After a three-day break, the 2020 NBA playoffs resumed on Saturday afternoon, with Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic. Prior to the game, the players took a knee during the national anthem, as has become custom during the restart, but George Hill was not among them.
The veteran guard decided to stay off the court during the anthem, standing alone in the hallway. When it was over, he rejoined his team on the court.
Following the game, as you would expect, Hill faced questions on why he was not out on the floor with the rest of his teammates for the anthem and the Bucks guard provided as honest of an answer as anyone could have asked for. Hill went on to reveal how one of his pregame rituals is to use the bathroom before every game and, this time around, the cameras just happened to catch him coming back to the court.
Hill was one of the leaders of the Bucks’ protest on Wednesday when they refused to take the floor for the originally scheduled Game 5 against the Magic in the wake of Kenosha, Wisconsin police shooting a Black man named Jacob Blake. Their intention was to force a forfeit and continue the series as scheduled, but their action spurred an impromptu strike across the league.
All games were postponed Wednesday, and there was a brief period late that night and early into Thursday morning where it was unclear if the season would continue. Eventually, the players came to an agreement to finish the playoffs, with games resuming on Saturday, and teams agreeing to implement a number of social justice initiatives, including using arenas as voting sites.
Though Hill is finishing the season with his teammates, he made his feelings about the bubble known earlier this week. Prior to the Bucks’ action, Hill told reporters that “we shouldn’t have even came to this damn place, to be honest.”