Bucks-Raptors preseason game canceled

The Milwaukee Bucks have a slick new floor to play on this

season.

Maybe a little too slick, it seems.

Officials called off Friday night’s preseason game between the

Bucks and Toronto Raptors because of concerns about the condition

of the floor.

Officials stopped the game with 5:58 left in the first quarter

after several players slipped and fell on the court surface.

After about 20 minutes’ worth of discussion, an announcement was

made over the arena public address system that the game would not

be played.

”It was really bad,” Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said. ”I

couldn’t cut to get open. It wasn’t the grip, it was just giving

way when you try to cut. I was really scared. Amir Johnson and I

fell on one play, and I tried to get up and I fell again.”

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said his players first expressed

concern about the floor conditions during pregame warmups.

”It felt like it was OK,” Casey said. ”Then I don’t know what

happened, but it was too dangerous. We had guys slipping and

falling. The last thing we need is to have a guy injured slipping

on the floor in a preseason game.”

NBA lead official Danny Crawford said he and the other officials

determined the floor was unplayable.

”We kept making eye contact out there and we saw the players

were having issues with traction,” Crawford said, in an interview

with a pool reporter.

”Then when we had a few guys go down, we figured we should have

a conference. And both teams wanted not to continue the game.”

Although the Bradley Center also hosts hockey games, Crawford

said that condensation wasn’t the issue – leading to questions

about the finish of the court surface itself.

The court issue comes at a sensitive time for the Bucks, who are

making a push for public support to build a new arena.

The cancellation announcement to fans was made by former Bucks

player John McGlocklin, one of the team’s announcers and co-founder

of a local charity, the MACC Fund.

Standing on the court, McGlocklin announced that anybody who had

tickets to Friday’s game could exchange them for tickets to a

regular-season home game in November.

He also invited fans to shoot baskets on the floor, and said

that the evening’s planned donation to the MACC Fund would be

unaffected by the cancellation – a sentiment that actually turned

boos into cheers for the team’s owner, former Sen. Herb Kohl, who

was in the stands and stood up during the announcement.

Bucks coach Larry Drew said he didn’t expect it to be an issue

going forward.

The Bucks open the season on the road, and host their first

regular-season home game Nov. 2 – also against the Raptors.

”I think it’s an isolated incident,” Drew said. ”Whatever the

issue was, I’m sure they’ll take care of it.”

The Bucks recently unveiled their new floor for the 2013-14

season, with a retro look meant to evoke the team’s former floor

designed by artist Robert Indiana in the late 1970s.

”We’ve got one of the best-looking floors in the NBA,” Bucks

guard O.J. Mayo said. ”Just tonight, it didn’t work out for us. I

think we’ll definitely get it under control.”

The Bucks had played on the floor already, for one practice –

the team typically practices at a separate facility south of

downtown – and a preseason game.

Mayo said there weren’t any issues in either of the team’s

previous outings on the floor.

”It felt great,” Mayo said. ”We were pretty stoked about how

the floor looked. It looks awesome.”

The Bucks were leading 14-9 when the game was stopped. It was

the final preseason game for both teams.

”I know that we’ve got some of the best guys in the world,

people in the world, to get it figured out and get it fixed,” Mayo

said. ”It’ll be ready for opening night.”