NBA postpones Wednesday games after Bucks’ boycott

The NBA postponed Wednesday’s slate of playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game against the Orlando Magic to protest a police shooting over the weekend in Wisconsin.

“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Bucks guard George Hill told The Undefeated of Milwaukee’s decision not to play.

The Bucks and Magic were scheduled to tip off shortly after 4 p.m. ET but the Bucks did not take the court. After their boycott became official, the four other teams set to play in Game 5s on Wednesday weighed the possibility of a boycott before the NBA postponed the games.

“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games — Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers — have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.”

Are the NBA Playoffs in danger?

The Athletic reported that NBA players scheduled a meeting for Wednesday night to determine their next steps, while NBA TV reported that some players are contemplating leaving the NBA bubble near Orlando.

NBA, empty court,
Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks refused to take the floor before warmups and remained in the locker room as the time for tipoff came and went. The game was scheduled for 4 p.m. ET.

While the Magic players were on the floor, ready to begin the next game of the Eastern Conference first-round series, NBA officials gathered at the Milwaukee locker room.

ESPN reported that NBA officials were there to inform the Bucks of the ramifications of not playing the game. And in the locker room, the Bucks were trying to reach the Wisconsin attorney general, Josh Kaul, by phone, The Athletic said.

“Some things are bigger than basketball,” said Alex Lasry, the Bucks senior vice president, tweeted. “The stand taken today by the players and org shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”

The boycott is the Bucks’ response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot in the back by police officers Sunday in Kenosha, Wis. Video shows Blake, trying to get into his automobile, with an officer pulling Blake’s white T-shirt, then firing several shots at close range into his back.

Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, told ABC News that he was told his son is paralyzed from the waist down.

Sports world reacts

Athletes in other sports praised the boycott.

“Respect to the guys in the Bucks locker room,” tweeted twins Devin and Jason McCourty of the New England Patriots. “Taking a stand for what they believe in and for justice!”

“I think it’s an enormous stand,” Milwaukee Brewers reliever said, per Fox Sports Wisconsin. “It’s more than sports. … This is a time where we need to, really, not stay quiet and show and empower our voices.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)