Second day of NBA playoff games canceled in protest

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Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — The NBA playoff game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks Aug. 27 was among three more NBA playoff games canceled for the day as a player boycott continued over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

As of noon Aug. 27, it was still unclear if and when the playoffs might resume.

“NBA playoff games for today will not be played as scheduled,” the NBA announced in a statement following a late morning Board of Governors meeting. “We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday. There is a video conference call meeting scheduled later this afternoon between a group of NBA players and team governors representing the 13 teams in Orlando, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association and the league office and NBA Labor Relations Committee Chairman Michael Jordan, to discuss next steps.”

Three playoff games, among them the Lakers’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers, were postponed Aug. 26 with players taking part in a boycott in response to the shooting that left Blake critically injured.

Multiple news organizations subsequently reported that the Lakers and Clippers had both decided as teams that they did not want to play any more games because they wanted to push for societal change.

But that stance appeared to have changed overnight. ESPN reported that players — including the Lakers and Clippers — had decided to continue with the playoffs, but a timetable wasn’t discussed.

The Clippers-Dallas game had been scheduled for 6 p.m.

There was no immediate response to an email sent to the spokeswoman for the National Basketball Players Association, the union representing the league’s players.

The boycott began when the Milwaukee Bucks declined to take the court for their scheduled game against the Orlando Magic Aug. 26, telling league officials they were boycotting, and it soon became apparent the rest of the teams scheduled to play that day would follow suit.

The NBA later announced the postponements of the day’s other two playoff games, including Game 5 of the first-round series between the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, which the Lakers lead 3-1.

Lakers star LeBron James expressed his feelings shortly after the postponement was announced with a stark, all-caps tweet, writing: “F— this man!!!! We demand change. Sick of it.”

Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss offered her support for the move.

“I was excited to see us play — and hopefully close out our series — tonight,” she tweeted. “But I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough.”

The Lakers later sent out a tweet with the words “Demand justice” and the phone numbers and email address for Kenosha’s mayor and Kenosha County’s district attorney, and the phone number for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers also joined the boycott and opted not to take the field for their scheduled game Aug. 26 against the Cincinnati Reds. By early evening, the Dodgers followed suit, with their game against the San Francisco Giants also canceled. Major League Baseball later announced the Dodgers and Giants would play a doubleheader Aug. 27 in San Francisco.

A short time later, Major League Soccer announced that its five remaining matches Aug. 26 were all being postponed. Those postponements included the Los Angeles Football Club’s match with Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy’s match with Seattle Sounders FC.

All three of the WNBA games Aug. 26 also were postponed, including a game between the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx.

Blake, 29, was shot several times in the back Aug. 23 as he tried to enter his vehicle after a confrontation with police. Authorities have not provided any information about what led to the shooting, which was captured on video.

Blake remains hospitalized with serious injuries and, according to some reports, is partially paralyzed.