The OKC Thunder and 12 teams met again Thursday morning and voted to resume play with games likely back on Friday.
Wednesday, August 26th will go down in history as a historic date in the National Basketball Association as six teams boycotted games in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting. While the Milwaukee Bucks made the initial choice that precipitated the other teams following suit including the OKC Thunder.
Late last night at 8:00 p.m. the players and coaches met en masse to discuss what the next steps should be and met again this morning at 11 a.m. agreeing to continue the playoffs. The three games scheduled for today will be postponed and while it hasn’t been confirmed the expectation is the league will resume action on Friday (update: it’s looking more like Saturday). It’s expected they’ll resume the schedule as it was slated with the games from Wednesday on the day they restart. (again – this is my guess- nothing verified yet).
Wednesday’s player’s meeting was described as heated at times with lots of opinions. Players were feeling a variety of emotions no doubt amplified from the isolation of being away from loved ones for almost seven weeks. A factor about to change as family and friends will join the bubble as teams reach the second round. The Raptors and Celtics families are expected to join the bubble on Monday, August 31st.
Their arrival should have a profound impact on the players who are feeling the isolation of being locked inside the bubble. Many of the players have children, and we all know how having little ones around will pick up everyone’s spirits especially with how hard the news of recent days has hit individuals. Many of the players who spoke of Jacob Blake cited the fact his three young boys were in the vehicle and it was clear the impact that had on players who have young children themselves.
OKC Thunder captain Chris Paul has worked with his fellow NBPA players on the board to keep moving things forward and kept reiterating the importance of maintaining a united front. While that was far from the case when the meeting ended Wednesday, today it is once again the prevailing theme.
Based on reports from various journalists it was a very late night for many but today the mindset was to forge ahead to complete the playoffs. One item the players want is to find additional and creative ways to deliver their social justice messages as per Shams Charania.
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As per Adrian Wojnarowski, two representatives from each team will meet with owners later today to formulate a plan of action for how they intend to deal with social justice issues. No doubt, Chris Paul will be one for the OKC Thunder given his NBPA role, relationships, and knowledge.
Something I would encourage fans to do who are impacted or touched by player’s messages is to let them know. Part of the disillusion inside the bubble is the players don’t know if what they are saying is having any effect.
Several individuals including media members noted how isolated they felt and weren’t sure of the impact they were having. When they see negative news the uncertainty of their effect weighs heavily on them. So, reach out to those who do have an impact on you and let them know their sacrifice to be away from their loved ones and isolated is making a difference.