The NBA postponed all three of its playoff games scheduled for Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks did not leave their locker room for Game 5 of their series with the Orlando Magic. The Bucks’ protest comes in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake last weekend in Kenosha, Wis.
The Bucks and Magic were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., local time, with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.
The NBA and the NBPA 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 – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.
Players had been discussing boycotting games after Blake, a Black man, was shot by police in Kenosha, some 50 kilometres south of the Bucks’ hometown.
“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice-president Alex Lasry tweeted Wednesday. “The stand taken today by the players and [the organization] shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100 per cent behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”
WATCH | Milwaukee Bucks boycott Game 5:
“We’re tired of the killings and the injustice,” Bucks guard George Hill told the website The Undefeated of the team’s decision not to play.
The league has not said if the game is called off, or if the Bucks would forfeit.
Magic players and referees were on the floor for the game but Milwaukee never came out. Eventually everyone else left and the arena staff soon took the balls, towels and tags that go on player chairs back inside.
The Magic-Bucks contest would have been the first of three scheduled games on Wednesday, to be followed by the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Portland Trail Blazers against the Los Angles Lakers.
The Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics also have discussed boycotting games in their playoff series, which is scheduled to start on Thursday.
WATCH | Bucks, Magic players exit arena following Milwaukee’s Game 5 boycott: