Milwaukee Bucks boycott Game 5 vs Orlando

djbayko

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Why would we expect there to be one unified voice or message? And why would that be important for the message? I don’t follow the logic or the parameters.
I think the process they're going through right now to figure out what they want to do as a collective - and if they even need to make a collective decision - is natural. Taking internal polling, seeing where your team stands with everyone else, and hearing people's perspectives. I'm sure there are a lot of conflicting factors, even at the individual level. They have friends on other teams, perhaps feel a duty to younger players, etc.

I'm interested to see how this all pans out after people remove themselves from the heat of the moment, get a good night's sleep, and share some texts and water cooler conversations.
 

InstaFace

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What does this mean? I fail to see what is political about demanding equal rights and equal treatment under the law.
People term things "political" when they involve calls for action by political leaders, either through legislation or executive action.

Many things we view as normal today, bare table-stakes of running a civilized society, were once withheld, and the means by which people fought for them and achieved them were political in nature. They sought both popular support and sympathy for their cause, as well as action by people in power, and eventually got it. That's one mechanism of pursuing political change; another is running for office, supporting candidates' campaigns, and voting. But the latter isn't the only means of pursuing political goals.
 

singaporesoxfan

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Sorry, off topic. My main point is, this does not feel like a "labor dispute" in any simple sense. The key decisions about playing or not playing, and what to do with this moment we are all facing -- those decisions seem to me to have shifted to the players' hands. Right now, it's up to the players to figure out next steps. And then it will be up to players and owners both to find to figure out how their symbiotic partnership goes forward.
I think it’s still a labor dispute, it’s just that America so very rarely has a situation where labor holds tremendous power over management and the owners that this feels different from the norm
 

uncannymanny

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I am concerned that if that does happen, the discussions will center not on WHY the LA teams, but center around why the remaining players/teams are still playing. I think it is unfair to expect all NBA players to accept the burden of boycotting the season, particularly young players who are going to be impacted by the next CBA. There are valid reasons for why players should not play and why they should play, and ultimately each individual has the full right to make that decision for themselves. I fear that the general public though, will see NBA Players as a monolithic block, and unless all teams agree on one specific action, people will be focused on why the players didn't agree as opposed to accepting the validity of the individual choices.
This seems like a silly concern to me. How does this play out?

* Players, including arguably the biggest star in league history and two favored teams, are going to walk away *from the NBA playoffs* and then do so little with that moment that they will let the focus fall on the guys still playing.
* There will be no coordination in message between players and teams that quit and those that don’t.
* Despite the fact that there are “valid reasons for why players should not play“, the players will be unwilling/unable to communicate them and/or the media will not accept them.
* The remaining players will either have an axe to grind or disagree with the cause itself, despite the fact that every team didn’t play today, and it spilled over into other, less socially aligned leagues, so they will use up the oxygen in the room.
* The media will be more interested in this story and following...who, exactly, rather than LeBron whose turd sizes they dutifully report hour to hour?
* The media will also decide that they should cater to an audience who has never been the league’s market, because ???
 

Kliq

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This seems like a silly concern to me. How does this play out?

* Players, including arguably the biggest star in league history and two favored teams, are going to walk away *from the NBA playoffs* and then do so little with that moment that they will let the focus fall on the guys still playing.
* There will be no coordination in message between players and teams that quit and those that don’t.
* Despite the fact that there are “valid reasons for why players should not play“, the players will be unwilling/unable to communicate them and/or the media will not accept them.
* The remaining players will either have an axe to grind or disagree with the cause itself, despite the fact that every team didn’t play today, and it spilled over into other, less socially aligned leagues, so they will use up the oxygen in the room.
* The media will be more interested in this story and following...who, exactly, rather than LeBron whose turd sizes they dutifully report hour to hour?
* The media will also decide that they should cater to an audience who has never been the league’s market, because ???
I understand all of your points, I probably just spend too much time on Twitter.
 

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I find it interesting that a common thread is that owners are powerless to do anything. Is that by choice, or do you honestly believe billionaires cannot do anything to force change? 20 billionaires(less if you are singling out playoff teams) are being asked by their employees to use their power for good...and there's a theory that they can't? NBA owners can't use their wealth to fund Democrats? They can't fund action to support protester bailouts? They can't use their platform to highlight Black Lives Matter in even more light? Because why? If it's because they don't want to, or don't believe in BLM, well..frankly, too bad. Fire your employees and bring in replacements. Good luck with that.

