After years of NBA players being so obsessed with unity that they diluted their message, the Bucks just went for it. Milwaukee players boycotted their playoff game against the Magic yesterday in order to advocate for justice for Jacob Blake.
But the Bucks ruffled feathers by not notifying other teams of their bold move. That left everyone scrambling.
The Rockets, Thunder, Lakers and Trail Blazers followed suit with plans to boycott. (The NBA preemptively postponed those games before they were scheduled to begin.) Players are still trying to figure out how to proceed.
Sam Amick of The Athletic:
Sources also say that Kyle Korver apologized for the way the Bucks made the decision not to play without alerting other teams. This element has clearly frustrated teams around the league, and Korver made the choice to address it.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Sources: As some in tonight’s meeting wanted to hear Bucks’ explanation for making an abrupt decision independent of rest of teams to boycott game, Boston’s Jaylen Brown essentially said that the Bucks didn’t need to explain themselves and he fully supported what they did today.
If Kyle Korver wants to apologize, that’s fine. Other teams were already considering boycotting. I don’t blame them for feeling blindsided.
Deliberately or not, the Bucks pressured the teams playing next. Nobody wanted to cross the metaphorical picket line.
The result? Milwaukee is getting even more attention on its message. Now, this isn’t just a small-market No. 1 seed up 3-1 in its first-round series boycotting a weekday afternoon game on NBA TV. The whole league is effectively shutdown.
Further deliberation among multiple teams could’ve easily sidetracked the plan. Not everyone is as revolutionary as Jaylen Brown. But once the Bucks got the ball rolling, it was easier for other teams to fall in line.
This is a case where it was probably better to seek forgiveness than permission.