The NBA has canceled all playoff games scheduled for Wednesday in response to a boycott of the Milwaukee Bucks. The title candidate did not take part in a duel against Orlando Magic in protest against police violence.
The Bucks reacted to the Jacob Blake case with the drastic step. The black man was shot from behind by a police officer last weekend. The 29-year-old is said to have hit seven bullets in the back. The crime took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin – Milwaukee is in the same state.
The game should have started on Wednesday evening at 10 p.m. German time, but the Bucks stayed in their cabin. A little later, the league canceled all other games scheduled for Wednesday. This means that the duels between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder with the German national player Dennis Schröder and between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers will not take place. They should be rescheduled according to the current status.
Bucks guard George Hill told the online platform “The Undefeated”: “We are tired of the killing and the injustice.”
The reactions from the league were not long in coming. “Respect, Bucks,” wrote DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs on Twitter. Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) and superstar LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) announced on the social network: “We demand change”. James added, “I’m sick of it.”
Further duels could be postponed
Nick Nurse, coach of Masters Toronto Raptors, had previously announced that his players would discuss with the Boston Celtics players not to compete in the quarter-finals on Thursday (local time).
Raptors Guard Fred VanVleet reported such discussions on Tuesday. “In a perfect world everyone would say: We don’t play – even the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, that would work,” said the professional.
The NBA is using the bubble at Disney World to fight police violence and injustice. The majority of the players wear corresponding messages on their shirts. But that is obviously not enough anymore. “I know it’s not that easy. But at the end of the day, when we’re sitting here talking about change, at some point we have to show eggs,” said VanVleet.