NY Post: NBA season hangs in balance with two crucial meetings set

From Justin Terranova:

The fate of the NBA season could be decided by two simultaneous meetings on Thursday morning.

The NBA players are set to reconvene today at 11 a.m. after an emotional meeting on Wednesday night, while the NBA board of governors will gather at the same time.

Lakers, Clippers push to boycott rest of NBA season in emotional meeting
Wednesday night’s players meeting ended with a feeling of “uncertainty” and “no sense of accomplishment,” ESPN.com reported. In an informal polling of teams, the Lakers and Clippers pushed to boycott the remainder of the NBA season in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Most of the remaining teams, though, preferred they finish out the season in the NBA bubble.

The Bucks boycotted their game against the Magic on Wednesday and the other two games were postponed as NBA players, led by LeBron James, vented their frustration on social media.

It is unlikely Thursday’s games will be played — and we may have seen our final game of the season.

Good for the players. I hope that they return to playing on Friday, after receiving some sort of concessions from the owners to commit to more political action.

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

24 thoughts to “NY Post: NBA season hangs in balance with two crucial meetings set”

  1. Re: the questioning about the proper terminology (boycott or strike), from the LA Times (https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2020-08-26/nba-players-boycott-why-thats-not-the-correct-term)

    “I think it’s a euphemism for a work stoppage,” Thomas Lenz, a law lecturer at USC and attorney specializing in labor and employment law, said of players describing the postponements as boycotts. “When employees decide to withhold their services … that is technically strike activity”.

    The National Basketball Players Assn. described what happened in a statement as postponements, while a tweet from the NBA framed it as a joint decision between players and the league.

    A statement on behalf of Bucks players said they “boycotted” the game against the Magic. (…)

    Despite the varied terminology, the actions have the most in common with wildcat strikes.

    The catch is that the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players’ union bans players from “any strikes, cessations or stoppages of work, or other similar interference with the operations of the NBA or any of its Teams.”

    “The employer would have a right to potentially take action on employees who violate the no strike clause,” Lenz said. “But I can’t imagine the league is going to want to do that, particularly when the message that the players are stating very clearly — even through the league itself — is that Black lives matter and addressing the crisis of racial injustice.”

    The impact of the unprecedented day in professional sports likely will extend far beyond the protests, whether they last a day, a week or longer.

    “We now have a new issue that needs to be collectively bargained” in future rounds of negotiations between leagues and players “boycotts, protests or whatever you call them,” Longo said. “I suspect both sides will have to spend time on what channels these go through in the future. … We’ve never seen this before.”

  2. Last week, I learned that (thanks to the transparent republican-led campaign to get Kanye West on the ballot in Wisconsin) though the state is overwhelmingly white, Milwaukee is a city that Americans of African descent are actually the majority in, and that the city was recently fingered as “the most segregated city in America”, and “the worst city for black Americans” (citing education gaps and incarceration rates).

    Obama won Wisconsin in 2008 and 2012. Clinton lost Wisconsin in 2016 by 27,000 votes. She received 39,000 fewer votes out of Milwaukee than Obama did.

    As the most high-profile black people in the city, the Milwaukee Bucks players possibly have the clearest “what’s next” road in front of them. And they may hold the power to not only affect change in their local communities, but in the world too.

  3. So glad the NBA players are leading the charge in this manner.

    Can you imagine if the NFL players did the same thing? Boy would the owners lose their shit. And the thing is… I think it would strike an even deeper nerve bc of America’s relationship w/football and where a lot of its fanbase lies.

    I really wish the NY Giants ownership wasn’t so conservative.

  4. ***This not a leading question, because I don’t know my answer, but: when you say “fix the police” what exactly would you do?***

    It has been stated by the leaders of the BLM movement that police shouldn’t be sent to do a social workers job. In the case of the Blake shooting, in a “well policed” system, a social worker would have been dispatched because it was a domestic event, and social workers actually have mandated degrees in domestic conflict resolution, while cops do not. This is a common sense reform that probably doesn’t require a whole lot of overhaul to the current system; however, why stop there? If social workers are required to have degrees in their field, why not have the same requirement of cops? Cops carry weapons while social workers, typically, do not. That way they can be used as more than just a brute squad.

    Also, pension reform would go a long way toward fixing the system, but, of course, that requires union approval, so the systemic barriers to true reform are daunting, and require paradigm-shifting events. Those events may be upon us, which the NBA players are recognizing.

  5. Last week, I learned that (thanks to the transparent republican-led campaign to get Kanye West on the ballot in Wisconsin) though the state is overwhelmingly white, Milwaukee is a city that Americans of African descent are actually the majority in, and that the city was recently fingered as “the most segregated city in America”, and “the worst city for black Americans” (citing education gaps and incarceration rates).

    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Evicted:_Poverty_and_Profit_in_the_American_City

    This is the best book I read in 2019. It’s very quick and reads like a novel.

  6. The catch is that the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players’ union bans players from “any strikes, cessations or stoppages of work, or other similar interference with the operations of the NBA or any of its Teams.”

