Kenny "The Jet" Smith walked off the set of Inside the NBA Wednesday to show solidarity with the players who decided to boycott tonight's slate of games in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
"I think the biggest thing now, as a Black man, as a former player, I think it’s best for me to support the players and not be here tonight," Smith explained.
Smith's gesture comes hours after the Milwaukee Bucks chose to stay in the locker room ahead of their Game 5 contest against the Orlando Magic. The incident involving Blake is especially significant for the Bucks because these tragic events unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The Bucks turned their boycott into meaningful actions, speaking with the state's Attorney General Josh Kaul and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes on a conference call. Soon after, the remaining four teams scheduled to play tonight followed the Bucks’ lead and issued their own boycott.
The NBA and NBPA announced in a joint statement that all of Wednesday's games had been postponed, and would be rescheduled. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, a players meeting will be held tonight to figure out if and how they want to progress with the remainder of the NBA restart in Orlando.
The need to fill airtime that would’ve been occupied by NBA action has given analysts, like Chris Webber, the opportunity to speak on a subject that either doesn’t get fully broached or becomes overshadowed by what is happening on the court.