NBA rumors: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard adamant about canceling playoffs?

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There will be another meeting on Thursday, a Board of Governors call, too, but it remains uncertain as to exactly what more the NBA can offer, nor is it clear how far players are willing to go. Walking away from the season would be a powerful statement, but would it achieve more than six weeks more of high-profile games and the eyeballs that come with them? Several players have expressed a need to do something tangible, to push issues forward. Will the attention gained from a two-day work stoppage achieve that?
Stephanie Ready: Sources told me NO games on Thursday, players meetings will continue.
Sam Amick: I would be very surprised if there’s games tomorrow. Sources also say that Udonis Haslem’s speech was powerful in today’s player meeting, offering perspective on how they shouldn’t take this Bubble opportunity for granted in terms of maximizing the platform.
Players demanded an action plan from ownership, sources told Sports Illustrated. Though to several in the room it was unclear exactly what action they wanted. Team owners have been supportive of players during this restart. They have allowed social justice messages on jerseys. They have supported kneeling during the national anthem. Earlier this month, the NBA announced it was committing $300 million to create economic empowerment in the black community. When the Bucks elected not to play, Milwaukee’s owners were the first to issue a strong statement of support.
An hour into the meeting, coaches were asked to leave so the players could hash things out. There was some frustration expressed at the Bucks for unilaterally initiating this walkout. Several players in the Thunder-Rockets game, scheduled to tip at 6:30, were warming up in the arena next door. At the end of the meeting, the Lakers and Clippers, two Western Conference powers, voted to stop playing. It’s unclear, however, if the teams were expressing that position as a starting point or if they were prepared to pack up and go home.
Vincent Goodwill: Sources to @YahooSports: There was frustration with Milwaukee players for doing this without talking to others. LeBron James initially stated he would go with the consensus, then got angry and stormed out.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: As some in tonight's meeting wanted to hear Bucks' explanation for making an abrupt decision independent of rest of teams to boycott game, Boston's Jaylen Brown essentially said that the Bucks didn't need to explain themselves and he fully supported what they did today.
Marc J. Spears: The NBA players opened the meeting on Wednesday night watching a Zoom call with Jacob Blake's family members, sources said. The call was eventually abandoned with muted family members looking at the players due to audio issues.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were against finishing the NBA restart, two people familiar with Wednesday night’s players meeting told USA TODAY Sports. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive nature of the situation. NBA players and coaches met for more than two hours to discuss next steps after the Milwaukee Bucks chose not to take the floor for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, leading to the postponement of the rest of Wednesday's playoff games.
Sam Amick: Sources also say that Kyle Korver apologized for the way the Bucks made the decision not to play without alerting other teams. This element has clearly frustrated teams around the league, and Korver made the choice to address it.
When Milwaukee Bucks players were able to speak to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on Wednesday, they had one main goal. "They just wanted to know what they could do," Barnes told ESPN. "They were very interested in a call to action. They wanted something tangible that they could do in the short and long term. They wanted the walkout [from Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic] to be Step 1." Barnes told them that the most important thing they could press for is "for action at every level of government."
Vincent Goodwill: Source to @yahoosports: “This is Lord of the Flies now- 2020 edition” A lot of tension between players, It’s been building from inside the bubble
TheBillRussell: I’m moved by all the @NBA players for standing up for what is right. To my man @TheJetOnTNT I would like to say Thank you for what you did to show your support for the players. I am so proud of you. Keep getting in good trouble. @NBAonTNT @ESPNNBA @espn #NBAPlayoffs ✊🏿
Dave McMenamin: A league source in the bubble tells ESPN there was “no sense of accomplishment” now that tonight’s meeting has been adjourned. Added that the feeling of “uncertainty” will remain until tomorrow’s emergency 11 a.m. ET Board of Governors meeting occurs.
Senator Jeff Markley: I stand with the @trailblazers to say that #BlackLivesMatter. Bravo to our Blazers who are using the power of their platform to fight for justice.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Discussions on continuing season will extend into tomorrow, sources tell ESPN, but appears unlikely the three playoff games on Thursday will be played. "Everyone is still too emotional," one high-ranking source tells ESPN. "There needs to be more time to come together on this."