    Thanks Leonam, figured there might be something like that.

    It has been stated by the leaders of the BLM movement that police shouldn’t be sent to do a social workers job.

    If social workers are required to have degrees in their field, why not have the same requirement of cops?

    Both of these things. Cops have way too many responsibilities, as far as I can tell because so many Americans’ response to any kind of trouble is to apply violence. And they are significantly under-trained. Want to be a cop? Pay your way through four years of college to qualify. Treat it like any other profession.

    But the immediate thing we need to do is break police culture. “The thin blue line” has to be erased, the culture of omerta has to be erased. We need real punishment for officers. Right now they’re treated with kid gloves at best. The people who wield the power of violence for the state should be the most scrutinized, not the least. “Excessive use of force” translates into “assault” if you’re a not a cop. Paying them more won’t fix the culture that says violent cops under scrutiny are “being attacked for doing their job.” Violent cops need to be arrested and face trial with an independent prosecutorial agency. Cops who get caught out covering up for a fellow officer or stonewalling should lose their pension automatically. Disbanding and reforming police departments is also a move in a good direction.

  7. >>> In the case of the Blake shooting, in a “well policed” system, a social worker would have been dispatched because it was a domestic event, and social workers actually have mandated degrees in domestic conflict resolution, while cops do not. This is a common sense reform that probably doesn’t require a whole lot of overhaul to the current system; <<<

    This is not common sense at all.

    Think of a social worker you know. Now think about sending them unarmed into the middle of a domestic dispute that can become violent at any moment.

    Who do you honestly think is going to apply for that job?

  8. Today’s fun facts about our Kenosha shooter:
    1. He was too young to open carry legally
    2. His mom drove him there

    As amusing as this is, it brings up another aspect of “fix the police” that I’m not hearing much (anything) about. Which is that the career often draws a particular kind of person, one who gravitates toward power over others, guns, and the opportunity to bully (or kill) with the weight of the state on their side. Not too hard to fix, or at least lessen, with (as suggested above) social worker training, maybe four years of college, and especially really stringent testing to get in (with lots of disqualifying answers in there). Which will never happen with police unions being so punch-drunk in overprotecting their members (said sadly as someone who was pro-union).

    But I think you can’t ignore this. The fact that right now, in this moment in our country, a policeman felt empowered to shoot a person in the back seven times as if this was 1930 backwoods Alabama, says something pretty extraordinary about a particular subset of the police.

  9. I do agree with Hubert here. I seem to remember that responding to social disturbance calls lead to the most injuries to police. Many of them can be defused, but a number involve drunk, drugged and impassioned violence, often with weapons of one sort or another. No idea what the solution is. A social worker AND a cop? Every police force has a special unit just for social disturbance calls, with special training, and only they respond?
    Not sure what the answer is because it’s not my field, but I’m certain that there is one, and it desperately need to be implemented.

  10. There is no real police reform if it is not structural, and does not drastically reduce the role of police in everyday life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

    I mean, the research on this stuff is at least half a century old. It’s not an issue of “selecting better individuals”. Put regular people in a position of power and authority and they will abuse that authority to an unthinkable degree.

  11. I work in an area with the highest crime and murder rates in NYC, and people over here have the most to lose from removing or decreasing police presence. The regular civilians here are scared to death of violent people, and don’t want zero police. All disturbance issues I’ve seen involved domestic or simple transactional disputes. Don’t think anyone but a cop should deal with these types of issues.

    The officers around here are extremely well-experienced in diffusing situations (usually by letting one person talk as much as they want). There is a spectrum of reactions by police, from verbal to lethal. I would argue that police officers should have longer training in conflict resolution and martial arts training. The first to avoid violence, the latter to make violence stop in a nonlethal way. I don’t know, mayyyyybe 6 months isn’t long enough? And maybe continued educational and physical training is necessary? I don’t know if this has been tried and failed, or is a bad idea, but I haven’t heard any good ones yet.

  12. ***A social worker AND a cop?***

    Yes. (Ultimately cops ARE social workers, and should be trained as such, but, until then, they are often a escalating force when an de-escalating presence is required. This is why systemic reform is needed, and needs to come via “dismantling” or “defunding” or whatever you want to call the process of recreating an entire system).

  13. ***The officers around here are extremely well-experienced in diffusing situations (usually by letting one person talk as much as they want).***

    Good cops are good at what they do. But if they were all good cops, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The cops involved in these killings are not good cops. Many have a host of prior complaints on their records. Blake was shot 7 times in the back while the cop was holding onto him. That’s not the work of someone ‘’extremely well-experienced in diffusing situations’’, and it undoes all the otherwise positive social work that the good police officers do.

    When Giuliani, or Bloomberg, or whatever mayor from whatever US city, “adds 10,000 new cops to the street to clean up this city” he’s not drawing them from the pool of good cops sitting on the bench. He’s assembling a brute squad from the G-league, Turkey, Greece, the NAIA, and 3-on-3 workouts. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Knickerblogger over the years it’s that adding volume without increasing efficiency is a losing formula. That applies to police work too. Hence, “defund the police”.

