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Report: The Lakers And Clippers Have Voted To Not Play The Rest Of The Season (UPDATE)

The NBA’s players met on Wednesday night to discuss their plans moving forward after players from the Bucks began what became a leaguewide wildcat strike, refusing to play their Game 5s in protest of police shooting Jacob Blake in the back seven times, leaving him paralyzed, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The meeting lasted several hours, with reports emerging of a number of different players and coaches stepping up to speak, eventually with coaches being asked to leave. About 2 and a half hours into the meeting, word emerged that the Lakers and Clippers had both voted against continuing the season and left.

Per Charania, they were the only two teams who voted against resuming the season, with LeBron James calling on owners and the league to do more.

As Udonis Haslem reportedly pointed out to the rest of the teams, there isn’t much of a path to the resumption of the season if the Lakers and Clippers, the two top seeds in the West, aren’t a part of it, and clearly there must be a full decision made.

We will await that official word from the players union, but for now it seems two of the league’s biggest teams that feature four of its biggest stars do not plan to continue playing. The question is if the Lakers and Clippers can be brought back into the fold when the NBA’s Board of Governors meet on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. ET, should ownership and league executives agree to do more, speak out, and wield their power, money, and influence more at the state and national levels.

If nothing else, the Lakers and Clippers taking this stance applies immense pressure on ownership to make serious plans and put actual, actionable things on the table in their meeting. Somewhat unsurprisingly, given it was always going to be very difficult to get every player and team on the same page with something like a strike, David Aldridge of The Athletic says the meeting ended “ugly” with players not fully certain how things will play out in the coming days.

It seems as though Steve Ballmer has, at least to a point, gotten the message sent by the Clippers players, issuing a statement through the team on Wednesday night, calling for police accountability and reform.

UPDATE: Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a decision is not expected to be made on the remainder of the season until after the Board of Governors meeting, and he also described the L.A. teams’ votes as “polling” not a firm vote, further indicating that they stand on that side but may be willing to resume play should the league and owners come to bat with a serious plan for how they’ll impact change.

Brad Turner of the L.A. Times reports both LeBron and Kawhi Leonard spoke up about why they don’t want to play out the rest of the season and demanded change.

A second meeting is scheduled for the players on Thursday morning at the same time as the Board of Governors meeting, as the players continue to try and come together on a complete plan of action.

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