Toronto Raptors game postponed, but NBA will resume playoffs

Two days after Raptors guard Fred VanVleet wondered aloud whether a historic NBA boycott might be the only way to get action, Toronto’s playoff game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night has been postponed.

But the NBA, reeling after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 of their opening-round series against Orlando on Wednesday, hopes to resume its post-season Friday or Saturday.

“NBA playoff games for (Thursday) will not be played as scheduled. We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday,” NBA executive vice-president Mike Bass said in a statement issued Thursday.

The NBA says it will hold a video conference call later Thursday with a group of players, governors for the 13 teams left in the playoffs, along with representatives from the National Basketball Players Association and the league office and NBA labour relations committee chairman Michael Jordan to discuss next steps.

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The Bucks sparked a watershed sports moment in sports when they refused to play. That led to the postponement of all games Wednesday and Thursday, plus the postponement or cancellation of games in Major League Basement, Major League Soccer, the WNBA, and even tennis. 

The Raptors were among the first players to speak about boycotting. The defending NBA champions had just come off a 4-0 opening-round sweep of Brooklyn, but were in no mood for celebrating.

“What are we willing to give up?” VanVleet said in an emotional Zoom availability with the media on Tuesday. “Do we actually give a (expletive) about what’s going on? Or is it just cool to wear ‘BLM’ on the backdrop or wear a T-shirt? What does that really mean? Is it really doing anything?”

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