What a wild day it has been. To briefly summarize, the Milwaukee Bucks decided today to make a statement about the ongoing states of systemic racism and police brutality in the United States of America. It was supposed to be Game 5 of their first round series against the Orlando Magic; instead, the Bucks kicked off one of the most significant boycotts in modern memory. If you ask us, it was a statement worth making.
From the @NBA : 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. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled— Zora Stephenson (@ZoraStephenson) August 26, 2020
This was not an off-the-cuff decision. Reportedly, the Bucks were not even the first ones to have this conversation; the Toronto Raptors had started discussions about sitting out. The Bucks did, however, lead the way in actually executing on the decision they believed in. (Reportedly, George Hill was the first player to bring the idea to fruition, though everyone else on the Bucks was in agreement.) The team backed up Hill and Sterling Brown as they delivered a statement to media assembled in the Orlando bubble.
Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: pic.twitter.com/jjGEyVcCmB— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) August 26, 2020
As time went by and evening came on, the players present in Orlando held a meeting. Most details of the conversation, as of yet, are not widely known, but the general question that needed answering was “now what?” The league had (smartly) stepped aside and allowed the players the leeway they needed to determine the next steps, and the discussion centered around what could be done with this newfound leverage. Then, the question was apparently raised: should we keep playing? And the answer, from the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, and LeBron James specifically, is “maybe not.”
Sources: The Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the NBA season. Most other teams voted to continue. LeBron James has exited the meeting.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2020
Sources: Miami's Udonis Haslem spoke and essentially told everyone in room that -- without Lakers and Clippers, how will season continue?— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2020
LeBron James walked out. Rest of Lakers and Clippers exited behind him.
Sources: Every team besides Lakers and Clippers voted to continue playing. LeBron James said in meeting he want owners to be more involved/take action.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2020
This story is developing, and new details are being reported, seemingly by the minute. But what we do know is this: the next major event that we know about is a special Board of Governor’s meeting, where the player’s union will be involved, scheduled for 11:00 am Eastern on Thursday morning. This meeting will, presumably, cover much of the same ground as the player’s meeting on Wednesday night, but will focus on what action the league’s owners will commit to, and whether or not it is enough to resume the NBA Playoffs.
The Milwaukee Bucks came to Orlando in search of a championship, but what they’ve found is an opportunity to shift the course of history, and create positive change. I am proud of them, we stand by them, and we will support their efforts to achieve justice.