'Ended ugly': LeBron James at centre of NBA season cancellation saga

Yahoo Sports Staff
·4-min read
LeBron James is pictured dribbling the ball for the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James reportedly walked out of a meeting NBA players after the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers voted to support ending the season. The players will continue their discussions tomorrow. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers both voted to end the NBA playoffs in a meeting among players remaining in the bubble, sources tell Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

The meeting took place after Wednesday’s games were postponed amid player protest of the police shooting of 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake. Haynes reports that Lakers and Clippers players left the meeting after casting their votes.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that every team besides the Lakers and Clippers voted to keep playing. The Athletic’s David Aldridge reports that the meeting “ended ugly” and that the union will have representation at a meeting with NBA ownership on Thursday.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Wednesday’s player votes were not final and that discussions will continue through Thursday.

The protest is in reaction to Kenosha, Wisconsin, police shooting African American Jacob Blake multiple times Sunday as he tried to get into his vehicle.

His family’s attorney said three of his children — sons ages 3, 5 and 8 — were in the vehicle during the incident. Blake is hospitalized and underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon.

NBA season in doubt amid strike action

The fate of Friday’s playoff games and beyond remains unclear. Without resolution on Thursday, it seems unlikely that games will be played on Friday.

Three games are scheduled for Friday (AEST) — Nuggets-Jazz, Celtics-Raptors and Clippers-Mavericks.

The Milwaukee Bucks prompted the postponement of three games on Wednesday when they declined to take the floor for their Game 5 matchup against the Orlando Magic.

The Thunder-Rockets and Lakers-Trail Blazers matchups scheduled later in the day were subsequently postponed.

Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James have reportedly both argued NBA players should consider calling off the rest of the season in an effort to affect change. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James have reportedly both argued NBA players should consider calling off the rest of the season in an effort to affect change. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The action by NBA players also filtered into Major League Baseball, with several games being cancelled outright and others going ahead without certain players, who elected not to play.

Three MLB games were postponed after the Milwaukee Brewers and Seattle Mariners walked out in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies were among the teams that decided to play on, but that didn’t prevent Black players on all three teams from joining the cause.

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler and Rockies designated hitter Matt Kemp each elected to sit out in solidarity with their fellow athletes from MLB and the NBA. Fowler was joined by teammate Jack Flaherty, who was not scheduled to pitch Wednesday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

Major League Soccer, tennis players also join in protest action

Five MLS matches were called off after games in the NBA, WNBA and Major League Baseball were also scrapped as athletes across the four leagues refused to play in order to draw attention to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and demand change.

The day’s first MLS game, between Orlando City and Nashville SC, kicked off as scheduled. But after the next match in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, between Inter Miami and Atlanta United was postponed, the four remaining games were, too.

Naomi Osaka, like countless other teams and athletes across the country, walked out in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting.

Osaka announced on Twitter that she will not play in her semifinal match against Elise Mertens at the Western & Southern Open in Ohio.

“Before I am an athlete, I am a Black woman,” Osaka wrote, in part. “And as a Black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis.”

With Yahoo Sports US