LeBron James was a noticeable absentee when over 80 players jumped on a Zoom call on Friday evening to discuss concerns as it relates to the NBA’s plan to restart the 2019/20 season in Orlando next month.
LeBron has been the voice for athletes when it comes to speaking out against racism in America and has done profound work to help disadvantaged persons in communities all across the country. So his no-show on the chat hosted by former teammate Kyrie Irving came as a bit of a surprise.
It was previously reported that several NBA players were disappointed because they weren’t given a chance to vote on the restart so Irving – the NBPA’s Vice President, who helped form the pro-return vote last week but appears to have taken a u-turn – organized a call to get a better feel of where players stand on the issue. Only 20 percent of the league’s playing body turned out, which was also surprising in itself.
Photo: Jamie Valdez/ USA TODAY Sports ImagesLeBron James Thinks He Can Still Make A Difference While Playing
According to The Athletic, sources say LeBron’s absence was due to his belief that he could play basketball and still influence reform.
Sam Amick writes:
“Because sources say James, whose Lakers have as good a chance at the title as any of the 22 teams invited to Walt Disney World, believes playing in Orlando won’t deter his ability to continue inspiring change. He wants to keep making his mark off the court. He wants to play basketball. And as has always been the case, he clearly believes he can do both at the same time.”
Irving, meanwhile, was unequivocal in stating he sees the season being canceled at such a time would be of great value, despite the huge financial ramifications.
“I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform),” he said on Friday.