The NBA playoffs came to a screeching halt on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks did not take the floor for their game five matchup against the Orlando Magic. The ripple effect took over the next hour of the day as the remaining two playoff games were postponed as players and coaches organized to discuss social injustice following the shooting of James Blake.
Players met on Wednesday night as they discussed the implications of resuming the season while both the Clippers and Lakers voted against resuming play, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The WNBA, MLB and MLS came to a stop on Wednesday evening as players in all three sports boycotted their games. As the NBA referees continued the conversation with their own protest on Wednesday morning, Rockets assistant John Lucas delivered a powerful message to players that same morning.
“Today was historic, don’t F it up,” Lucas told players on Wednesday per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey.
“This was a historical moment for them," Lucas told Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston. "They would have to do the things that they needed to do to get the changes they wanted. What the players want I want for them as being a former player and a retired player and someone that’s with them daily. I want what they want. They want social justice and they want to be able to make a difference in Black Lives as well as all lives that matter, to end police brutality.”
The former number one draft selection in the 1976 NBA Draft now serves as an assistant for the Houston Rockets as he closes in on his fourth season with the team. Lucas coached with the 76ers, Cavaliers, Clippers and Spurs while also serving as an assistant for the Denver Nuggets from 1998 to 2001. Before his 14-year playing career, Lucas shined in College Park as the two-time consensus first-team All-American and 1976 ACC Athlete of the Year as he played alongside Len Elmore and Tom McMillen.