The NBA has instructed teams to be vigilant about the impact of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week, 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.
Final arguments are expected Monday in the case against Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, resulting in Floyd’s death in May 2020.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter 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 unarmed 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.