Blazers vs. Lakers Game 5 Postponed Following Bucks' Strike

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the basket past Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Thursday, March 15, 2018. The Blazers won 113-105. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

Wednesday night's Game 5 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers has officially been postponed.

After the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday afternoon, the NBA announced all three games on the schedule would be postponed:

Bill Reiter @sportsreiter

From the NBA: All three Game 5s will be rescheduled https://t.co/AMsw6JZSgF

This comes after the two teams were reportedly "leaning toward" striking for Game 5, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The Lakers were reportedly holding a team meeting to discuss plans for the upcoming game, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Milwaukee refused to play Wednesday's game against Orlando in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday, per Wojnarowski

Lakers star LeBron James provided a powerful reaction after the Bucks made the first move to refuse to play their game.

"F--K THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT," he wrote on Twitter.

Many NBA players were part of the protests against police violence and systemic racism over the past few months following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in Minneapolis police custody in May. A call led by Kyrie Irving asked players to sit out the NBA restart in order to help keep up momentum for the movement against racial injustice, via Charania

This call included Lakers players Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley, the latter of whom decided to opt out of the restart.

The shooting in Wisconsin has restarted concerns about games being a distraction from the important issues.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers provided a powerful statement after his team's game Tuesday.

"It's amazing why we keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back," Rivers said. "It's really so sad. Like, I should just be a coach. I'm so often reminded of my color. It's just really sad. We got to do better. But we got to demand better."

Players from all six teams scheduled to play Wednesday have now decided not to play in order to keep focus on the movement and protests.