If billionaires can't afford change by choice or by wallet, we really are screwed.
 

djbayko

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I find it interesting that a common thread is that owners are powerless to do anything. Is that by choice, or do you honestly believe billionaires cannot do anything to force change? 20 billionaires(less if you are singling out playoff teams) are being asked by their employees to use their power for good...and there's a theory that they can't? NBA owners can't use their wealth to fund Democrats? They can't fund action to support protester bailouts? They can't use their platform to highlight Black Lives Matter in even more light? Because why? If it's because they don't want to, or don't believe in BLM, well..frankly, too bad. Fire your employees and bring in replacements. Good luck with that.

If billionaires can't afford change by choice or by wallet, we really are screwed.
Don’t many of the owners control other large business which can present ultimatums to particular state governments? We’ve seen that type of action be very effective with things like trans rights and the confederate flag.
 

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FWIW coach friend I know, connection to lots of Gleague players, agents, etc, feels season is over. He hears LBJ weighing walking out of bubble, was seriously considering focusing on voter registration in Ohio, leaving bubble, before latest shooting.
 

BroodsSexton

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It really is amazing that guys would sacrifice the hard-earned privilege to play NBA playoff games for the right to protest. The leadership of LeBron or Kawhi is something, but those in this thread saying that they’ve made their money and have less at stake basketball-wise and security-wise are not wrong. Isn’t that always the case, though? The common sacrifice of the lesser-knowns is the most notable and the least noted. The best-known generals weren’t killed in action.

Of course, if there are enough disrupters, then even those who don’t want to make a political statement will be affected. But guess what? The privilege to play in the NBA is not a right, and change is coming fast. Those who can lead a movement and force the narrative might just say No Justice, No Peace. Credit to them for doing what they can. They are calling for sacrifice. We don’t generally criticize leaders for putting others in harm’s way for a just cause. We venerate them for their leadership and hard decision-making. I guess the NBA players who lead may not be given that benefit, either, by some in society. I wonder why? True, the rank and file NBA players didn’t sign up for this, specifically, and the analogy to the military only goes so far—but the politics of military service is a whole other discussion. Who am I to criticize leaders for leading?

Kaepernick’s folly (if you can call it that) was not being good enough, or playing in a league where one player’s protest mattered enough. Maybe Tom Brady could have accomplished more, but he wasn’t interested. For some, that will be an asterisk. Others would think it to have been foolish for Brady to seek change at the expense of another ring. But weigh that for a moment.

Incidentally, imagine if valued contributors to the sports talk on this board refused to participate unless politics was given equal air and standing, and it led to a general strike? @Reverend, these days were meant for you.
 
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CSteinhardt

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I think it’s still a labor dispute, it’s just that America so very rarely has a situation where labor holds tremendous power over management and the owners that this feels different from the norm
The key difference between this and most labor disputes is that what the players are asking for isn't something that management has the power to provide. The players aren't asking for more money, or different working conditions, or anything like that. They're trying to effect societal change, and the NBA doesn't have the ability to stop police from murdering black Americans.

What the NBA owners can offer is some combination of funding for social justice advocacy and the largest microphone they can find if the players keep playing. But there's a good chance that refusing to play will draw even more attention and allow the players to be more effective advocates than even very well-funded groups would be if the players keep playing and allow this to all go away. So, there might well turn out to be nothing within the NBA's power to offer which would provide a solution. And that's what makes this different than other labor disputes.
 

tbrep

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I mentioned this in the PGA Tour thread, but if Tiger Woods were to pull out of this week's FedEx Cup playoff event, that would be something. I wonder how much that would move the needle?
Now that would be very impactful. But there’s a better chance of Trump kneeling during the anthem at his best public appearance.
 

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The key difference between this and most labor disputes is that what the players are asking for isn't something that management has the power to provide. The players aren't asking for more money, or different working conditions, or anything like that. They're trying to effect societal change, and the NBA doesn't have the ability to stop police from murdering black Americans.

What the NBA owners can offer is some combination of funding for social justice advocacy and the largest microphone they can find if the players keep playing. But there's a good chance that refusing to play will draw even more attention and allow the players to be more effective advocates than even very well-funded groups would be if the players keep playing and allow this to all go away. So, there might well turn out to be nothing within the NBA's power to offer which would provide a solution. And that's what makes this different than other labor disputes.
It’s not just the owner it’s the media, the advertisers, and the companies seeking exposure for their products. Lots of companies want into the NBA’s market. And that’s where the power to make change exists.

Also LeBron by doing what he’s doing may put pressure on other athletes in other sports who will in the least face questions about their positions on this.

