The Milwaukee Bucks turned heads on Wednesday by boycotting a playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The team remained in the locker room in protest of the shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake by police officers in Wisconsin. This decision created a turning point in the NBA season, and now all of the scheduled playoff games will not take place on Wednesday.
According to Coy Wire of CNN, the league is postponing the scheduled matchups. This change includes the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder game, as well as the battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. Players on the Thunder and Rockets had previously decided that they would not take part in Game 5 of their series, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. Now the rest of the players will join them.
"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," NBA and NBPA said in a joint statement. "Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled."
The Trail Blazers and Lakers also decided to sit out Wednesday's playoff game. LeBron James confirmed this when he tweeted a strongly-worded message. "F— THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT," he wrote.
Prior to the league's decision, reports surfaced that multiple teams were considering boycotts due to the shooting of Blake in Wisconsin. A video surfaced on Sunday that showed police officers shooting him numerous times in the back as he attempted to enter his SUV. The footage prompted discourse on social media, as well as comments from NBA players about how they don't care about the playoffs right now.
The Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics were at the forefront of this discussion, especially after comments from Fred VanVleet and Marcus Smart. The Boston player in Smart said that boycotting games might be the only option at this point. He explained that the players had tried peacefully kneeling, they had tried protesting and they had tried to get a message across with their shirts and jerseys during the NBA restart.
James said that the players demand change, and the Bucks proved the statement to be true. According to Charania, the players remained in the locker room as they tried to contact Josh Kaul, the attorney general of Wisconsin. Additionally, the Boston Celtics posted a photo on Twitter that listed phone numbers of Wisconsin's Department of Justice, Kenosha's mayor and the district attorney.