Get ready for NBA Restart II.
The NBA season will continue after all as players decided not to boycott the remainder of the playoffs on Thursday morning, sources confirm.
Thursday’s games were postponed and the playoffs will return either Friday or Saturday. Wednesday’s games were postponed by the NBA after the Bucks boycotted their Game 5 contest vs. the Magic in the wake of the police shooting of a Kenosha, Wisconsin man, Jacob Blake.
On Wednesday night, the Lakers and Clippers were reportedly on board with scrapping the rest of the playoffs, led by LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, but a different approach was taken at a bubble meeting Thursday morning.
“They did what they needed to do to get the results they want and have the most impact,” an NBA executive said. “They’ll never have as much leverage as they have now.”
Former star Grant Hill told NBATV: “I was a little surprised but pleasantly surprised. They had time to think about this to understand the magnitude of the decision. They realized they have a tremendous platform and want to maintain that platform. It’s the smart, right decision to move forward.”
James was not specific about the decision to play on, but tweeted Thursday about sparking voter turnout to help social reform: “Change doesn’t happen with just talk!! 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.”
The first round of the playoffs is nearing a conclusion with Milwaukee leading Orlando 3-1. The Lakers are ahead of Portland 3-1 and OKC and Houston are tied at 2-2. Those were the three games postponed Wednesday and could be staged Friday.
One second-rounder was initially scheduled to begin Thursday night with the Raptors-Celtics series.
Emotions were raw in the aftermath of the latest police shooting with Bucks PG George Hill saying, “First all, we shouldn’t have came to this damn place to be honest.”
Toronto All-Star Pascal Siakam said before the postponements, “It makes me question if this was the right decision.”
The players still want the NBA to renew its efforts to spotlight social injustice beyond the jersey names and Black Lives Matter murals on the courts. The Board of Governors was meeting Thursday to address all the issues and the NBA has not commented.
Once the entire first-round series have concluded, families and friends of players are allowed to enter the NBA bubble after going through the proper precautions. NBA sources have indicated players have found the bubble environment mentally trying without family and friends and no fans.