LeBron reportedly storms out of 'dysfunctional' players meeting as tensions rise
A meeting of NBA players in Orlando on Wednesday became "dysfunctional" after the players asked coaches to leave, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and LeBron James stormed out in anger before it had ended, added Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
Players gathered inside a ballroom on the Disney campus after boycotting playoff games Wednesday. They reportedly held a vote to determine whether to continue the season, and while James and the Los Angeles Lakers voted to boycott the rest of the season, there remained no firm decision, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Los Angeles Clippers also voted to cancel the season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who also first reported the Lakers' vote. All other teams voted in favor of continuing to play.
Per Goodwill, the players haven't always seen eye-to-eye on since arriving on the Disney campus.
"A lot of tension between players," Goodwill reported. "It’s been building from inside the bubble."
The Milwaukee Bucks were the first to boycott a playoff game (against the Orlando Magic) on Wednesday, citing social justice and racial issues.
"There was frustration with Milwaukee players for doing this without talking to others," Goodwill reported.
Five other teams followed suit, and it is believed that Thursday's games will be postponed -- if not cancelled altogether -- as well.
"Everyone is still too emotional," Wojnarowski quoted a source as saying. "There needs to be more time to come together on this."
Wojnarowski added that at least one player, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, voiced support for the Bucks' sudden decision to boycott.
But overall, there was “no sense of accomplishment” after the meeting, ESPN's Dave McMenamin quoted a source as saying.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard and union president Chris Paul, Miami Heat forward and union VP Andre Iguodala, Bucks forward Kyle Korver and Clippers coach Doc Rivers were among those to speak at the meeting, according to Wojnarowski. James and Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are others said to have offered input.
James left the meeting after voting, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
"Among themes in meeting: NBPA explained financial implications of ending season, including possible lockout next year," Wojnarowski reported. "Chris Paul on leaving meeting unified; CJ McCollum on needing a plan of action. Doc Rivers on using platform, voting, holding police accountable."
Bucks players also called for the Wisconsin State Legislature to reconvene and address “issues of police accountability, brutality, and criminal justice reform.”
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix reported that the defending Toronto Raptors may leave the Disney campus altogether. The Raptors are scheduled to face the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with Game 1 slated for Thursday.
While owners, coaches and even referees showed support for the players, "expect there to be reminders to union officials in the coming hours: If the season is stopped short, there will be significant financial ramifications," Mannix wrote.