Report: Lakers' LeBron James 'Turned Everybody Off' with Comments During Meeting

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 28, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James stands on the sidelines during the second quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

LeBron James is the most powerful voice in the NBA, but the Los Angeles Lakers star reportedly left his fellow players and team owners frustrated with his comments during recent meetings in the aftermath of the Milwaukee Bucks' decision to protest by not playing their scheduled playoff game on Wednesday. 

On ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith said James spoke "in a fashion that turned everybody off because they had already agreed to what they were going to do moving forward."

Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith

This is what I heard about LEBRON coming out of Thursday’s meeting. https://t.co/QeetPg1rtv

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, James was among the players "miffed with the Bucks' handling of the situation" on Wednesday because he felt all of them were put in a "no-win situation" by not having a plan of action and "if they're refusing to play, then what's the end game and what demands must be met to continue?"

Haynes noted James walked out of the meeting with most of his Lakers teammates after being "pressed" by former Miami Heat teammate Udonis Haslem about what he planned to do because "he's the face of the league and it goes as he goes."

On Thursday, Haynes noted that James had told players "he was in" to finish the postseason but that he was prepared to change his mind based on how talks with the owners went. 

Specifically, James "was stern in calling on owners to do more in aiding the Black community and to play more of a role in using their resources to combat systemic racism."

Haynes did state that James "always supported the Bucks" but wanted them to have a "specific call to action" if they were going to take a stand. 

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced Friday the playoffs will resume Saturday.

The agreement to restart also includes three leaguewide commitments:

  • establishment of a social justice coalition featuring players, coaches and team governors;
  • team governors in cities where the league controls arena property must continue work to establish those facilities as a voting location or election-related use for the 2020 election; and
  • creating advertising spots with broadcast partners that promote engagement in voting and voter access awareness.