There’s a lot of money - beyond billionaire owners - in profit derived from the labor of black entertainers and athletes.

For all of the Jordan comparisons LeBron got in his career it’s now clear the athlete he should have been compared to is Ali.
 

OCST

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I mentioned this in the PGA Tour thread, but if Tiger Woods were to pull out of this week's FedEx Cup playoff event, that would be something. I wonder how much that would move the needle?
The best test case here would be Ali’s refusal to register for the draft, which caused him to be stripped his boxing license Could not fight for a couple of years, and convicted of a crime, though he served no time and his conviction was ultimately voided by SCOTUS:


On my phone so it’s a pain to block quote but regardless read the whole thing.
 

RGREELEY33

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Nice of Jaylen to get “involved”.

I think it is incredible what the Bucks, and now the NBA as a whole are doing, and hope that the rest of the sports world follows.

I would love to see them cancel the season and organize nightly protests and voter registration efforts in every fucking NBA city until election night. I would participate.

As a side note, the NHL playing was super disappointing. Watching the “reflection” was more embarassing than the Bruins effort.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Nice of Jaylen to get “involved”.

I think it is incredible what the Bucks, and now the NBA as a whole are doing, and hope that the rest of the sports world follows.

I would love to see them cancel the season and organize nightly protests and voter registration efforts in every fucking NBA city until election night. I would participate.

As a side note, the NHL playing was super disappointing. Watching the “reflection” was more embarassing than the Bruins effort.
It wouldn't surprise me if the NHL didn't play today.
 
I don't think the NHL would have played had they not have a 3 p.m. start in the first game, and the Bucks' protest had already gained steam in the national* consciousness. Once the Islanders and Flyers were underway, it automatically became more complicated to think about postponing the other games.

(* - not sure if the fact that the games were being played in Canada made any difference)
 

lexrageorge

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The key difference between this and most labor disputes is that what the players are asking for isn't something that management has the power to provide. The players aren't asking for more money, or different working conditions, or anything like that. They're trying to effect societal change, and the NBA doesn't have the ability to stop police from murdering black Americans.

What the NBA owners can offer is some combination of funding for social justice advocacy and the largest microphone they can find if the players keep playing. But there's a good chance that refusing to play will draw even more attention and allow the players to be more effective advocates than even very well-funded groups would be if the players keep playing and allow this to all go away. So, there might well turn out to be nothing within the NBA's power to offer which would provide a solution. And that's what makes this different than other labor disputes.
I guess one question that is unanswered is what is the endgame here if the players walk out? I doubt the league owners will just unilaterally tear up the CBA, as was suggested upthread. However, it still leaves open: what happens next?

Say the 2019-20 NBA season goes down as cancelled. What happens to the 2020-21 season? Yeah, the owners and sponsors can do what they can to affect change, but it's not like society is going to disband police departments across the nation just so we can watch the NBA. This is probably a question many players have going through their heads as well. The US government is going to do nothing until at least January at the earliest. And not every player can simply just give up their careers for such an extended period.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It’s not just the owner it’s the media, the advertisers, and the companies seeking exposure for their products. Lots of companies want into the NBA’s market. And that’s where the power to make change exists.

Also LeBron by doing what he’s doing may put pressure on other athletes in other sports who will in the least face questions about their positions on this.

There’s a lot of money - beyond billionaire owners - in profit derived from the labor of black entertainers and athletes.

For all of the Jordan comparisons LeBron got in his career it’s now clear the athlete he should have been compared to is Ali.
I made a comment earlier in the thread about how the league might think about meeting the players interests. Several people misunderstood the notion; to start it simply, the question is not about what the NBA can control it is what they can enable or support.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I understand all of your points, I probably just spend too much time on Twitter.
Yeah, and I probably spend too much time on r/nba. When the tweet storm started the comments instantly pivoted from the big picture to “this is awesome!” and “this is some WWE shit!” which is why I think it could become a distraction, especially to younger fans who are living in a world shaped by social media.
 

kelpapa

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I didn't think it was possible for LeBron to pass Jordan this post season, but he might now.
 

BigJimEd

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I don't think the NHL would have played had they not have a 3 p.m. start in the first game, and the Bucks' protest had already gained steam in the national* consciousness. Once the Islanders and Flyers were underway, it automatically became more complicated to think about postponing the other games.

(* - not sure if the fact that the games were being played in Canada made any difference)
That is a lame excuse. Wouldn't want it to become complicated for them. Honestly though, I'm not sure the players thought much about that. We'll see if the NHL follows suit tonight. I'm doubtful.

