LA Lakers, Clippers vote to abandon NBA season: Reports
LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers have voted to abandon the National Basketball Association season in protest at the latest US police shooting of a black man, multiple reports said on Wednesday (Aug 26).
ESPN, The Athletic and Yahoo Sports all reported that the Lakers and Clippers called for the 2019/2020 season to be scrapped in the wake of Jacob Blake's shooting in Wisconsin on Sunday.
The Lakers and Clippers' vote to end the season came at an emergency meeting of all the teams left in the NBA’s play-offs, which are taking place in Orlando, Florida.
The meeting followed the Milwaukee Bucks’ boycott of their first-round play-off game against the Orlando Magic earlier on Wednesday.
That decision prompted the NBA to call off all three play-off games scheduled for Wednesday, with games due to take place on Thursday also believed to now be in jeopardy.
It was not immediately clear how the season will proceed following the meeting, or whether the Lakers and Clippers – the two strongest sides in the Western Conference – would remain in the play-offs despite voting to halt the season.
The Lakers’ James had earlier tweeted angrily over the shooting of Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by police as he got into a car containing his three children.
“WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James wrote on Twitter.
The NBA has scheduled a special Board of Governors meeting for Thursday to address players’ concerns.
Elsewhere, tennis star Naomi Osaka also withdrew from the Western & Southern Open in protest against racial injustice, hours after the two-time Grand Slam champion had booked her spot in the semi-finals of the US Open tune-up event. – AFP, REUTERS