According to multiple high-profile NBA Reporters, tonight’s meeting in the NBA bubble culminated with the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers as the first two teams to vote to boycott the NBA Playoffs. The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania:

Yahoo Sports and TNT’s Chris Haynes reported that the two LA teams were the first to leave tonight’s meeting:

It is unclear what this development means for the Clippers, Lakers, and NBA. Reports indicate that each of the other teams remaining in the NBA Playoffs voted to continue with the postseason, though there’s reason for skepticism–including outspoken players from the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics reportedly considering refusing to play, as well as the Milwaukee Bucks leading today’s walkout.

After continued police violence around the country, most notably the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers in Wisconsin this week, players have begun to question whether the league’s social justice-infused restart (featuring slogans on the back of jerseys and “Black Lives Matter” on the court) is doing enough to promote change. Additionally, some have re-aired concerns that the NBA Playoffs are providing the country a distraction in a moment when it is crucial to maintain focus on police brutality and the murder of Black people by police officers.

Lucas Hann

Lucas Hann

Lucas has covered the Clippers since 2011, and has been credentialed by the team since 2014. He co-founded 213Hoops with Robert Flom in January 2020.  He is a graduate of Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA and St. John's University in Queens, NY.  He earned his MA in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Syracuse University.

37 Comments

  • Avatar jbugs says:

    The food in the bubble must be awful.

    • Avatar jbugs says:

      In all seriousness, this is pretty bold and well organized. This has got to be the hardest tenure and NBA commissioner has ever faced. Let’s not forget Silver took over just before the Donald Sterling fiasco that resulted in the Clippers’ liberation. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles this.

      • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

        I have a feeling Silver will take the correct course, however difficult it may be to navigate.

        • Avatar osamu6238 says:

          The difficult part I foresee is that even the players are going to be divided on what they want and what to do. If he was facing a single unified front, there might be a way to appease them. If they are disjointed and have multiple agendas, it may prove much more difficult.

          I’m hoping for the best and a continuation of the season, but I’ll admit, this is probably a selfish request, because wanting the season to resume may just prove I care more about my entertainment than the unlawful treatment of black people.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            I don’t think it is necessarily a selfish thing at all. I personally want the season to continue as well. The players are caught between a rock and a hard place right now. They know there is a ton of money at stake. Doc also said, per either Woj or Chris Haynes or someone that he is imploring the players to continue to play because of the platform that they have. They money that they are earned is helpful towards the causes of social justice that they support. By canceling the rest of the playoffs, they are essentially either going to have to fund these organizations with what they have (and possibly reduce the amount for certain players who aren’t getting max money).

            I think what the Bucks did was a good start in that they got the ball rolling in having discussions with Kenosha local leaders and Wisconsin’s government leaders. I think too that since this is an election year, that discussions can be had with local leaders even as the playoffs are ongoing. Change will happen, but change is slow and this is a good sign that things are heading in the right direction.

          • Avatar jbugs says:

            Does everyone feel strongly that the shooting of Blake was without a doubt unjustified? This is not close to as clear cut as the George Floyd situation. I appreciate the player putting their money where there mouth is, but I’m also wondering if this is the hill they want to die on.

          • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

            I think it’s a given that the players all have their own personal agendas and opinions. It was hard enough convincing them to agree to participate in this attempt to finish the season. The NBA settled on the Disney complex as the venue before Covid exploded in Florida, making the whole thing more problematic. Given the likelihood of more police shootings of black people, I’m not confident this ends as we as fans hoped it would.

          • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

            @jbugs. I agree with you that it is not as clear cut. Although, as bad as it looks on the video, the cops definitely could have just did something to restrain instead of shooting (maybe tackle him). We don’t know the other side of the story yet and we need to wait for the facts of the investigation to come out.

            That’s why I have issues with social media and don’t really post as much anymore. The immediate outrage culture from one side of the story is immediately released and people already make conclusions. When the other side of the story comes out, it is buried under the rug.

  • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

    The unabated murder by police of Black people across the country is outrageous. I have no great desire to watch pro sports under these conditions. Doc expressed the feelings of many in his teary statement.

    https://theundefeated.com/features/with-the-nba-bubble-burst-players-turn-frustration-into-action/

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    There was one report that this was just a poll of teams, not a final vote and that resuming is still in play.

  • Avatar chogokin says:

    This has been a crazy day. Too much news too quickly for me to keep up. I support the players’ decision here, but I can’t help but wonder if this is the most productive way to effect change. I feel like the NBA isn’t going to be able to actually cause any changes to public policy without *active* (re: not token) participation and advocacy (re: money to grease the wheels of Washington) from the owners, who….I mean yea, DTS is gone, but I have a feeling that a bunch of billionaires aren’t going to be too keen on spending their money to help reform the police.

