Kenny Smith is standing with NBA players in their protest against racial injustice and police brutality.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced the postponement of three playoff games scheduled to be played Wednesday shortly after the Bucks decided to boycott Game 5 of their first-round series with the Magic in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wis.
At the start of Wednesday night’s “NBA on TNT” show, Smith told Ernie Johnson that he would be leaving the studio in a show of support for the players. He made a short statement, then removed his microphone and walked off the set.
“Even driving here, getting into the studio, hearing calls and people talking — and for me, I think the biggest thing now is to, as a Black man, as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and just not be here tonight,” Smith said.
Wednesday’s game between the Bucks and Magic was set to begin at 4 p.m. ET, but Milwaukee players never emerged from the locker room for pregame warmups. Orlando players took the floor at the usual time for warmups, but they returned to their locker room once it became clear that the Bucks did not intend to play.
The Thunder-Rockets (original tipoff time of 6:30 p.m. ET) and Trail Blazers-Lakers (9 p.m. ET) games were later officially postponed. The NBA said in a statement that each game will be rescheduled.
NBA players will hold a meeting Wednesday night to discuss their next steps following the boycott, per multiple reports.
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