While LeBron James was one of the players who advocated most strongly for resuming play ever since the season was suspended on March 11th, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports that his peers began to see a shift in his position during Wednesday’s meeting about their strike. James was prepared to go with whatever the majority decided.
During the meeting, Udonis Haslem pressed James on what he planned to do with the reminder that he’s the face of the NBA and it goes as he goes.
James then said, “We’re out,” and walked out with almost all of his teammates following behind, sources said, with Dwight Howard the only member of the Los Angeles Lakers remaining. The Los Angeles Clippers walked out as well.
On Thursday morning when the players were scheduled to meet reconvene at 11:00 AM ET, sources say the Lakers arrived 45 minutes late. Members of the executive committee reached out to James and Lou Williams to see where their teams stood and they confirmed they were ready to continue.
But while James had told other players he was in, it would be dependent on how the players’ meeting went with owners. James, who was stern in calling on owners to do more in advocating for the Black community and to use their resources to combat systemic racism, was prepared to reverse course if the meeting didn’t go well.
Sources told Haynes that James felt comfortable with the promises made by NBA owners to work on real action items that would support the Black community.