn’t mind what the Bucks did. Other players would have preferred more transparency and a heads up for more of a united front. Looking ahead, players also emphasized figuring out a way to present that desired united front once they leave the bubble.
Despite strong feelings and tensions from players over racism in the country, one high-profile agent believed there was always a path to finishing the season if a sticking point is resolved. “Hopefully, there will be an appeasement if there is communication with the owners and the players to work together to get in front of politicians,” the agent told HoopsHype looking ahead. Another agent with multiple players remaining in the bubble who spoke to his players about the current situation said, “They seem like they want to continue playing.”
Taylor Rooks: The joint call with the owners just concluded. Sources say players had a list of important things. Players want organizational changes - including dedicated coalition w/ Full time job to manage the issues. Voting, police reform, etc. Wanting to be proactive instead of reactive.
Michael Singer: Like the rest of the NBA, Nuggets players are taking today to meet/discuss/ process everything that's happened. Obviously, no official team activities today, and they're awaiting word on when they'll play next. There's a chance they practice tomorrow, and we'll hear from players.
Nike Inc. on Thursday released a statement in support of the NBA and WNBA players who went on strike Wednesday in protest of the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by police in Wisconsin. Nike's endorsers include numerous NBA and WNBA athletes. The company's statement, in full: Nike stands in support of NBA and WNBA players and athletes across the sports community in their response to the senseless shooting of Jacob Blake. We remain committed to addressing the issue of systemic racism experience by the Black community.
When LeBron James and other players from the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers left the meeting room Wednesday night with the intention of not continuing to play in the bubble, José Juan Barea thought that the NBA season had just reached its end without completing the playoffs. “Yes, absolutely. When we went out like this, everyone thought we were going to go back to our homes”, admitted the veteran Dallas Mavericks point guard to El Nuevo Día in reference to the decisions of both teams to boycott the postseason.
In the afternoon, Barea said that they will decide when the postseason action will resume. “We are going to talk about the actions we will take to play again, and also to talk with the owners to help open the arenas for the elections (in November) to make the voting process easier. And also so that they speak with the chiefs of police in their states. The owners are very powerful people and they can make many things happen faster ”.
Taylor Rooks: Been told that Dwyane Wade has been actively involved and connected in the conversations/calls here in Orlando. Players actively seeking a variety of voices from inside and outside the bubble.
Magic Johnson: I fully support the actions of NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS players and leagues to cancel the games in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black American, at the hands of those who pledge to protect and serve ALL Americans.
A recognizable figure has emerged as a go-between the NBA players and the owners: Michael Jordan. Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets -- and the only Black majority owner in the league -- reached out to National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul, league sources told ESPN, in advance of the owners meeting to get a better understanding of what the players hoped to achieve going forward and to offer assistance as they make their case to the NBA's board of governors. Jordan also spoke with Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook about issues of social justice that initially left some stars advocating for the cancellation of the season.
The owners held a virtual meeting on Thursday morning and, it has been confirmed by two participants, Jordan was a voice of reason, urging the other owners to allow the players to express their frustrations and concerns before offering any of their own solutions. "Right now, listening is better than talking," Jordan told the group, according to sources.
Many of the owners, including Jordan, sources said, favored continuing the season, believing that the games were still the best and most visible platform for social change. The owners will meet again later Thursday to discuss specific ways in which they can help the players meet their goals while continuing to compete for an NBA title, as well as to discuss the scheduling of the resumption of play in the bubble.
Barack Obama: I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values.
In interviews today, Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser and the president's son-in-law, discounted the player strikes. "Look, I think that the NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they're able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially," White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told CNBC. "So they have that luxury, which is great."
Davide Chinellato: President Donald Trump: "The #NBA has become like a political organization, and that’s not a good thing. I don’t think that’s a good thing for sports or for the country"
Alykhan Bijani: Tilman Fertitta: “It’s a different generation. If you’re not a flexible person and you don’t see other people’s views, you’re not going to do well in this world today. And so I respect them. I stand by them. They’re my partners.” #Rockets #NBA pic.twitter.com/x3nZ4c4ndt
Sopan Deb: Tilman Fertitta on the player stoppage: "I think they just needed a pause. They've been playing every other day. These are our partners, okay? We’re 50/50 partners. And if we do well, they do well. And if the league doesn't do well, none of us do well. And they realize that." pic.twitter.com/u1pGxBClfC
Alykhan Bijani: Tilman Fertitta says he disagrees with President Trump calling the NBA a political organization. “I think the #Rockets are a political organization...I think that is not a good statement. I don’t know why he made that statement. It’s disappointing.” pic.twitter.com/0zrMeVNjN3
Shams Charania: NBA statement on hopeful Postseason return on Friday or Saturday. pic.twitter.com/Qn0fcC7KHa
Keith Pompey: The #NBA games will resume on Saturday, according to source.
