The NBA playoffs will resume Saturday after the league and the National Basketball Players Association detailed the commitments that made players comfortable continuing.
Saturday's games open at 3:30 ET with Magic vs. Bucks on ESPN, followed by Thunder vs. Rockets (6:30, TNT) and Blazers vs. Lakers (9:30 ET, TNT)
The joint statement issued by the NBA and NBPA read, in part, as follows:
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality. Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments:
1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
2. In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID. If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.
3. The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity."
Play stopped Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t take the court for their playoff game against Orlando, showing their frustration with the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and acts of racial injustice.
Games were postponed the last two days before a meeting between owners and players Thursday in which an agreement to resume was reached.
All 13 teams still on the NBA's campus at Walt Disney World in Orlando are practicing today as the league announced a practice schedule for Aug. 28, which leads off with the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat practicing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and closes out with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers practicing last (3-6 p.m.).
The WNBA, which postponed its games on Aug. 26, also postponed its games on Thursday night.
Players across the NBA have been adamant that more needs to be done to effect social change after the recent police shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisc.
The Milwaukee Bucks did not take the floor before the start of Game 5 against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, an action they later stated was due to the police shooting of Blake, subsequent civilian shootings of protestors and the lack of legal response to those and other national occurrences of social injustice that preceded them.
After Wednesday night in Orlando at the Walt Disney World campus housing the season restart, players and owners met to discuss the state of the season. Multiple reports on Thursday confirmed the NBA's players had decided to resume the 2020 playoffs.
Here's the latest news on this developing situation:
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Information from The Associated Press was used in this report