Keith Pompey: According to sources, Doc Rivers asked #Bucks went into their decision, because none of the other players/teams were aware. The room wasn't mad at the Bucks. People were just caught off guard and because of that, the room wanted to make sure everyone was unified going forward.
Keith Pompey: According to sources, Kyle Korver spoke for the #Bucks, Milwaukee admitted it didn't know what to do next. But the Bucks did speak to the state's attorney general and found out that the state legislative branch hasn't met in 4 months.
Keith Pompey: Michelle Roberts said to play now or not play now will have no bearings on a possible lockout and that the next CBA negotiation will be tough. So making a decision to play or not play can't guarantee the tough negotiations to come, according to sources.
Shams Charania: Sources: Every team besides Lakers and Clippers voted to continue playing. LeBron James said in meeting he want owners to be more involved/take action.
Shams Charania: Sources: Miami's Udonis Haslem spoke and essentially told everyone in room that -- without Lakers and Clippers, how will season continue? LeBron James walked out. Rest of Lakers and Clippers exited behind him.
Chris Mannix: Lot of conversation tonight, but some of the strongest voices on shutting down the returned season have been coming from two teams, per sources: The Bucks and Raptors. Blake shooting happened in Milwaukee's backyard. Raps have experienced this, and Masai body cam footage. Heavy.
Chris Mannix: In meeting, players are demanding an action plan, sources told @SInow. They want to see something from NBA owners. Meeting has been led by Chris Paul and Andre Iguodala, though many other players are speaking.
Chris Mannix: Doc Rivers, Armond Hill and John Lucas are among the coaches that spoke passionately tonight, per sources. Kyle Korver, Damian Lillard, 'Melo, LeBron -- lot of voices being heard amongst the players.
Chris Mannix: After inviting coaches in to discuss the next steps, the players are meeting privately, league sources told @SInow. Multiple sources in the room came away still unsure of how players would move forward.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Before a packed room of teams in a hotel ballroom at Disney, the discussion is centering on whether to continue with the playoffs -- or end the season, sources tell ESPN. So far, there seems to be momentum not to play the three playoff games on Thursday, but nothing's decided.
Kyle Goon: Strongest statement I’ve seen from the Lakers, who strongly condemn the killings and shootings of unarmed Black people by police. “We must continue to say their names. But now is also the time for us to say enough.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Within Bucks, there's sentiment that team wants to continue playing here, sources tell ESPN. The team's statement about it "imperative for the Wisconsin state legislature to reconvene after months of inaction..." was an important element of action that players want to influence.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Statement from @NBA_Coaches Association: The NBA coaches support our players 100 percent. The restart happened largely because of the platform it provided. The baseless shootings of Jacob Blake and other black men and women by law enforcement underscores the need for action. Not after the playoffs, not in the future, but now."
Chris Haynes: The Milwaukee Bucks...
Brad Townsend: Mavs owner @Mark Cuban.
Sarah K. Spencer: Just spoke with Lloyd Pierce, who said so much is going on right now that a pause from NBA games was needed. "... The only way to really address it with power and with solidarity is to put a halt to the games and have that real conversation that a lot of people have avoided.”
Keith Pompey: #NBA coaches in the bubble were informed to attend the all players meeting at 8pm tonight, according to a source. This is the first players only meeting that head coaches and assistant coaches have been invited to since they’ve been in the bubble.
Chris Haynes: Yahoo Sources: There’s a sizable amount of players advocating to finish the season out since sacrifices were made to enter the bubble, believing the NBA platform is a useful resource in this social climate.
Jeff Passan: Following the cancellation of the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds game tonight, more teams are discussing the possibility of not playing, sources tell ESPN. Among those currently discussing it: the Seattle Mariners, who have the most Black players of any team in MLB.
Jeanie Buss: I was excited to see us play - and hopefully close out our series - tonight. But I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough. #JusticeForJacobBlake #WeHearYou
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