No games af­ter Bucks boy­cott

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS -

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.”

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