To help explain what happened and what might come next, GQ called up Len Elmore, a former NBA player with a background in law who now teaches at Columbia University on subjects including athlete activism and social justice in sports.
Even within these strange, sad times we’re living in, yesterday’s decision feels like it will echo for years to come. Just how historic was it? Len Elmore: From the standpoint of a unified position by a team, across leagues, it’s right up there with the assassinations of Dr. King and, before that even, JFK. How can you conduct sport when there’s so many larger, more significant things at hand? However, what makes this unprecedented is the fact that there’s a reason, a basis behind this. This is a protest of systemic racism catalyzed by another shooting of an unarmed Black man. We’ve never seen that. And it wasn’t spurred on by any kind of national power. This was done by the individual players, predominantly Black players, who are standing up and using their platform to make a statement. And the question is, will you sustain the impact or is this just a one-off thing that comes and goes?
Len Elmore: We have a country in upheaval. We have a situation where there are so many people in mourning—not the officials but those who participate, and it’s them who made this decision. That’s what makes this unprecedented.
Last night the league tweeted that the three playoff games have been “postponed” and will be rescheduled. Can you explain why they did this? Len Elmore: At this stage, they think that it bodes well to sympathize. Let’s see how long that lasts. The longer the players decide they’re not gonna play, the more you have an impact on the league and the owners, on their pocketbook and their profitability. If this thing lasts a week, two weeks, then it becomes a different story. This league right now is trying to maintain good will between those who are essentially adversarial, the union and management. But the longer they stay out, the more that good will dissipates.
If this were a one- or two-game boycott by the players and then they returned to action, how do you think this would be remembered? Len Elmore: I think it would be remembered as symbolic, and from a collective bargaining position down the road, it would be a tell for the owners to realize that these guys can’t hold out. I think they’d use it down the road in their bargaining strategy.
NBA players voted to resume the playoffs in a meeting Thursday morning after walking out on Wednesday’s slate of games, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The agreement occurred at Disney’s Corona Springs Resort in a meeting that lasted a little less than an hour, sources said. It was the players’ second meeting in the last 15 hours.
Thursday’s scheduled playoff games will be postponed, sources said. In Wednesday night’s meeting, frustration mounted and tension grew among the players, who were irritated by a lack of strategic unity, sources said. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voted against resuming the playoffs last night and were the first two teams to exit the meeting, sources said.
LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard expressed a desire to return home, sources said, but in Thursday’s meeting, James related that it was in the best interest of the players to finish what they started. Anthony Davis was on board with whatever the players decided, sources said.
Shams Charania: Sources: NBA players -- and league -- are aiming to restart games Friday.
Jeff Goodman: There will be another meeting at 4 p.m. with two NBA players from each team to discuss the specific items that the players want to be addressed, source told @Stadium.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The NBA's players have decided to resume the playoffs, source tells ESPN.
He had those 20 minutes to digest it and the knowledge that everything was in tremendous flux and probably would continue to be for days and weeks. But also, Myers had things he wanted to say about the protests of police brutality against Blacks, most recently the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday. Which led to the justifiable outrage of the players in the playoff bubble and to Wednesday’s unprecedented, historic walkouts.
“You’ve gotta respect the players,” Myers said. “They’re the ones putting themselves on the line here. And you have to respect that. And hopefully, it’s a message to all of us. This is not a fight they can win alone. It’s going to take everybody’s help. I commend them for putting themselves — you know, they’re the ones risking something right now. So I commend them for that.”
“I certainly know this, it gets people’s attention,” Myers said. “There’s a light. Players, listening to them, they’re the ones that are putting themselves on the line here. Mostly them. You have to respect their position, you have to respect their thoughts behind it. Just getting it in real-time and first hand, it’s just sad.
“Players want to play. You’ve gotta understand, this is not something I imagine they did light-heartedly or without thought or intention. You think players don’t want to play a playoff game? To have them take these steps, they’re hurting and that’s real. These guys probably have lived their whole lives dreaming … some of them … of playing in the playoffs for the first time, trying to win a championship. And to put that on hold, that’s a real statement. That tells you how much it means to them and you have to respect that.”
Vincent Goodwill: Sources to @YahooSports: After emotional meeting, the feeling is most players want to continue playing but also want to know the board of governors are going to support them on pushing policy changes.
