Current State of the NBA:
This season has been wild with many different calamities thrown at fans, players, owners, coaches and beyond. We lost Kobe and Gigi, had our season almost cancelled due to Coronavirus, saw the season come back together with the approval of Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Board of Governor's, and Players and now this season is at a crossroads once again.
Players already walked into the bubble with heavy feelings and frustrations because they have had enough. Enough of not having their voices heard, enough of keeping silent and seeing no action, enough of seeing these instances happen and having no justice.
On May 26th, 2020, police were called in because George Floyd who resided in Minneapolis allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Despite the fact that he said multiple times that "he could not breathe" Derek Chauvin did not take his knee off of his neck and this lasted for 8 minutes and 46 seconds which unfortunately lead to his passing later that day. You may be asking what would this have to do with this article but this all ties in to the current state of the league because 80% of the NBA is African American, Not only did this spark outrage across the entire world but in all four major American sports leagues.
Before the bubble, players were allowed to wear messages on the back of their jerseys pertaining to equality, freedom, and many other forms of expression to use their platforms towards social justice as well as having Black Lives Matter on each and every court. But this was not enough. On August 23rd, a 29 year old man named Jacob Blake was shot several times by police officers in the back in attempt to get into his car. There was a video that was recorded that sparked outrage all across the nation. This got the attention of players and on August 25th, the Raptors were already in discussion on boycotting their series with the Celtics and entirely walking out of the Orlando bubble. People were confused and no real actions were taken until August 26th when the Bucks and Magic who were minutes away from playing Game 5 were not out on the court. Moments before the game, it was reported that both teams boycotted their game which was the first time in NBA history that this has successfully been done. The Clippers and Warriors attempted to do this in 2014 after the Donald Sterling incident but went on to play after Adam Silver banned Sterling for life.
This is monumental, this is powerful something that has never been done. Oklahoma City, Houston, Los Angeles, and Portland took the same action which lead to all three playoff games being postponed. Kenny Smith who is a former NBA player and current analyst for Inside the NBA on TNT walked off of the set, teams issued statements, sentiments and powerful messages were expressed all over social media, and players collectively met together. Every team but the Lakers and Clippers voted to resume the season. Now players are looking up to owners who have ties to politicians and leaders across the nation to stand up and take action in order to resume this season.
To end this, I feel that there is optimism that this season will resume but a lot needs to change. This is much bigger than the game itself.