Report: LeBron James Led Group of Players That Reached Out to Barack Obama for Advice on Wednesday

Robert Marvi
3 Min Read

When LeBron James and a group of other players met on Wednesday to discuss whether to continue the 2020 NBA Playoffs in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake, the four-time MVP sought the advice of a very special basketball fan.

“After walking out of Wednesday’s players meeting in support of sitting out NBA’s games, LeBron James led a small group of players who turned to perhaps America’s biggest basketball fan for advice,” wrote Shams Charania of The Atlantic.

“Former President Barack Obama spoke to James, National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul and a small group of players late Wednesday evening, advising them to play and utilize the opportunity to contextualize action they want in order to play, The Athletic has learned.

“James, Paul and others wanted to seek the guidance of the 44th President of the United States (2009-2017), and on the call broached forming a committee for player action that they want Obama involved in, sources told The Athletic.

“The call took place following a contentious players meeting on Wednesday night in which [Los Angeles] Lakers and [Los Angeles] Clippers players voted to boycott the remainder of the season. After lengthy dialogue into Thursday morning, both franchise’s players had agreed to pursue a restart to the postseason should the players union and NBA work toward increased social justice measures.”

It all started earlier Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic.

James was reportedly miffed that the Bucks had made the decision independently of other players and teams, and that there was no plan in place to address systemic racism.

This led the three-time NBA champ to favor canceling the rest of the postseason on Wednesday night.

The next day, however, with the help of the former president’s advice, James reversed his decision and other players followed suit.

Obama has always been well-known as a huge basketball fan. When he lived at the White House, he had a full-length basketball court installed on the premises, and he often played pick-up basketball during his free time.

James is perhaps the most politically active athlete of his time, and he’s well-known for his progressive views. He has been a vocal critic of current president Donald Trump, and he recently endorsed Democrat Joe Biden in this year’s upcoming presidential election.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.