Players from the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors have discussed boycotting NBA playoff games because of growing frustration after another police shooting of a Black man.

Members of the teams met Tuesday night at their hotel to discuss options in an effort to affect change in the ongoing fight against racism, injustice and brutality.

The Raptors and the Celtics are set to begin an Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday.

“It makes me question if this was the right decision,” Toronto star Pascal Siakam said of restarting the season. “Are we really making a change? Are we really doing something meaningful?”

Activism was among the key reasons players agreed to resume their season in Orlando in the wake of the George Floyd killing. The shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. – with video capturing a police officer firing into Blake’s back as he tried to enter his car – has sent shockwaves through the NBA campus.

Marcus Smart said that the possibility of a boycott has, “been talked about. We aren’t really sure, we haven’t confirmed anything but it’s definitely something in the back of our minds.


“Something needs to change,” said the Celtics guard. “Like I said, it’s more important than basketball right now. It’s definitely a thought and we have to talk more with each other and try to get on the same page and make sure that we are communicating the right way.”

Members of the Lakers, including LeBron James, spoke extensively about Jacob Blake. Clippers Coach Doc Rivers was on the edge of tears while discussing it. And now, games could be in jeopardy as teams try to figure out what’s next.

Raptors Coach Nick Nurse said he’s had discussions with some of his players, who are wondering if they should leave the NBA’s bubble entirely.

“It just feels like we’re stuck,” Siakam said.

Boston’s Jaylen Brown also acknowledged that the subject of not playing has been floated by players. He also acknowledged that after his activity prior to arriving in the bubble, including leading a march in his hometown of Atlanta after the Floyd killing, there’s a sense of powerlessness now that he’s in the Orlando bubble.

“In a sense you feel very helpless. Here in the bubble you want to do more. I feel like I should be out there protesting, with a lot of people who are doing that now,” said Brown. “But I’m here in the bubble playing basketball. I do think the NBA has done a great job initially to give us the platform to speak on certain things and things like that. But I do kind of feel it’s lessened as the playoffs have gotten started. Things have kind of diminished.”

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