The NBA announced that players will be able to display social justice statements on the back of their jerseys when the season restarts on July 30 in Orlando, Florida, following delays related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The league and the NBA Basketball Players Association were in talks to allow players to use a social statement in place of their last name, according to an ESPN report on Saturday night.
Players reportedly received a group text message saying the plans were being discussed between the league, the players’ union and Nike, which read: “Look for details in the coming days.”
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If the NBA really decides to go ahead with this decision, it wouldn’t be the first league to take action on this issue. When the Premier League resumed earlier this month, it replaced the players’ last names on the back of the jerseys with the phrase “Black Lives Matter”. Their uniforms also featured a patch on the sleeve, which will remain for the rest of the season.
The league released its schedule last Friday, and the first game of games will feature Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans, as well as LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans will play in the opening game of the NBA season restart on July 30, facing Utah in the opening of a double game. And just like the first opening night of this season did like no other, the second game of the nationally televised double bill will pit the Lakers against the Los Angeles Clippers.
For the 22 teams that will go to Disney, the configuration of the eight-game blackboards will be practically the same: one in a row for each of the clubs, and all the games will be played in a period of 16 days that will end on August 14. The NBA will use three arenas at Disney, and aside from the two-game roster on opening night, four to seven games will take place each day.
There will be some very unusual elements, with games starting as early as 1 p.m. M. Monday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. M. On weekends and most nights you will see the board end with 9 p.m. notices. M. being played on the east coast.
The plans required that 52 of the 88 seed games be televised nationally, with 18 on TNT (including the doubleheader), 17 on ESPN, 14 on NBA TV and three on ABC. The games will also be shown in local markets.
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Most of the arenas on the ESPN Wide World of Sports campus will be used for multiple games each day, with no notice scheduled less than four hours apart in each of those three buildings, and with the league allowing time between games for Strong disinfectant.
If the ninth-place team needs a play-in tournament for the No. 8 seed in any of the conferences and ends within the team’s four games in eighth, those games in a series of two better than team No. 9 The need to sweep would begin on August 15.
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The NBA playoffs will begin on August 17, and the NBA Finals will begin on September 30 with a possible Game 7 on October 13.
Associated Press contributed to this report.