The National Basketball Association (NBA) decided to postpone some playoff games in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) followed suit by canceling some of their upcoming games. Two NBA teams – The Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers – were prepared to call off the entire remainder of the season, but that didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, none of what was going to happen from the beginning actually happened. All of this is a giant mess.
A Deer Chased A Rabbit Down The Hole
It all started during a Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic playoff game. Bucks were leading in the best-of-seven series 3-1. So the game was a closeout game if the Bucks secured the victory. At a certain point during the game, the Bucks refused to come out of the locker room. The Orlando Magic were sort of just standing around, not sure what to do. Finally, an assistant coach came from back-of-the-house to tell Magic players that the game was going to be postponed or cancelled outright.
Since the NBA collectively bargained to have Black Lives Matter paraphernalia on their jerseys, on the court, and even on coaches’ attire, no other team could realistically decide to play games while others did not. So all NBA games on Wednesday, August 26th were postponed.
An intense meeting happened between high-power players and team staff as to what the next course of action should be. The Bucks’ move of refusing to come out of the locker room and continue the game appeared to be spontaneous and not very well thought out. Emotions ran high in the meeting.
Initially, the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers both declared that they would not play any more games in the season in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting. Lakers forward LeBron James demanded “change” during a media session, but he did not specify what “change” meant to him.
After all of the emotion, poor planning, and general lack of leadership or direction, the NBA released a statement saying that all playoff games would resume and that the season would not be canceled. The aforementioned whirlwind of drama happened in less than 24 hours. But this is to be expected in an environment when emotions reign supreme rather than sound logic. Some guys in the NBA have played games after their loved ones were shot and killed. But a stranger like Jacob Blake who has a sexual assault charge on an active warrant mandates this type of attention and sacrifice? It simply makes no sense.
Late Play For Money
The thought process behind the NBA’s reversal is most likely the obvious one – money. They must know that when they came back from the virus quarantine, they debuted an inferior product. And then there is the issue of the divisive “Black Lives Matter” rhetoric sewn into each game. Black Lives Matter emblazoned on the basketball court, on the back of guys jerseys, on the lips of every mainstream media commentator… everywhere. None of the aforementioned things are a good recipe for success in an area.
Even the leader with no clothes, Adam Silver, must realize that the NBA can’t afford to take these types of hits. Player salary will most certainly be cut because a lack of ticket sales and advertising dollars due to lower viewership will force that outcome. But there’s a problem. For many sports fans, the action to continue to play after threatening not to over BLM was a bridge to far to pass. It’s the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Guys who watch the game religiously and are offended at what players are doing and saying will simply tune out, most likely to never return.
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