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Lakers and Clippers both vote to stop NBA season, most other teams want to continue

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The Lakers and Clippers were the only two teams to vote against continuing the NBA playoffs, but they may be outvoted. It’s unclear what will happen from here.

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LA Clippers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the NBA season, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic on Wednesday.

The Lakers decided as a team to sit out of their Game 5 matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday as a way to protest racial inequality and police violence in the United States.

While the early expectation was that the NBA would be able to address their players’ concerns and resume the season, it seems as though the Lakers and Clippers — two teams from one of the biggest markets in North American sports — want to set the tone for the rest of the league and sit out the remainder of the season.

It’s not immediately clear how this will all affect the league’s plans moving forward, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Since the season began, there has been an enormous amount of hype for the potential Western Conference matchup between the two Los Angeles teams, who have never played each other in the postseason before. By boycotting the season, the Lakers and Clippers are taking away the NBA’s most exciting rivalry, which is a valuable asset in terms of marketability for the league. In other words, this is no small chip for them to take off the table if they’re seeking action from ownership groups.

Obviously, emotions are high right now, but this is an issue that players have been dealing with even before the season restarted — it’s the reason Kyrie Irving, Wilson Chandler and so many other players didn’t make the trip. Whether or not the NBA returning served as the distraction to the civil rights movement that Irving and others feared it would doesn’t matter at this point; what matters is the players that are in Orlando, where they have been expected to perform at a high level with the issue of racial inequality weighing down on them.

Would it be incredible to see the Lakers and Clippers in the Western Conference Finals? Or course. Would it be even better if it was the Lakers lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the season? Absolutely.

But these players have already been through so much — from the death of Kobe Bryant to a global pandemic that has forced them to be away from their families for almost two months now. If enough is enough for them, then we shouldn’t be the ones to judge their decision. Right now, they deserve nothing less than our support.

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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