NBA postpones Wednesday’s playoff games after player boycott

By Matt Johnson
Aug 26, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Referees stand on an empty court before the start of a scheduled game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic for Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 26, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA is suspending all three of Wednesday’s playoff games, following a league-wide boycott by players that was sparked by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Moments before the Bucks were scheduled to take the court for Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks, they remained in the locker room. A few minutes later, word broke that they were boycotting Wednesday’s game following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers in Wisconsin.

Following speculation earlier in the day that players may boycott, the NBA took action with other teams expected to follow.

NBA playoff games postponed after player boycott

With the Bucks-Magic game off the schedule, the next game on the schedule for Wednesday night was Game 5 between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. As it became clear that the boycott was league-wide, the NBA responded with a statement.

In a historic moment, the NBA is postponing all three of its playoff games due to players refusing to take the court. At a time when many of its biggest stars are outraged with their demands for social justice growing louder, the Association once again sided with its players.

While ordinarily a team who refuses to take the court would be given a loss as a forfeit, this is unprecedented territory. The Magic refused to accept a forfeit for Game 5, despite being down 3-1 in the series, which likely influenced the NBA postponing all three games.

Currently, the NBA is scheduled to have three playoff games on the schedule tomorrow. The Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets were set to face off for Game 6 at 4 p.m. EST, while the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors would have begun Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The night would have concluded with Game 6 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks.

However, based off the actions from players today, it seems unlikely there will be any playoff action on Thursday. If all three games are postponed, the NBA will likely wait for the players to decide the next step before making another announcement.