NBA Playoffs Protest: Where Do Mavs Stand? Is Season In Jeopardy?
NBA players are taking a stand in reflection of this week;s police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man in Wisconsin, yet another in a long line of social injustices that the league has helped bring to the fore. The latest stand?
Let by the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to protest, the NBA announced all three games Wednesday - Magic vs. Bucks, Thunder vs. Rockets and Trail Blazers vs. Lakers -- have been postponed and will be rescheduled.
On Tuesday night following the Clippers' playoff win over Dallas, L.A. coach Doc Rivers spoke powerfully about the incident and the pain of it.
Said Rivers: "We've been hung. We've been shot. ... It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back. It's really so sad.''
On Wednesday, both Rivers and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle echoed some of the same thoughts, with their press conferences coming in advance of the Bucks' and the NBA's decision.
“I’ve heard the talks and I certainly understand the sentiment,” Carlisle said. “It’s a horrific event. It’s exactly why we’re here in many ways - to continue conversations and create greater action for racial justice and against situations like this.
“In terms of boycotting games ... I know Toronto’s team has talked about it, I’ve seen the Boston players speak strongly about the situation with Mr. Blake and so on. I know how our team feels about it.''
At that moment, the Mavs were not planning on don't-play protest of their scheduled Thursday Game 6 against the Clippers. But the Mavs, led by Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban, have played prominent roles in taking steps toward trying to raise awareness. And now there is discussion about the players bonding to discuss ending the season.
A postponement of a night of NBA Playoffs basketball is one of the steps toward seeking recognition of the issue. An 8 p.m. Wednesday players-wide meeting in the bubble will determine the step after this.