On Wednesday, the Internet lit up with reports that LeBron James would lead a Miami Heat boycott next season if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. But the NBA champ says not so fast.
Roger Mason Jr., the NBA Players Association Vice President, stated on Showtime Sports he’d talked with James, who reportedly said he'd boycott next season “if Sterling is still an owner.” After the story quickly made its rounds on the ‘net, Mason backtracked on Twitter.
“Jim asked me about guys playing next season if Sterling remained an owner. I mentioned I spoke to LBJ as I speak to many players,” Mason tweeted. “My bad if I was not clear. LBJ never said anything about boycotting. He's a friend and I would never want to imply something he didn't say.”
All the players agree there is no room for racism in their league, but teams aren't exactly ready to boycott considering everyone's focusing on the playoffs.
“We see what [NBA Commissioner] Adam Silver is doing, and he’s moving forward,” James said. “If he continues, which we believe Adam Silver will do, continue to move aggressively on the situation, then we have nothing to worry about.”
James isn’t completely ruling out a boycott, but it’s not something he’s given much thought. He’s focusing on winning the championship.
“There is a more in-depth, longer conversation that needs to be discussed,” he said. “I can’t just sit here and answer for all 15 guys [on the Heat]. ‘Hey we’re going to sit out the season and you guys are going to be okay with it.’”
The Miami Heat star continued on, stating he doesn’t have all the information yet but the league is going in the right direction.
“I believe in Adam Silver and I believe in our league and the direction they’re going I don’t need to worry about anything else and boycotting and things of that nature.”
As far as if James was a little annoyed with Mason jumping the gun, the athlete said, “Roger’s a great guy, and I don’t have a problem with it at all.”
It’s unfortunate Sterling’s racism has nearly overshadowed such a phenomenal NBA playoffs. It's also disheartening the shift has turned to what the players should do about the racism they were affected by.
No wonder so many of them want to just focus on basketball. Sterling is getting way too much shine.
(Photo: Rick Davis / Splash News)