Bucks expected Game 5 strike to count as a loss
The Milwaukee Bucks initiated the boycott that made basketball fans all over the world hold their breath. This happened just before Game 5 of their series with the Orlando Magic was scheduled to start on Wednesday.
The team was about to step on the hardwood floor for lay-up lines. Some Bucks players even got the chance to do their usual shootaround on the court within the 45- to 90-minute period before tip-off.
However, the Bucks did not initially assume this gesture could actually lead to the outright cancellation of the playoffs and undercut the NBA’s effort to create the bubble which has lasted four weeks.
ESPN reporter Malika Andrews said:
“My understanding is they (the Bucks) didn’t go into this thinking we want to be the thread that pulls on the season. They went into this thinking we want to play basketball but we also want to effect change here.”
This was later clarified by Adrian Wojnarowski:
“The Bucks are not one of the teams grappling with the question of whether they want to continue to play. The Bucks want to play. I think their thought was this would be a one-game protest. They would be up 3-2 in the series. I don’t think they were going to give the Magic another game and force a Game 7. I think they’d give them a game and it would be 3-2, which didn’t happen anyway. But what the result was a domino effect, now that put other teams in position to make the same decision. They did. They didn’t play.”
All in all, the Bucks instigated a series of events wherein their choice to boycott a game also made other teams follow suit. Nevertheless, while the team had intentions of sitting out merely only one game, the situation quickly escalated as the entire playoffs were placed under a cloud of uncertainty.