The 2020 NBA season was on the brink of ending again. Everyone already watched the season nearly end prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this time was for a much different reason. The NBA players (like many people throughout the country) are fed up with the police brutality and constant racism occurring in America, so they didn’t want to play in the bubble while people continue die outside of it. It appears, though, that play will, in fact, resume. An NBA legend had something to do with it resuming too. Michael Jordan might have just actually saved the season.
The season almost ended after the Bucks and other teams boycotted playing
The Milwaukee Bucks chose to boycott their Game 5 playoff game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, Aug. 26. This resulted in the game ultimately getting postponed. The other five teams scheduled to play that day also chose to boycott playing, which led to the three Game 5s scheduled for Aug. 26 getting postponed.
The three playoff games that were scheduled for Thursday also got postponed. The boycotts were in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, that occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Police shot Blake seven times.
After the boycotts on Wednesday, players and coaches in the bubble held a meeting. It ultimately ended ugly, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the LA Lakers and LA Clippers voted to boycott the remainder of the season. LeBron James also walked out of the meeting, and the Lakers and Clippers followed him out. All of the other teams voted to continue playing, per Charania.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the vote was more of a polling than a final vote and that no final decision had been made on Wednesday.
The 2020 NBA season will reportedly resume
Wojnarowski first reported on Thursday morning that there was optimism that the majority of the players wanted to continue playing. He also reported that key Lakers players stayed up until the early morning to talk through issues.
The players then ultimately decided to resume the playoffs, and the league is aiming to restart games this weekend. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that LeBron James and others had a change in their positions.
Players in a meeting on Thursday discussed wanting to find new and improved ways to make social justice statements, according to Charania. Additionally, players reportedly challenged owners to be proactive to social justice changes.
Michael Jordan played a crucial role in saving the NBA season
While a lot went into saving the NBA season, Michael Jordan actually played a big role in saving it.
According to ESPN, he reportedly reached out to National Basketball Players Associaton president Chris Paul prior to the owners meeting. He did so to better understand what the players hoped to achieve going forward and to help them while they made their case to the board of governors. Jordan also talked to Russell Westbrook about social justice issues.
Two participants in the owners meeting said that Jordan talked to the owners about allowing the players to voice their frustrations prior to discussing any possible solutions, according to ESPN.
“Michael is the perfect person to be in this role,” a league official said to ESPN. “He’s been a high-profile player who has won championships. He’s also the owner of a small-market team. He has great credibility both with the players and the owners.”
Michael Jordan is no longer playing in the NBA, but he still means a great deal to the league as he can connect to the players and the owners. Jordan might have just saved the 2020 NBA season.