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Report: NBA players decide to resume playoffs, Thursday games postponed


ORLANDO, FL - AUGUST 26: A general overall view of the Milwaukee Bucks against the Orlando Magic for Game five of the first round of the 2020 Playoffs as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on August 26, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

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After the Bucks started a strike in pursuit of racial justice, NBA players reportedly left their meeting last night divided. Most teams voted to continue the playoffs. LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard led the Lakers and Clippers in opposition.

But players found common ground through the night and decided: They’ll resume the season

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

The Bucks had specific demands – asking the Wisconsin State Legislature address police accountability, police brutality and criminal-justice reform.

Has there been meaningful progress on that front? Have players gained anything through this strike besides attention to their cause (which isn’t nothing, but isn’t necessarily a reason to end a strike that would continue to draw attention)?

It’s unclear how popular this strike ever was among players. The Bucks started this movement without first getting other teams on board.

Despite talk of players boycotting the resumption before it began, about 98% of players reported to the bubble. None of the players sitting out cited social justice as their primary consideration.

Police shooting Jacob Blake definitely shook players. But enough to change the play-or-not stance of a critical mass of players when their salaries were on the line? Apparently not.

Some players could still leave the bubble. It is definitely understandable how someone would feel he can’t focus on basketball at a time like this and want to devote his energy to other causes. Anyone making that decision should be supported.

Presumably, the continuing players won’t have their salaries reduced.

Today’s games – Jazz-Nuggets Game 6, Raptors-Celtics Game 1, Clippers-Mavericks Game 6 – being postponed would mean each active series had exactly one game postponed. The entire schedule could simply be pushed back a day with only minor inconvenience.

By quickly deciding to return to work, players lose the ability to hold out for bigger gains. Yet, even if they didn’t get any concrete action now, the players raised more attention for their issues by striking and and protected their paychecks by resuming. That’s a victory.