NBA Players Planned to Sit Out Tuesday’s Playoff Games If Sterling Punishment Wasn’t Satisfactory

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 29 2014 7:04 PM

NBA Players Planned to Sit Out Tuesday’s Playoff Games If Sterling Punishment Wasn’t Satisfactory

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NBA players were set to boycott Tuesday night's playoff games.

Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images

NBA players were set to sit out Tuesday night’s playoff games in protest of Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments, if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s punishment wasn’t strong enough, ESPN reports. "I reached out to other players around the league and made it clear the players were ready to boycott the games if this type of action was not something that Adam Silver felt was necessary," National Basketball Player's Association vice president, Roger Mason, Jr. told ESPN. "We're happy with the decision but we're not content yet. We want immediate action. We want a timetable from the owner as far as when this vote is going to happen."

The boycott would have affected not just tonight’s Clippers game with Golden State, but the Bulls v. Wizards, and Grizzlies v. Thunder games as well. “We didn't think this was just a Clippers issue so we didn't want to put the pressure on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and that team, we wanted to band behind our brothers to do the right thing and that would have been to communicate with the other teams in our league and let them know what we were going to do,” Mason Jr. said to ESPN.

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Mason told ESPN the players waited to hear what the league’s sanctions on Sterling would be before deciding to boycott. Silver’s decision to ban Sterling from the NBA for life, as well as pursue a vote among owners to remove Sterling as an NBA owner, however, was a strong enough message for the players to suit up on Tuesday night.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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