LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Game 5 of the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers was postponed today, along with the NBA's two other scheduled playoff games, due to a boycott initiated by players on the Milwaukee Bucks over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“The NBA and the NBPA today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today's three games -- MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled,'' the league tweeted at 2:10 p.m. Pacific Time.
The Lakers-Trail Blazers game had been scheduled for 6 p.m.
There was no immediate word on the timetable for the rescheduled games. The entire NBA postseason is being played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lakers lead the first-round best-of-seven series, 3-1.
The Bucks failed to take the court for their scheduled game against the Orlando Magic earlier Wednesday, telling league officials they were boycotting, and it soon became apparent the rest of the teams scheduled to play Wednesday would follow suit.
Blake was shot several times in the back Sunday 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.
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, who is also a part owner of the team, 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. #JusticeForJacobBlake #WeHearYou.''
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.
The Milwaukee Brewers have decided to join the boycott and will not take the field for their scheduled game Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds, according to multiple reports.
It was unclear whether the boycott would spread to other Major League Baseball games. The Dodgers were scheduled to play the San Francisco Giants at 6:45 p.m. in San Francisco.
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