Players to keep focus on social justice, racial equality
NBA bubble
The Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers wear Black Lives Matter Shirt and kneel during the national anthem prior to the game against the LA Clippers at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex in this file photo taken last July 30. (AFP)

NBA playoff games resume Saturday following a boycott Wednesday initiated by the Milwaukee Bucks and seconded by the Orlando Magic over the shooting of Jacob Blake by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week.

“All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a joint statement Friday on the third day of the strike.

”We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together – in Orlando and in all NBA team markets – to push for meaningful and sustainable change,” the NBA-NBPA statement said.

Games are resuming with players determined to keep the focus on the fight for social justice and racial equality with the help from club owners and the league.

Players and the league agreed to form a social justice coalition to address a broad range of issues, including access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and police and criminal justice reform.

LeBron, players consult with former POTUS Obama
LeBron James
LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, with a small group of players, consulted with former President Barack Obama to find a productive way forward after games were halted.

”As an avid basketball fan, President Obama speaks regularly with players and league officials,” Katie Hill, a spokeswoman for Obama, told the New York Times.

”When asked, he was happy to provide advice on Wednesday night to a small group of NBA players seeking to leverage their immense platforms for good after their brave and inspiring strike in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting.”

Bucks, Magic kickoff ‘restart’ after boycott

With the boycott out of the way, the Bucks will try to move on to the second round of the playoffs with a victory over the Magic.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets try to break out of a 2-2 Western Conference series logjam.

Also seeking to advance are the LA Lakers against the Portland Trail Blazers who are without Damian Lillard who sustained a sprained right knee in Game 4.

The next day, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the reigning champions Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics starts.

Out West, the LA Clippers and Utah Jazz will try to close out the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets, respectively.

Mavs-Clippers sans Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images / AFP)

The Mavericks are playing without Kristaps Porzingis who has a torn meniscus on his right knee, ruling him out of the series and probably the season.

Porzingis did not play in Games 4 and 5 due to a sore knee. He has a history of problems on his knees.

In 2018, he sustained an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury while playing for the New York Knicks.

He was subsequently traded to the Mavericks and did not play last season to recover.

Pelicans, Saints owner tests positive for COVID-19
NBA’s Pelicans and NFL’s Saints owner Gayle Benson tested positive for COVID-19. (AFP)

Meanwhile, Gayle Benson, the 73-year-old owner of the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA and the New Orleans Saints in the NFL, has tested positive for COVID-19.

”Mrs. Benson did test positive for COVID-19,” the Saints said in a statement.

“She is progressing well and improving daily,” the Saints added. ”She has not missed a daily work call with the Saints and Pelicans staff nor has she missed an NBA or NFL owner call in recent days –  she was not hospitalized and is recovering at home in New Orleans.”

Bucks sends autographed jerseys to Jacob Blake’s father

In other news, the Bucks has sent a jersey autographed by the whole team to Jacob Blake.

His father, Jacob Sr., cited the team for the token.

“The thing that made him smile was the Milwaukee Bucks. That made him smile. I’m from Chicago, but now I am truly a Milwaukee Bucks fan because they reached out to my son, sent him a jersey that was signed by the whole organization.”

Pistons great Thomas reunited with stolen 1984 All-Star Game trophy

The 1984 All-Star Game trophy of Detroit Pistons’ Isiah Thomas has been returned to him after it was stolen from his high school last year.

It turned out in an auction site, prompting him to call the attention of the auctioneer.

The auctioneer promptly returned the trophy and Thomas was seen in a photo holding the memorabilia. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)

Source: Manila Bulletin (