Bucks boycott Game 5 of NBA Playoffs against Orlando Magic

Giannis Antetokoumpo
Giannis Antetokoumpo

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — NBA players made their strongest statement yet against racial injustice when the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t take the floor for their scheduled playoff game against the Orlando Magic.

The first round match-up between the two teams was supposed to begin at 3 p.m. CST in Florida, with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.

Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

More discussions were expected Wednesday, but even before that the Bucks apparently decided they would act. Magic players and referees were on the floor for the game but Milwaukee never took the floor.

Following the players’ decision, the Bucks’ owners Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan released a statement in support of the decision.

“We fully support our players and the decision they made. Although we did not know beforehand, we would have wholeheartedly agreed with them,” the statement reads. “The only way to bring about change is to shine a light on the racial injustices that are happening in front of us. Our players have done that and we will continue to stand alongside them and demand accountability and change.”

Sources say Bucks players are still in the locker room and are trying to reach Attorney General Josh Kaul, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The Magic have reportedly not accepted the Bucks’ forfeit.

Games between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder as well as the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers have also been called off. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when.

Milwaukee is up 3-1 against Orlando in the best-of-seven series, with Game 6 scheduled for Friday.