NBA Roundup: Boycott amid Jacob Blake killing; Bucks lead movement; Teams plan to abandon games, season

Published August 27, 2020, 6:25 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Bucks lead boycott movement
Milwaukee Bucks
Close up view of the scoreboard before the game against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic during Round One, Game Five of the NBA Playoffs on August 26, 2020 at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Florida. Joe Murphy / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

The NBA season stood still Wednesday as the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of their first round Eastern Conference playoff series over the police shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The boycott forced the league to scrap the Western Conference matchups between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers against the Portland Trail Blazers.

”Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors,” the Bucks players said in a statement explaining their boycott.

”Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”

Thursday’s games have been placed in jeopardy as a result of the move.

Players from the remaining teams in the playoffs will meet again and owners will also meet to discuss the boycott and their next steps.

LeBron James: We demand change, sick of it
LeBron James
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Ryan Stetz / NBAE via Getty Images / AFP)

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and the NBA Players Association backed the Bucks’ decision not to play.

”WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James said in a tweet.

”The players have, once again, made it clear – they will not be silent on this issue,” NBAPA Executive Director Michele Roberts said.

Celtics, Raptors plan to boycott 2nd round series
Toronto Raptors
Head coach Nick Nurse, left, of the Toronto Raptors and players kneel for the national anthem before action against the Brooklyn Nets in game four of the first round of the NBA playoffs at The Field House at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 23, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Kim Klement / Pool / Getty Images / AFP)

The Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors had discussed the idea of a boycott of their second round Eastern Conference series due to the Jacob Blake shooting.

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse said the option of a boycott to protest the incident was “on the table.”

“Boycotting the game has come up to them to demand a little more attention,” Nurse said. “It is ongoing discussions. I think it is one idea on the table. There are some other ideas on the table as well.”

Lakers, Clippers vote to abandon season
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, left, and players kneel during the national anthem before Game Three of the first round of the playoffs between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers at the AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 22, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Ashley Landis / Pool / Getty Images / AFP)

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers voted to abandon the NBA season in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Others teams voted to continue.

Their vote to end the season came at an emergency meeting of all the teams left in the NBA playoffs in Orlando.

Players support Bucks’ movement

Several NBA players aired their support for the Bucks.

Dwayne Wade (@DwyaneWade) said: Proud of our players! @Nba

Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell): WE DEMAND CHANGE! SALUTE @Bucks

Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung):  Proud to be apart of this League… even more today ! WE WANT CHANGE

Jeff Teague(@Teague0): S/o to bro @George_Hill3 and the @Bucks

Josh Hart(@joshhart): WE WANT CHANGE!!

DeMar DeRozan(@DeMar_DeRozan): This shit bigger than basketball! Whoever don’t understand that is part of the problem.

Ja Morant(@JaMorant): respect

Jordan Clarkson(@JordanClarksons): WE DEMAND CHANGE!

Kenny Smith walks off set in solidarity with Bucks

TNT analyst Kenny Smith walked off the set of “NBA on TNT” Wednesday in solidarity with the Bucks.

“I think the biggest thing now – as a Black man and a former player – I think it’s best for me to not be here tonight,” Smith said before leaving.

Colleagues Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal appeared stunned at Smith leaving. Programming resumed afterwards. (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)