NBA protest, live updates: Schedule announced for resumption of playoffs on Saturday, Sunday
The NBA and NBPA issued a statement on Friday confirming the resumption of the postseason
After the postponement of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's NBA playoff games in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the league plans to resume games on Saturday, according to a joint statement issued by the league and the NBPA. Three games will be played on Saturday, followed by three more on Sunday.
Saturday, Aug. 29
- Game 5 -- Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Game 5 -- Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets, 6:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
- Game 5 -- Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 9 p.m. ET (TNT)
Sunday, Aug. 30
- Game 1 -- Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Game 6 -- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Game 6 -- Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz, 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
A player's meeting Thursday morning came after the postponement of three playoff games on Wednesday, including the Bucks-Magic game in which Milwaukee players staged a walk-out before the start of Game 5. The league's Board of Governors also had a call on Thursday morning to address Wednesday night's walkouts in addition to what needs to happen next.
Several leaders on the Lakers roster, along with some players from other teams, reportedly stayed up into the early morning hours to hash out their issues inside the bubble. As a result of those talks, all players were able to agree to resume the season, per Wojnarowski.
During a meeting Wednesday evening that consisted of players and coaches, the Lakers and Clippers were among the minority of teams that pushed to end the season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. LeBron James said in the meeting he wants the team owners to be more involved and take action.
Milwaukee's walk-out ahead of Game 5 against the Magic came in response to the shooting of Blake, an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday. Shortly after the Bucks made a statement by not playing, the Rockets and Thunder decided to also not play Wednesday, as well as the Lakers and Trail Blazers.
Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan released the following joint statement:
"We fully support our players and the decision they made. Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them. The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change."
Many NBA players and coaches have spoken with heavy hearts since the shooting of Blake, and earlier Wednesday the Toronto Raptors discussed the possibility of sitting out Game 1 of their second-round matchup against the Boston Celtics Thursday.
Coaches like Doc Rivers have given emotional statements in response to the shooting of Blake, stating poignantly, "we keep loving this country and this country doesn't love us back." Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told media on Tuesday that in order to bring change, players would have to "put something up to lose, rather than just money or visibility." By sitting out games, that certainly makes a statement that the players are sick and tired of nothing changing in regard to police brutality against Black people in this country.
Follow along below as we keep you updated with what is going on with the current situation.
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following joint statement:
"We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality. Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments:
1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
2. In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID. If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.
3. The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.
"These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community.
"We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together - in Orlando and in all NBA team markets - to push for meaningful and sustainable change."