Is LeBron James upset that he is not getting the opportunity to lead the NBA’s movement against racial injustice and police brutality? It is increasingly beginning to feel that way.
On Wednesday night, he stormed out of an all-hands meeting between players after being on the minority side of a vote to cancel the NBA season. Although his Los Angeles Lakers teammates and the Los Angeles Clippers appeared to be in his corner, the rest of the teams present did not.
Sources to @YahooSports: There was frustration with Milwaukee players for doing this without talking to others. LeBron James initially stated he would go with the consensus, then got angry and stormed out.
Everyone besides the two LA teams wanted the NBA Playoffs to proceed as planned. It is unclear whether it was because they felt as though their voice be louder if basketball was being played, due to the financial ramifications of cancelling the remainder of the season, or some combination of the two.
Sources: The Lakers and Clippers have voted to boycott the NBA season. Most other teams voted to continue. LeBron James has exited the meeting.
What is clear, however, is that James did not feel the need to stay in the meeting for its duration, and that his early departure led to the meeting ending before a resolution could be reached.
This was vaguely reminiscent of James’ refusal to partake in the NBA’s back of the jersey messaging program because, in his words, he was not consulted on it.
LeBron James said on a Zoom call that he won’t be putting any of the NBA’s approved messages on the back of his jersey in Orlando. He said he had a couple ideas in mind that he might have gone with, but wasn’t consulted.
Mind you, many players were not consulted on the messages that could be chosen to be placed on NBA jerseys but still rolled with it anyway. James did not.
It is starting to feel like James, the unquestionable face of the league over the course of his generation, is growing frustrated by the fact that he is not the one leading the NBA player movement as it tries to navigate this complicated terrain.
To be clear, James has done a lot for underprivileged people of all ages, races and religions. He has put his money where his mouth is on multiple occasions. He is also very vocal regarding various social issues, and his massive profile allows him to get a message to go viral faster than any other player in the NBA.
When James does not feel as though he is really at the forefront of a particular set of decisions, even if they mostly align with his own views and goals, he becomes very unenthusiastic.
An unnamed group of players were reportedly upset on Wednesday with the Bucks for unilaterally deciding to launch what is essentially a strike by NBA players. Is there any doubt that James was one of those players?
Regardless of who leads this particular moment among NBA players, James is and will continue to be the league’s public face until he retires.
His tweet regarding the Jacob Blake shooting has been retweeted and discussed more than any other player message on the subject. (Except maybe Aaron Rodgers.)
James doesn’t need to single-handedly be the person coming up with all the ideas and implementing them in order to make a difference.
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