NBA Roundup: Season to push through amid boycott movement; MJ ‘voice of reason’; Trump: NBA has become a ‘political organization’

Published August 28, 2020, 11:29 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Players vow to resume season, playoffs
Milwaukee Bucks
Wide angle view of the arena before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic during Round One, Game Five of the NBA Playoffs on August 26, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Murphy / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

There was a silver lining Thursday in the NBA crisis triggered by the Jacob Blake shooting as players vowed to return to the court and resume the playoffs over the weekend.

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly on board with the decision. The Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers had earlier voted to abandon the season in response to the shooting.

Games were cancelled for the second straight day as a result of the boycott which was started by the Milwaukee Bucks.

”NBA playoff games for (Thursday) will not be played as scheduled,” league executive vice president Mike Bass said in a statement after an NBA Board of Governors meeting.

”We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday.”

Jordan: Right now, listening is better than talking

Ahead of a franchise owners’ meeting, NBA Labor Relations Committee chairman and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan met players from all 13 teams in the bubble, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association and the league office, to discuss their concerns.

Players reportedly pushed for owners to join them in a ”direct action plan” to promote voter turnout, police accountability and police reform legislation during the meeting.

The players decided to resume play after they were told that their concerns would be relayed their to team owners.

The owners held a virtual meeting and Jordan was said to be a voice of reason. He urged owners to allow the players to express their frustrations and concerns before offering any of their own solutions.

“Right now, listening is better than talking,” Jordan reportedly told them.

A report said owners unanimously supported the players and discussed ways how they could air their voices.

The report also said many owners favored continuing the season and that the games are still the best and most visible platform for social change.

They will meet again to discuss specific ways how to help the players meet their goals while continuing to compete for an NBA title and discuss the scheduling of the resumption of the season, it added.

Trump brands NBA as ‘political organization’
Donald Trump
President Donald Trump (Drew Angerer / Getty Images / AFP)

US President Donald Trump denounced the NBA for postponing Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games in response to the boycott.

“They’ve become like a political organization and that’s not a good thing,” Trump said.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, said he would contact LeBron James of the Lakers about the player protests, adding that “players were lucky to have enough money that they could skip work to protest.”

Democratic presidential bet and Trump’s opponent in the Nov. presidential elections former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrats and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris praised the actions of the NBA players.

Ex-Pacers mentor to take time off from coaching

Recently fired Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan is taking time off from coaching.

“I’m going to take this year and just look at things,” McMillan told The Athletics Bob Kravitz in an interview.

“A lot has changed. The league and the game have changed. So I’ll take this year and see what happens. But I won’t get back into it this season.”

McMillan was fired after he had just signed a one-year contract extension.

He led the Pacers to this season’s playoffs only to be eliminated in four games by the Miami Heat.