No games after Bucks boycott
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — All three NBA playoff games scheduled Wednesday were postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.
Games between the Bucks and Magic, Rockets and Thunder, and Lakers and Trail Blazers were called off. The NBA said they would be rescheduled but didn’t say when.
There are three more games scheduled Thursday. It was unclear if they would be affected. NBA players and coaches met for nearly three hours Wednesday night to determine next steps, including whether the season should continue. They reportedly did not come to a consensus after all the teams voted to continue except the Lakers and Clippers. The NBA’s board of governors have called a meeting on Thursday to discuss developments.
The flurry of activity began when the Bucks — the NBA’s team from Wisconsin, a state rocked in recent days by the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha — didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Magic. The teams were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 3 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.
Bucks guard Sterling Brown, who has a federal lawsuit pending against the city of Milwaukee alleging he was targeted because he was Black and that his civil rights were violated in January 2018 when officers used a stun gun on him after a parking violation, and teammate George Hill read a statement when the team emerged from its locker room nearly 3½ hours after its game was to begin.
Brown called the video of Blake being shot “horrendous.”
“There has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball,” Brown said.
“We fully support our players and the decision they made,” Bucks owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan said in a joint statement. “Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them. The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us.”