- Jimmy Butler on why Miami Heat’s defense has been elite: ‘We got rid of Derrick Jones Jr.’
- Report: Kendrick Nunn partners with NBPA to help single fathers in Chicago
- Report: Victor Oladipo to seek specialist’s evaluation regarding timetable for knee injury
- Erik Spoelstra declines to answer whether Victor Oladipo will play for Miami Heat again this season
- Dewayne Dedmon offers fantastic response when asked what he’s willing to do for Miami Heat
- Report: Victor Oladipo increasingly unlikely to receive ‘anything near’ maximum deal this offseason
- Kendrick Nunn shows he’s been fully vaccinated and exclaims COVID-19 ‘can kiss my a–‘
- Gabrielle Union dedicates lengthy, heartfelt tribute to DMX
- Report: Victor Oladipo will not travel with Miami Heat on upcoming road trip
- Report: Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem dragged into $160,000 eviction lawsuit over Miami pizzeria
Report: Udonis Haslem Pressed LeBron James as ‘Face of the League’ to Make Decision
- Updated: August 28, 2020
On Wednesday, when members of the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted their postseason contest against the Orlando Magic, it looked like the 2020 NBA Playoffs were in serious jeopardy of being suspended.
“With emotions all over the place, Haslem pressed James and asked the star what he planned to do, reminding him that he’s the face of the league and it goes as he goes, sources said,” wrote Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
“James then said, ‘We’re out,’ and walked out with almost all of his teammates following behind, sources said, with Dwight Howard being the only [Los Angeles] Laker who remained.
“The [Los Angeles] Clippers walked out as well, joining the Lakers as the only two of the 13 teams still in the bubble to vote against completing the rest of the playoffs.”
The Bucks’ boycott occurred in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis. on Sunday.
According to reports, James was upset the Bucks made the decision to not play without having a cohesive plan on what would be required for players to return to the court.
Despite his initial reluctance to resume the playoffs, cooler heads seemed to prevail on Thursday morning, when a second meeting was held.
“James and [Lou] Williams informed the committee that their teams were in,” wrote Haynes. “Now with the go-ahead from all 13 teams, [Chris] Paul and Andre Iguodala — the first VP of the players’ union — announced to the players that they would continue with the playoffs.”
Apparently, one factor in James’ about-face was a request he made of team owners during an additional meeting on Thursday afternoon.
“On the call, 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, sources said,” wrote Haynes.
“James had already told players he was in, but depending on how the meeting went with owners, he would have reversed course if things went sideways, sources said.
“After the meeting, James felt comfortable with returning to the court, sources said. Owners promised that they would get to work on real action items that would benefit the Black community, sources said.”