  14. I do agree with Hubert here. I seem to remember that responding to social disturbance calls lead to the most injuries to police. Many of them can be defused, but a number involve drunk, drugged and impassioned violence, often with weapons of one sort or another. No idea what the solution is. A social worker AND a cop?

    I feel like this ignores the kind of shit social workers deal with everyday anyway, which are basically exactly the kind of situations you’re describing and what they’re specifically trained to deal with. Eugene has been running a program like this since 1989. It works so well a bunch of other cities are in process of setting up their own. Here’s a link. Some places are sending a social worker AND a cop or EMT, some just two social workers, there’s a lot of variation. This kind of thing works. But these programs can be hard to get off the ground, even though they save money and lives relative to making the cops deal with it all. A lot of middle-class and wealthy voters think social workers are bullshit, think destitute people are inherently violent (thanks so much prosperity gospel!), pick your poison. It’d be a great thing the the players to get behind.

    Obviously this is only one small part of the problem/solution.

  15. Thanks, Grocer. I did read that earlier, it’s a really good example of a really good idea that seems to work.

  16. Good cops are good at what they do. But if they were all good cops, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The cops involved in these killings are not good cops. Many have a host of prior complaints on their records. Blake was shot 7 times in the back while the cop was holding onto him. That’s not the work of someone ‘’extremely well-experienced in diffusing situations’’, and it undoes all the otherwise positive social work that the good police officers do.

    Agreed 100%.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Knickerblogger over the years it’s that adding volume without increasing efficiency is a losing formula. That applies to police work too. Hence, “defund the police”.

    I’m with you until the last sentence. I don’t know what defund the police means.

  17. In my hometown (Fort Lauderdale) there was an incident during the initial George Floyd protests where an officer shoved a kneeling woman to the ground and it was caught on camera. The officer was suspended.

    It turns out he had something like 80 excessive force complaints against him in less than two years on the force. It also turns out the amount of discipline he faced for it was a big fat zero. No write ups, no suspension, no loss of wages, no re-training, just a big bunch of fucking NOTHING.

    This is not the kind of thing that can happen if there are “good cops”’ around. Every cop that allowed that to happen— every one of this guy’s superiors, and every other officer they witnessed his brutal behavior— is a SHITTY COP. And as far as I’m concerned, that whole police force can kiss my ass. And I’m sure Fort Lauderdale is not some kind of outlier.

    The whole system is corrupt and rotten. Cracking heads and facing no consequences for it is how they operate, unless somebody happens to catch them on camera. You want better policing, break up the corrupt unions that protect these thugs and start from scratch. If there’s no accountability they’re going to keep killing and maiming people.

  18. This is not the kind of thing that can happen if there are “good cops”’ around. Every cop that allowed that to happen— every one of this guy’s superiors, and every other officer they witnessed his brutal behavior— is a SHITTY COP.

    Exactly. If you’ve got one bad cop and 999 good cops and those good cops don’t do anything about the one bad cop you’ve got 1000 bad cops none of whom deserve the power and privilege they wield.

  19. ***I’m with you until the last sentence. I don’t know what defund the police means.***

    I get that you’re a doctor, and you’re probably extremely busy. But you have time to read a Knicks blog during a pandemic when the Knicks aren’t even invited to participate in the basketball season, so presumably you have the time to read other things from time to time too?

    https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2020/06/19/what-does-defund-the-police-mean-and-does-it-have-merit/

  20. In addition to denuding the unions of their power, in order to make a significant change in police brutality, there would need to be legislation changing or doing away with qualified immunity and its subjective good faith standard.

  21. I’m with you until the last sentence. I don’t know what defund the police means.

    It means that police budgets are far too great a share of overall public spending, and their scope of responsibility has come to include tasks at which they are either ineffective or a detriment to public safety.

    For one, police budgets include the funding to investigate members of their own departments. Many reformers want to remove funding from these duties and instead, spend it on independent commissions to ensure minimal conflicts of interest. Another would be the programs by which police departments use public money to buy military-grade weaponry to use against its citizens, whether through “riot policing” or no-knock warrants against non-violent offenders.

    Defund the police does not mean “end all violent crime investigations.” It instead acknowledges that the current structure of policing in America actually means that homicide investigations are being hampered by the relationship between police and the citizens they are entrusted to protect, hence, “Stop snitching.”

    There is no denying that the history of police forces in this country paints a picture of perverse incentives and diminishing returns on investment. For one: we could pay the police billions nationwide to enforce evictions, or we could instead invest in the federal housing voucher program to reduce housing instability, which is a major predictor, and cause, of criminal activity and poor life outcomes, especially in children.

    The billionaires at the top — especially families like the Kochs, Mercers, DeVoses, Bradleys, Walton and Olins — want us to believe that spending on social infrastructure is inherently wasteful and corrupt — everything from the IRS to the Department of Education. Why do these same billionaires fund campaigns to preserve police budgets as they are?

Comments are closed.