NBA tells teams to be ready for impact of verdict in Derek Chauvin trial

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The NBA has instructed teams to be vigilant about the impact of a potential verdict this week in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, including the possibility of game postponements, sources told ESPN.

The looming specter of possible protests, civil unrest and team reactions in the aftermath of a verdict has the league office preparing for the prospect that a night or two of league games could be postponed this week, sources said.

Closing arguments are expected Monday in the case against Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death after he held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes in May 2020. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets postponed a game last week after the police shooting of an unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.

The Timberwolves started a four-game, seven-day Western Conference road trip on Sunday in Los Angeles.

The NBA and WNBA postponed a full slate of playoff games after another Black man, Jacob Blake, was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Florida, in August 2020. The Milwaukee Bucks boycotted a playoff game against the Orlando Magic, triggering a full stoppage of league games for three days.

ESPN incorrectly reported that Jacob Blake was unarmed when he was shot seven times by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police. Blake said in an interview with Good Morning America on Jan. 14, 2021, that he was carrying a small pocket knife, which he said he had initially dropped.

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