Rockets, Thunder game postponed as players boycott Game 5 in protest of police brutality

Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP) (2020 Getty Images)

HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to boycott Game 5 of the NBA playoffs, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Houston and Oklahoma City were scheduled to play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic game.

The Bucks and Magic first opted to boycott the game after the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake, a Black man, was shot multiple times by Kenosha Police, and his family said Blake is paralyzed. They said it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.

The family’s attorney called for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and the others involved to lose their jobs.

Before the game, Rockets star Russell Westbrook met with ex-Rockets and NBA Players Association President Chris Paul of the OKC Thunder in the hallway.

After spending more than a month in the bubble calling for reform, multiple players have spoken publically about taking stronger action.

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“But it’s not working, so obviously something has to be done, and right now our focus really shouldn’t be on basketball,” Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. “I understand it’s the playoffs and everything like that but we still have a bigger issue, an underlying issue that’s going on and the things that we’ve tried haven’t been working.


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