After two days away from the court while the entire NBA playoffs came to a halt to protest the Jacob Blake shooting and the continuing police brutality problem in the United States, the Los Angeles Lakers are getting back on the practice court today.
According to a league press release, the Lakers and every other team in the Orlando bubble will practice on Friday. The Lakers are scheduled to go from 12-3 p.m. PT, with players and coach Frank Vogel originally expected to speak after practice, but those times and plans are subject to change.
Multiple teams around the NBA cancelled their media availability at practice on Friday, but the Lakers have confirmed that they will speak (they did not confirm who).
Here is the full schedule for teams in the bubble today (all times ET):
The league and NBPA released an official statement that games will resume tomorrow, but no official schedule is out yet. The league has also committed to several other changes as a result of the wildcat strike over the last few days:
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following joint statement today:
“We had a candid, impassioned and productive conversation yesterday between NBA players, coaches and team governors regarding next steps to further our collective efforts and actions in support of social justice and racial equality. Among others, the attendees included player and team representatives of all 13 teams in Orlando. All parties agreed to resume NBA playoff games on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the understanding that the league together with the players will work to enact the following commitments:
1. The NBA and its players have agreed to immediately establish a social justice coalition, with representatives from players, coaches and governors, that will be focused on a broad range of issues, including increasing access to voting, promoting civic engagement, and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.
2. In every city where the league franchise owns and controls the arena property, team governors will continue to work with local elections officials to convert the facility into a voting location for the 2020 general election to allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID. If a deadline has passed, team governors will work with local elections officials to find another election-related use for the facility, including but not limited to voter registration and ballot receiving boards.
3. The league will work with the players and our network partners to create and include advertising spots in each NBA playoff game dedicated to promoting greater civic engagement in national and local elections and raising awareness around voter access and opportunity.
“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community.
“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.”
Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times reported on Thursday that the Lakers are expected to resume their series against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. The Lakers currently have a 3-1 lead in that series, and will be looking to close it out and move on to the second round whenever Game 5 is played.
This story will be updated with more information as it develops.