The Los Angeles Clippers were reportedly just one of two teams who voted to not continue the playoffs during the emotional players meeting on Wednesday night, which followed the dramatic walkout staged by the Milwaukee Bucks in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake. After the Clippers walked out of the meeting with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said that his players thought the playoffs were done.
"They thought it was over,” Rivers said on Fox’s Prime Ticket, via ESPN. “It was just a really tough day for all of them."
Thankfully, it wasn’t over. After a good night’s sleep, players met again on Thursday morning and were able to agree that they should continue playing and concentrate on using their platform to the fullest extent they can. And Rivers says the Clippers, who are up 3-2 on the Dallas Mavericks, are raring to go.
"Oh, they want to," Rivers said when asked if his players are ready to restart the playoffs. "They are really looking forward to it. Yesterday was a very difficult day though. Like their emotions were all over the place.”
Is the bubble affecting everyone’s emotions?
Rivers said that listening to players express themselves during Wednesday night’s meeting was a wakeup call for him. Not just about what the players were thinking and feeling, but about the unique difficulty of being so isolated.
"You forget that being in the bubble is hard,” Rivers said. “And even some of that came up. I knew it was hard, but listening to some of these guys speak, just mental awareness, we got to be a little sharper on that as well.
"I don't think it's coincidence that everyone in this bubble just seems to be a little bit more emotional and I'm not kidding. It's true. I think part of the effect of being like jammed together every day, it has had that effect on everyone."
The bubble might be heightening everyone’s emotions, but maybe that’s just what was needed to inspire the radical action NBA players took on Wednesday night.
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