The league says that all three games – Milwaukee versus Orlando, Houston Rockets versus Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers versus Portland Trail Blazers – would not take place Wednesday.

Milwaukee Bucks signage. File photo August 26, 2020,
Milwaukee Bucks signage. File photo August 26, 2020, (Reuters Archive)

The NBA has postponed its schedule of playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their game against the Orlando Magic in protest at the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The league said in a statement that all three games – Milwaukee versus Orlando, Houston Rockets versus Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers versus Portland Trail Blazers – would not take place Wednesday.

"The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association 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 ... have been postponed," the statement said.

Each game will be rescheduled.

The Milwaukee Bucks' dramatic boycott follows outrage across the league after the latest police shooting of an unarmed black man by US police.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James – whose club was due to face the Portland Trail Blazers later on Wednesday – tweeted: "WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT."

The Bucks were due to take the court for game five of their Eastern Conference first-round series shortly after 2000GMT local time but did not appear.

Magic players appeared on court and were ready to play but returned to their locker room, reports said.

READ MORE: Jacob Blake left paralysed by police shooting, mother calls for calm

The no-show follows widespread anger throughout the NBA after the shooting of 29-year-old Blake.

Bystander video shows Blake getting shot seven times in his back point-blank by police in Kenosha as he attempted to get into a car, as his three children watched, after what various witnesses describe as his intervention in a domestic incident.

The incident sparked protests that left at least two people dead.

Three WNBA games also were called off inside the league's bubble in Bradenton, Florida.

'Horrifying, maddening' 

The most recent police shooting of an African American has sparked renewed outrage and protests in US cities and further fuelled the Black Lives Matter movement.

Earlier Wednesday, Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse said his players and counterparts from the Boston Celtics had discussed a possible boycott of their playoff game set for Thursday.

"Boycotting the game has come up to them to demand a little more attention," Nurse said. "It is ongoing discussions. I think it is one idea on the table. There are some other ideas on the table as well."

The NBA's coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando against the backdrop of protests following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd during his arrest by police in Minneapolis in May.

NBA teams have knelt in protest during the pre-match playing of the US national anthem while the words "Black Lives Matter" have been painted onto each court staging games in Florida.

Blake's shooting on Sunday has been greeted with disgust by players and coaches across the league.

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said the shooting was "horrifying".

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers contrasted the shooting with the fearful rhetoric at this week's Republican Party convention.

"All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear," Rivers said. "We're the ones getting killed. We're the ones getting shot. We're the ones that are denied to live in certain communities. We've been hung, we've been shot."

Three MLB games postponed 

Three Major League Baseball games were also postponed as players across the sports landscape reacted in the wake of the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake.

Games between the Cincinnati Reds and Brewers in Milwaukee, Seattle Mariners and Padres in San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giants in San Francisco were called off hours before they were set to begin.

Dodgers star Mookie Betts, who is Black, told his teammates he was sitting out and they backed him.

“For me, I think no matter what, I wasn’t going to play tonight," Betts said.

Other MLB games had finished, were in progress or just about to start as the announcements were made.

MLB players drove the decisions that resulted in the postponements.

Others, such as Colorado outfielder Matt Kemp, opted to sit out while their teams played.

At least five Major League Soccer were also postponed when the players boycotted in a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Naomi Osaka withdraws from WTA semi-final

Japan's Naomi Osaka withdrew from her WTA Western & Southern Open semi-final match on Thursday in New York to protest the police shooting.

Osaka, a two-time Grand Slam champion, was to have faced Belgian Elise Mertens in the same quarantine bubble where the US Open will be played starting Monday.

"Before I am an athlete, I am a black woman. And as a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis," Osaka posted in a statement on Twitter.

"I don't expect anything drastic to happen with me not playing, but if I can get a conversation started in a majority white sport I consider that a step in the right direction."

Violence during protests

A teenager was arrested on murder charges after two people were shot dead during anti-police protests in Kenosha, as President Donald Trump said he was sending in additional federal forces.

During protests on Tuesday two people were shot dead and a third injured after a man in civilian clothes with an assault rifle opened fire on demonstrators.

Blake case still unexplained

Kenosha city Police Chief Daniel Miskins confirmed that two area men, aged 26 and 36, had been killed by the shooter on Tuesday night and another, also 26, injured by gunfire.

But he declined to discuss the police shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, on Sunday which sparked the violence.

The details of the incident remain unexplained, while the police officers involved have been suspended.

Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr, accused police of "senseless attempted murder" as he remained paralysed from the waist down after several surgeries.

Miskins acknowledged anger over the lack of information on the incident, but said it was now in the hands of state investigators and he could not talk about it.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies