Pascal Siakam Questions NBA Bubble Amid Protests: 'It Feels Like We're Stuck'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) moves the ball against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kim Klement/Pool Photo via AP)
Kim Klement/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam said Wednesday he's questioning the decision to resume the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando, Florida, after the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Wisconsin on Sunday.

Siakam told reporters: "It feels like we're stuck. It feels like things are not changing. It feels like we're not doing anything productive."

Asked if he regrets coming to the NBA bubble, Siakam said: "Definitely things like that happening makes me question it. ... It makes me question if this was the right decision, or are we really making a change, are we really doing something meaningful?"

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported earlier Wednesday that players are engaged in discussions with the National Basketball Players Association executive committee about the logistics of potentially boycotting games.

Sources told Haynes there's a "sizable faction of players who are psychologically distraught" after watching the video of the shooting of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He remains hospitalized.

Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill made similar comments to Siakam on Monday.

"We can't do anything [from Orlando]," Hill said Monday. "First of all, we shouldn't have even came to this damn place, to be honest. I think coming here just took all the focal points off what the issues are."

Patrick Salvi Jr., an attorney for Blake's family, told CNN there wasn't a gun in the vehicle Blake was walking toward in the video, but his three young children (ages three, five and eight) were inside.

"In the vehicle, he did not have a weapon," Salvi said Wednesday. "I can't speak directly to what he owned, but what I can say is his three children were in the car, and that was in the front of his mind. That is the most important thing to him in his life: his family and his children."

Protests broke out in Wisconsin and have started to spread around the country after previous unrest following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes made pointed remarks about the shooting.

"Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times in front of his children. And let me be clear, this was not an accident. This was not bad police work. This felt like some sort of vendetta being taken out on a member of our community," Barnes said.

The 2020 NBA playoffs are scheduled to continue with three games Wednesday at the Disney World complex, including Game 5 between Hill's Bucks and the Orlando Magic.