Report: Other Teams Frustrated by Bucks Not Including Them in Decision to Strike

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

Members of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics kneel around a Black Lives Matter logo during the national anthem before the start of an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Other teams around the NBA were reportedly frustrated with the Milwaukee Bucks for not including them in the decision to sit out Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, "there was some frustration" expressed toward the Bucks during Wednesday's meeting of players after three playoff games were postponed because some felt Milwaukee was "blindsiding on walk-out plan."

Charania noted Bucks guard George Hill said he was the one who kick-started the discussion about potentially sitting out before his teammates joined him.

As for the actual meeting, Charania reported the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers were the only two teams that voted to sit out the rest of the season.

However, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted "the Clippers and Lakers voting on perhaps not continuing with the season was considered more of a polling, than a final vote, sources tell ESPN. The resumption of the playoffs remains still up in the air."

Despite the reported frustration from some players directed toward the Bucks, the team's decision not to play drew praise from many. Former President Barack Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders were among those who commended Milwaukee for its actions:

Barack Obama @BarackObama

I commend the players on the @Bucks for standing up for what they believe in, coaches like @DocRivers, and the @NBA and @WNBA for setting an example. It’s going to take all our institutions to stand up for our values. https://t.co/rUGETgAt7P

Bernie Sanders @BernieSanders

I strongly support the NBA, WNBA and MLB players who are striking for racial justice. Real change takes place when people come together and demand it. It is time for the police who shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back to be fired, arrested and prosecuted. Now.

So was Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, who said he supported Milwaukee's decision and believed the team did not have to explain itself, per Wojnarowski.

Following their decision not to play, players on the Bucks released a statement:

Milwaukee Bucks @Bucks

Full statement from the Milwaukee Bucks: https://t.co/jjGEyVcCmB

Hill and Sterling Brown read the following:

"The past four months have shed a light on the ongoing racial injustices facing our African American communities. Citizens around the country have used their voices and platforms to speak out against these wrongdoings. Over the last few days, in our home state of Wisconsin, we've seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha and the additional shooting of protesters. Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.

"When we take the court and represent Milwaukee and Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort and hold each other accountable. We hold each other to that standard, and in this moment, we are demanding the same from lawmakers and law enforcement. We are calling for justice for Jacob Blake and demand the officers to be held accountable. For this to occur, it is imperative for the Wisconsin state legislature to reconvene after months of inaction and take up meaningful measures to address issues of police accountability, brutality and criminal justice reform. We encourage all citizens to educate themselves, take peaceful and responsible action and remember to vote on Nov. 3."

Plenty of uncertainty about the immediate future of the NBA season remains, and Wojnarowski reported Thursday's three playoff games are "unlikely" to be played.

"Everyone is still too emotional," a source told Wojnarowski. "There needs to be more time to come together on this."