The Bucks-Magic game that didn't happen.

The NBA playoffs took a remarkable turn Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t come out for Game 5 of their series against the Orlando Magic. The Bucks didn’t come out for warmups as scheduled, and both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic/Stadium’s Shams Charania reported shortly after that the team was considering not playing. The Magic then left the court themselves, and both Charania and Wojnarowski then reported that the Bucks were in fact going to sit out this game in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha,Wisconsin. Here’s how the actual announcement of this looked on NBA TV, which was set to carry the game, with Bob Fitzgerald, Jim Jackson, and Rebecca Haarlow (sidelines) on the broadcast and Chris Miles in the studio:

Fitzgerald: “Chris, as is being reported, and I think you will know, I don’t think we’re going to have a Game 5 here. Many more significant and serious discussions, but the NBA fully aware of what’s going on in the real world. And we normally enjoy sports as the toy department of life, but I mean, this is too important as to what’s going on in the United States.”

Miles: “Yes. When we look at the process of what needs to take place for the game to be cancelled, the players say they are going to boycott, but we have to hear word from the NBA deputy commissioner to get official word of the game to be cancelled or postponed.”

Charania then reported that the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder planned to also not play their game, and Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers were “leaning towards” not playing their game. Charania then added that the Lakers and Trail Blazers went to a full decision not to play, and that the NBA had officially postponed all of its Wednesday games. The NBA also released this statement:

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association 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 – Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers – have been postponed.  Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled. 

As for the Bucks themselves, Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune had a tweet on some of their players’ personal connections to police violence:

And Alex Lasry, a senior vice president with the Bucks, tweeted in support of the players:

Update: The Bucks later put out this statement:

Meanwhile, on the media side, Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson appeared on corporate sibling CNN to discuss the NBA news with Wolf Blitzer. Here’s a key part of that segment, with Johnson talking about how the Blake shooting’s proximity to Milwaukee made it particularly hit home for many of the Bucks:

There’s definitely a lot more to come here, and it may not be just about Wednesday’s games. ESPN’s Marc J. Spears reported earlier Wednesday that the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have had discussions about boycotting Game 1 of their series tomorrow, and Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix tweeted that the discussion may go well beyond a day or two:

We’ll see where it goes from here.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.