Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers reveals his players thought the NBA season was over but then the NBA Players Association and the league stroke a deal to resume the playoffs. On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 against the Orlando Magic following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven time by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The NBA players, who arrived to the bubble wanting to use their voices to spread social justice messages, were "terrified" after another shooting of a Black man and they thought about abruptly ending the season.
"Oh, they want to," Rivers said when asked if his team is ready to move forward during an interview Thursday on Fox Prime Ticket, per ESPN. "They are really looking forward to it. Yesterday was a very difficult day though.
Like their emotions were all over the place. "They thought it was over. It was just a really tough day for all of them."
Rivers praises the Bucks move
After the Bucks refused to take on the court for Game 5 against the Magic, soon the following two games scheduled for the day were also boycotted.
"I loved it," Rivers said of the Bucks' decision on their own to not play Game 5. "I wish, obviously, they would've alerted all the players so they wouldn't have been blindsided by it, but I thought the action was the right action, especially because of who it was.
I thought the one team that had to take action immediately was Milwaukee, if we were gonna take action at all, and again that's our choice." Clippers guard Landry Shamet said it all happened quickly and admitted it didn't look good at one point.
"To be fair, that vote wasn't us saying, 'We don't want to play basketball,'" Shamet, appearing on "The JJ Redick Podcast," said of the initial poll Wednesday night. "It was just simply a poll of what we thought was best to do.
That's what came out of our team." "Obviously things were moving really fast. A lot of people had to step up and try to figure out the best thing for us to do. But one thing I think we didn't fully take into account was how high emotions were, how tense the situation was and how this was really the first time we as a whole as players have been able to sit and process and think about, talk about and have really good dialogue in the bubble about all this."