    • Avatar Minion94 says:

      I completely agree that it is. They have the attention of those who would distract themselves while this country is facing a serious problem. I admit I am one of those people. I did it because its easier to watch my favorite team rather than address the daunting task of making sure that my favorite players’ loved ones don’t get shot over trivial mishaps.

    • Avatar Minion94 says:

      Plus ultimately, what are the owners going to do? Its a star driven league. Sure they could play other players but will the fans continue to return en mass when the NBA’s biggest names are not taking the court? Players work for the owners but ultimately at the end of the day, the players form the on screen product.

    • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

      They mite be. The NBAs product is in play. The owners could likely believe that any one of their players at any time in the non bubble future could be shot, injured or harmed by a racist cop OR the same could happen to an NBA fan(s). And that such an incident would affect their product and bottom line. Could be a business decision.

  • Avatar John Maclean says:

    So the King organizes a walkout with his arch rivals which threatens to deep six the most anticipated and intriguing matchup/storyline of the year? This type of pageantry suggests to me that there absolutely will be some type of deal reached to resume. If so Lebron got a serious psychological advantage over Doc who apparently was begging the guys not to quit. The dude is brilliant.

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      I’m not a fan of LeBron (all the good he’s done in this country has to be weighed against his absolutely cowardly stance on Hong Kong/China), but even I don’t think he’s doing this for the express purpose of getting a “serious psychological advantage over Doc.” If we’re assuming that this is all some negotiation ploy as opposed to genuine disgust/outrage, I think it’s much, much, much more likely that the Lakers and Clippers are doing this as a way to leverage NBA owners into taking some kind of action themselves – as to what that action actually is, I have no idea, but this seems a lot more plausible than LeBron using this as a really roundabout, extreme way to get a basketball advantage.

      • Avatar World B. We says:

        I’m going to try and write this carefully. The reasons to boycott are beyond valid. Americans don’t deserve beauty right now. We just don’t. That being said, Lebron is a egomaniac. I hesitate to write that, because it could be that he is legitimately so furious with the state of this country that he’s willing to bring this season to a perminant end.
        BUT 😬 I fear It’s more an overcompensation to the fact that Giannis beat him to it. He got out woke. He wants to be president someday, and a guy from Greece beat him to a strike. Now he’s done something major and made the conversation about him. He’s also putting the paychecks of players who don’t make star money at risk.

        • Avatar World B. We says:

          And…oh gosh…civil liberties are far more important than my third favorite pastime behind sex and music, BUT 😬 both the Clippers and the Lakers looked out of sorts on the court. Like…neither could handle the Raptors let alone the Bucks out of sorts.
          You have to imagine it makes it a tiny bit easier to announce that you’re scrapping everything when both teams have underperformed. I didn’t have either two winning it all, I’ll just say that much.

        • Avatar jbugs says:

          It’s not crazy at all to assume what you’re saying (IMO). The sequencing of events demands some sort of explanation like that.

          Was it Giannis who beat him to the punch? It felt like it was more George Hill, and possible the Bucks organization as a whole. As fans, we put so much emphasis on star players, when in reality, the leaders off the court could be anyone. Look at the social impact Stephen Jackson has had in the past couple of year. It completely outweighs his impact on the court.

          • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

            Or maybe Sterling Brown, the Bucks player who was taken down by local Wisconsin cops in 2018 and who has refused to be bribed to make it all go away. Watch the Sterling Bronwn video–sickening.

          • lying dog-faced pony soldier lying dog-faced pony soldier says:

            mlslaw1: Thank you.

      • Avatar jbugs says:

        I wouldn’t put it past lebron. His outrage and disgust is way more vocal than it was after the George Floyd killing, which was way more disturbing. Lebron is incredibly calculated. He came to the bubble knowing that these issues haven’t been solved.

        Am I saying that Lebron planned the strike right after watching the Clippers best game of the year? No, I wouldn’t go that far. But, I highly doubt this is 100% organic lebron.

  • Avatar Jonathan Eng says:

    Woj just poosted on Twitter – the players voted to resume the playoffs and Shams said that the games are going to resume tomorrow (Friday, 8/28)

  • Avatar mlslaw1 says:

    Turning away more fans or letting the light shine in?

    • Avatar chogokin says:

      I mean frankly it’s probably both. But I’m ok with there being fewer NBA fans who don’t believe in basic science and who don’t believe that we need police reform.

  • Avatar jbugs says:

    CNN is reporting the officer’s accounting of the event if anyone is interested: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/27/us/jacob-blake-wisconsin-thursday/index.html