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Raptors’ Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka confirm NBA players were close to leaving bubble

Raptors, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and forward Serge Ibaka confirmed that NBA players were seriously considering leaving the Orlando bubble in the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting.

The NBA playoffs were in danger of being cancelled after players boycotted Wednesday’s games in protest of the shooting of Blake and the unending police brutality. Blake is an unarmed Black man who was shot by a Wisconsin police officer seven times.

During Lowry’s post-game interview, he said many players would have left the bubble if the ownership side didn’t commit to taking actions and making progress. The Raptors guard also said basketball is in a “backseat” as they use the platform they have right now.

On the other hand, Ibaka told reporters that “they opted to continue using the platform that games provide.”

The Raptors and the Boston Celtics were one of the first teams to talk about boycotting their games. They reportedly started discussing the possibility three days before their schedule matchup.

“Boycotting the game has come up for them as a way to again try to demand a little more action,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse told reporters on Tuesday, per Sportsnet, “and I think that’s really what they want. I think there’s enough attention and there’s not quite enough action, and I think that’s what I can sense from the discussion.”

Nevertheless, after having two league-wide meetings, the players ultimately decided that they should continue the season. The Raptors played their first playoff game in the second-round against the Celtics on Sunday, losing 112-94; however, they’ll be seeking to tie up the series on Tuesday.