It is a credit to the Bucks though. They weren't concerned about inconveniences and if they had played, the rest of the games likely go on.
 

Sille Skrub

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Nice of Jaylen to get “involved”.

I think it is incredible what the Bucks, and now the NBA as a whole are doing, and hope that the rest of the sports world follows.

I would love to see them cancel the season and organize nightly protests and voter registration efforts in every fucking NBA city until election night. I would participate.
This is a great idea. I would totally volunteer. I'd add in LeBron and a group of high profile players leading a national information campaign on police brutality and racial equality via social media, TV/radio, etc.

When I first heard about the C's and Raps boycotting a game, I didn't think it would make much difference. Part of this is my general cynicism about the problem of systematic racism in our country never getting fixed.

I absolutely love love love how this has gone down, with Milwaukee leading the charge (which is so perfect). I love that Milwaukee did this on their own and now this has exploded even into tennis, the WNBA and MLB. I truly hope and pray this is a seminal moment and the momentum only grows from here and that REAL change occurs because of these events.

Lastly, Jaylen is the man. I can't wait to cast my vote for him for Senator.
 

PedroKsBambino

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One easy thing for NBA owners to commit to is making their arenas available for distanced voting on election day. They can staff them, get the people trained to be election monitors, and put a ton of capacity online quickly. They need cooperation from city governments, obviously, but it's within power of the owners to say "we are avaiable and welcome this opportunity" right now.

It's a small thing, but an interesting part of the puzzle.
 

loshjott

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One easy thing for NBA owners to commit to is making their arenas available for distanced voting on election day. They can staff them, get the people trained to be election monitors, and put a ton of capacity online quickly. They need cooperation from city governments, obviously, but it's within power of the owners to say "we are avaiable and welcome this opportunity" right now.

It's a small thing, but an interesting part of the puzzle.
Some MLB parks are doing that. Dodger Stadium, for one, led by LeBron's efforts. Nats Park also. Need them in the swing states too.
 

riboflav

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And apparently this was directed mainly at LeBron who was reportedly mad at the Bucks for acting unilaterally and not including the rest of the teams in their decision. LeBron is not quite the saint as he was portrayed in the thread last night.

Edit: LeBron seemed specifically frustrated that the Bucks players seemed to have no specific plans. I mean geez, LeBron. According to reports on ESPN (tv), so no links.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Some MLB parks are doing that. Dodger Stadium, for one, led by LeBron's efforts. Nats Park also. Need them in the swing states too.
Seems like low-hanging fruit for Mark Cuban. Of course you also have plenty of guys in ownership around the league who have been vocally pro-Trump in the past.
 

tbb345

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One easy thing for NBA owners to commit to is making their arenas available for distanced voting on election day. They can staff them, get the people trained to be election monitors, and put a ton of capacity online quickly. They need cooperation from city governments, obviously, but it's within power of the owners to say "we are avaiable and welcome this opportunity" right now.

It's a small thing, but an interesting part of the puzzle.
Has it been reported if there’s going to be face to face meetings with the owners and the leaders of the players union as a result of what LAL and LAC did last night?

If so, this could be very interesting. I think what you mentioned up above In addition to large donations to various causes would be the bare minimum. Could they get owners to pledge to make no more donations to the Trump campaign? Push local politicians and state governments? I don’t know but I really really hope that there will be some big changes to help society as a result of this
 

slamminsammya

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Has it been reported if there’s going to be face to face meetings with the owners and the leaders of the players union as a result of what LAL and LAC did last night?

If so, this could be very interesting. I think what you mentioned up above In addition to large donations to various causes would be the bare minimum. Could they get owners to pledge to make no more donations to the Trump campaign? Push local politicians and state governments? I don’t know but I really really hope that there will be some big changes to help society as a result of this
Nba owners could easily pay a large chunk if not all of the fines owed by Florida felons to restore their voting rights, for example. I know LeBron was already working on this.
 

