The Milwaukee Bucks reportedly didn’t expect to spark a league-wide strike when they walked out of Game 5 of their series with the Orlando Magic.
As the Milwaukee Bucks get ready to potentially close out their series with the Orlando Magic Saturday afternoon, we all know they made a larger statement that had nothing to do with their play on the court earlier in the week.
The Bucks’ decision to walk out of Game 5 of their first round series with the Orlando Magic has reverberated across the country and beyond the realm of sports in ways that are only starting to take hold in the world at large.
In the NBA itself, it sparked a league-wide strike that has since been resolved and the resumption of the season will continue down in Orlando as planned after the coronavirus pandemic first halted the 2019-20 campaign.
Reportedly, that might have gone further than Milwaukee’s initial plans.
According to a recent report by Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, the Bucks only expected to forfeit Game 5 of their series with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday afternoon before things accelerated into a full-on strike:
“The Bucks, who are up 3-1 in the series, intended to force a forfeit and were willing to take the loss and forgo the opportunity to close out the series, but the organization did not anticipate being the catalyst for temporarily shutting down the league, sources said.”
That certainly speaks to the spontaneous nature of how the Bucks’ protest came together before Game 5 was supposed to tip off that afternoon, something that Bucks legend and Fox Sports Wisconsin analyst Marques Johnson spoke to in an interview with Dunk Bait Friday afternoon:
“Well, here’s the deal. The Bucks didn’t know what they were going to do. This was a spontaneous event. Yesterday, George Hill was the only player that said he was not going to participate (in Game 5), and George has been consistent for months about this whole thing. ‘Why are we coming down to this damn place? We’re losing the whole focal point on social injustice.’ So this wasn’t something that was premeditated by the Bucks. 30 minutes before game time, I have this from a reliable source, 30 minutes from tip-off was when this decision as a team was made.”
That all corroborates with the many reports we’ve seen from inside the Bucks’ protests and some of the fires that had to be put out among the players from competing teams down in the bubble who reportedly objected to the in-house nature of their walkout.
Obviously in the time since, cooler heads have prevailed and there’s no question that the Bucks pushing the envelope in the manner that they did has reignited the conversation around racial injustice and police brutality in light of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha last weekend.
Given the events of the last 72 hours, the Bucks’ historic protest has already reached the levels of power who hold the biggest influence both in the state and in the country. Some may continue to question their methods, including those playing in the NBA, but the results we’re already seeing have made it an undeniable success both in the immediate and in the long-term future.