There is a sense of fatigue among many -- emotions spilling over from the trauma of watching the shooting on video, listening to the rhetoric of the Republican National Convention and players feeling like they're being held in captivity in the bubble. "I think there will be a chance for guys to have clearer heads on [Thursday] morning," one team executive said. "But none of us really know where this is headed."
Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala explained that societal change must come through political action, which can often be tedious. How many of them, he asked, were aware that California was set to vote on a landmark police reform bill on Friday? How many were even registered to vote? The union had data suggesting that number was extremely low.
Houston Rockets assistant coach John Lucas gave a stirring speech about how far players had come since the time he'd played in the NBA. "This is your moment," Lucas told them. He encouraged the players to speak to commissioner Adam Silver and the owners, and ask them to use their power to do more.
The league's owners had committed to contributing $300 million over the next 10 years to a foundation that would create economic opportunity and empowerment in the Black community. But sources said that at last month's board of governors meeting, owners had discussed whether to ask the National Basketball Players Association to contribute to that as well. "What is it they think the league can do?" one owner wondered. "We have been fully supportive."
Sopan Deb: !!! Marc Short, a top White House official, to CNN on the NBA strike: "In my mind, it’s absurd and silly." Also: "If they want to protest, I don't think we care." pic.twitter.com/SFCSTtEFto
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said National Basketball Association players who postponed games to protest racial injustice in police shootings have the “luxury” to take a night off. “The NBA players are very fortunate that they have the financial position where they’re able to take a night off from work without having to have the consequences to themselves financially,” Kushner, who is a senior adviser in the White House, said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday. “So they have that luxury, which is great.”
Shortly after his CNBC interview, Kushner elaborated on his remarks in an interview with Politico. “What I’d love to see from the players in the NBA -- again, they have the luxury of taking a night off from work, most Americans don’t have the financial luxury to do that,” he said. “It’s nice that they’re standing up for the issue, but I’d like to see them start moving into concrete solutions that are productive.”
gifdsports: Jaylen Brown reportedly challenged players who want to leave bubble and go home "If you leave, are you going to leave and hang out with your families?are you going to be in the trenches, are you going to be in the streets? (via @MarcJSpears )
June 2, 2023 | 9:14 pm EDT Update
Rich Paul on LeBron James decision for next season: 'We'll see'
The CEO of Klutch Sports, who has represented James for nearly two decades, returned to the Cleveland area on Friday afternoon to celebrate the launch of Klutch Athletics at Xhbition — an apparel store in Shaker Hts. known for unique brands, commissioned exhibitions and in-store events. When asked by cleveland.com whether he expects James to suit up for the 2023-24 season, Paul played coy. “I have an expectation just as you do,” Paul said. “We’ll see.”
“A week ago, I was not sure what the future would hold,” Williams said. “But, after talking with Tom and Troy (Weaver), I was excited hearing their vision for the Pistons going forward. They had a thoughtful plan and I am so appreciative of the emphasis they placed on the personal side of this business. They showed tremendous consideration for me and my family throughout this process.
Weaver spearheaded a search to replace former Pistons coach Dwane Casey over the last two months, which initially came down to three finalists without NBA coaching experience — New Orleans Pelicans assistant Jarron Collins, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Charles Lee and former Overtime Elite coach Kevin Ollie — but the organization desired an experienced voice to lead its young roster. “Monty represented the ideal prototype for our young team, but we didn’t expect him to be available,” Weaver said. “When he suddenly became available, we jumped at the opportunity to speak with him. That doesn’t mean the others in our process were not strong candidates. They were. But Monty is the prototype.”
June 2, 2023 | 8:01 pm EDT Update
James Borrego and Terry Stotts potential hires as assistants for Milwaukee
Griffin and the Bucks will now work toward securing veteran assistants for his coaching staff. Two potential candidates are former Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego and ex-Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts, according to the sources.
While the team has not yet made the hire official, league sources tell The Athletic that Griffin has been with the team throughout the week in various meetings and draft workouts in Milwaukee. The Athletic has also learned that Griffin will be paid roughly $4 million per year on a multiyear contract with the Bucks.
Omari Sanfoka II: Pistons have made the Monty Williams hire official. Troy Weaver: “He has high character and high conviction. He will be a great leader and mentor for our young core, and given his career as a player, he’ll connect with our veteran players as well.” pic.twitter.com/fkRgfTLH12
No, Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic’s point toward his hand as he walks off the floor after wins is not a reference to the championship ring that he’s a few victories away from earning. It’s a gesture meant for his little girl, taken from one of his toddler daughter Ognjena’s favorite songs. “It’s just a song that we sing,” Jokic said during a SportsCenter interview after the Nuggets took a 3-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals. “It’s not a big deal, but she likes it, and I just want to have some connection with her.”