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PedroKsBambino

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Nba owners could easily pay a large chunk if not all of the fines owed by Florida felons to restore their voting rights, for example. I know LeBron was already working on this.
Players can also identify a set of those kinds of things and say they will play if the proceeds fund them. Enabling ex-felons to vote in Florida is massively important; enabling full access in dense urban environments to voting on election day is massive. These guys, in my view, get it and are sophisticated---they are not just saying "NBA can fix it" they understand and want support on that bigger picture
 

HomeRunBaker

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FWIW coach friend I know, connection to lots of Gleague players, agents, etc, feels season is over. He hears LBJ weighing walking out of bubble, was seriously considering focusing on voter registration in Ohio, leaving bubble, before latest shooting.
I expect cooler heads to come in and prevail once the players slow down and think of the consequences of a CBA termination in this current climate. If not, you’re talking major financial changes being negotiated and a real chance that there is no NBA next season. We shall see.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I expect cooler heads to come in and prevail once the players slow down and think of the consequences of a CBA termination in this current climate. If not, you’re talking major financial changes being negotiated and a real chance that there is no NBA next season. We shall see.
I guess they're looking at a 15-35% loss in revenue should they cancel the rest of the season.

I don't know how an NBA beat writer can get CJ McCollum's name wrong but this guy seems legit otherwise.

 

tbb345

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I guess they're looking at a 15-35% loss in revenue should they cancel the rest of the season.

I don't know how an NBA beat writer can get CJ McCollum's name wrong but this guy seems legit otherwise.

Honestly, I would be shocked if they cancel the rest of the season.
Personally I think that this was done to open more dialogue and press Silver/the owners and what they’ve actually done to effect change. I’d also imagine that they’d have a list or set demands and asks that they want the owners to fulfill.
 

BigSoxFan

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Honestly, I would be shocked if they cancel the rest of the season.
Personally I think that this was done to open more dialogue and press Silver/the owners and what they’ve actually done to effect change. I’d also imagine that they’d have a list or set demands and asks that they want the owners to fulfill.
LeBron seems to be hyper focused on this. I wouldn’t be shocked if he leaves but the show goes on.
 

InstaFace

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If I were the players, and considering what our "ask" should be, I might prioritize trying to have the NBA lean on the networks that broadcast their games and have sister news networks (TNT -> CNN, ESPN -> ABC), to alter their coverage of the social-justice movement. Tactically, that might include things like more explicitly labeling provable lies by politicians, specific close-up coverage of local policing, greater emphasis on sharing news and best practices around policing and justice policy, and a willingness to allow, even encourage, anchors to voice their own opinions to call for change or action (e.g. to call for holding specific people accountable). There are doubtless many other ways that they could find ways to improve the honesty, thoroughness and relative emphasis of the topic on general news coverage.

This isn't the days of the Big 3 Networks, but ABC and CNN still have a tremendous amount of power to shape opinion. It's not quite what NFL and MLB players could do to lean on Fox Sports and the regional affiliates, in terms of reaching incremental people who need to hear the message, but it'd be a big start and could result in some snowballing in that direction. And IIRC Fox does a lot of MLS coverage, so that might be an even likelier vector for the calls to spread. It'd be a bold but achievable goal.
 
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Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
Is there any problem that jack-of-all-trades Jared can't fix? He's part MacGyver, part Doc Savage.

Jennifer Jacobs
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Jared Kushner says he'll reach out to @KingJames today. "What I'd love to see from the players in the NBA--again they have the luxury of taking a night off from work, most Americans don't...I'd like to see them start moving into concrete solutions that are productive." @politico
9:23 AM · Aug 27, 2020
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Inserting Kushner or anyone connected to Trump is about the worst way to get games going again. Now if they decide to play, Kushner is going to take credit. I think the odds of more games just went down.
 

mauf

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And apparently this was directed mainly at LeBron who was reportedly mad at the Bucks for acting unilaterally and not including the rest of the teams in their decision. LeBron is not quite the saint as he was portrayed in the thread last night.

Edit: LeBron seemed specifically frustrated that the Bucks players seemed to have no specific plans. I mean geez, LeBron. According to reports on ESPN (tv), so no links.
The Bucks’ decision was obviously going to pull in the rest of the league almost instantly. I don’t know what NBPA culture is like in terms of whether the Bucks would be expected to consult with players on other teams, but I can definitely understand being frustrated and angry if I felt the people who made that decision for me weren’t thoughtful about it. (Not saying the Bucks weren’t thoughtful, but evidently that’s what LeBron thought.)
 

Pedro's Complaint

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Really interested to see where leadership surfaces on the players' side from here and just what those players do. I wonder how proactive Silver can be; he may be judged on how he responds to the players' vision. He's probably the most praised commissioner in professional sports, so perhaps he's up for the moment.

I was cynical about the messaging on the court and jerseys, which didn't seem like it disrupted the status quo in any meaningful way, but cancelling last night's game feels different. I think there can be a reasonable debate on the best way to move forward, whether players coalesce behind one message or individuals pursue their own goals. There are a lot of factors--personal and financial--to consider in that debate.