The Golden State Warriors held a players-only meeting after shootaround on Tuesday and decided on a plan.
If NBA Commissioner Adam Silver did not announce a punishment of Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling the Warriors deemed harsh enough, they were going to boycott the game.
Simply announcing a plan to not play wasn’t going to be enough, however.
If they said they wouldn’t play, nobody would show up and TNT would air alternate programming. Their symbolic protest would be widely discussed, but it wouldn’t have the full impact they desired.
So, according to Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News, the players decided there was only one way to do it right.
The players would go through warm-ups and pre-game introductions as usual. Everything would seem normal until the referee tossed the ball in the air for the jump ball.
Instead of going up to contest the tip, all 15 players, five on the court and 10 from the bench, would simply turn and walk off the court.
It would have been glorious.
“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Warriors guard Steph Curry said. “We would deal with the consequences later but we were not going to play.”
Curry noted the plan was to approach the Clippers about joining in the walkout, but the plan never got that far.
Silver made his announcement of a lifetime ban for Sterling, which included a fine and a plan to ask the rest of the league’s owners to vote Sterling out.
That was enough to satisfy Curry and the rest of the Warriors, as well as deprive the world of one of the great protests of all time.
It wouldn’t have been completely unprecedented, however. The Bucks and 76ers showed about the same level of effort and interest in playing basketball games this year as the Warriors would have by walking off the court.