The Milwaukee Bucks’ refusal to take the court on Wednesday afternoon against the Orlando Magic for Game 5 of their first round series led to the Thunder, Rockets, Lakers, and Blazers to reach the same conclusion that games cannot be played right now following a police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, in Kenosha, Wisconsin that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
As word was emerging that the other four teams were planning to sit out as well, the NBA decided to postpone all three games officially, saying in a release that they would be rescheduled for a later date. Those plans are not officially made yet. It should be made clear that while the league postponed games, it was reactionary to a player movement that forced them to make this decision, as games weren’t going to be played no matter what the league’s plans were.
What comes next for the NBA Playoffs is unknown, as players reportedly will meet on Wednesday night to discuss the next steps they want to take in what has become a seemingly league-wide player strike. They may not be fighting for workers demands, but are withholding their work in an effort to pressure the league and Board of Governors to use and wield its influence at a state and national level to enact change. The Bucks were trying to contact the Wisconsin attorney general in the locker room as they sat out their game to demand justice for Blake, and on Tuesday, Norman Powell had noted that a player strike would provide pressure on owners to do more than just donate some money, but to use their immense influence to actually create some change and demand action.
The full demands of players of what they need to see from the NBA and ownership will likely be revealed after their meeting tonight, but make no mistake, players have taken a massive step here in pushing for actionable change.