Danny Green discusses player meetings during NBA strike

Danny Green
Danny Green was mostly transparent in the Lakers’ first media availability since the players’ strike (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Wednesday felt like a monumental day in sports history. The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their playoff game against the Orlando Magic, staying in their locker room instead of taking the court. The Magic followed their lead and so too did the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers in a sign of solidarity.

The Bucks’ protest was sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by Wisconsin police. Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer and while he has survived, reports suggest that he is paralyzed from the waist down. Blake’s children were in his car when he was shot.

The Blake shooting is clearly not an isolated incident. There have been ongoing protests around the country and the world stemming from the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other unarmed Black men and women who have been killed at the hands of police.

What followed the impromptu strike on Wednesday were meetings between the players as well as meetings involving the owners and coaches to discuss plans moving forward. There have been numerous reports about what went on in those meetings and there have been counter-reports or players on social media stating that those reports are false.

On Friday, the Lakers held media availability for the first time since their game five against the Blazers was striked and postponed and the team’s NBPA representative, Danny Green, was as transparent as one could expect in explaining the situation. Green’s comments included a denial of some reports about the meetings, what the potential for cancelling the season was, and what sort of demands for owners were discussed.

Green was also candid about the mental health issues stemming from the bubble, which you can read more about here.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel echoed Green’s sentiment that he never really considered that the season would be cancelled, despite the Lakers reportedly being among two teams whose players said they wanted to stop playing in Wednesday night’s meeting.

Perhaps the most insightful part of Green’s comments was saying that there was a discussion about asking teams to terminate contracts with local police departments. That was a tactic used by sports teams and schools in Minneapolis following the George Floyd killing.

Notably, last week body cam footage of a police officer shoving Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri following their final win over the Golden State Warriors last season was leaked to the public. The police officer had formerly pinned the blame on Ujiri for not presenting his credentials, a statement that was clearly proven false by the video.

Green noted that no formal plan was made regarding that topic but it at least seems to be on NBA players’ minds. It will be interesting to see if any changes come as a result of that.

Leave a Reply