LeBron reportedly storms out of 'dysfunctional' players meeting as tensions rise

Sam Amico

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."

Players are expected to meet again at 11 a.m. EST, Pompey reported -- the same time at which the NBA Board of Governors have scheduled their own special meeting, added Wojnarowski.

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.”

Multiple team owners showed support for the boycotts, with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss saying on Twitter that she stood by the players "today and always."

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.

Comments (23)
No. 1-9
Melku
Melku

Let them all go play at Biden’s house!! I didn’t furlough the NBA, I fired it!! See ya in the funny papers! Nike too!! Bye!

NDHoosier
NDHoosier

How about a statement from these "high profile" individuals to "OBEY POLICE ORDERS! Seems like a step in the right direction.

Fedup2020
Fedup2020

Boycott your way out of a lucrative job. People are fed up play don’t play and see who really cares!!!!!

dspaeth
dspaeth

You're irrelevant NBA. Take note sponsors.

Gregk1213
Gregk1213

Lebron has so much hate for Trump that he is ruining his life and others in the n ba what a loooossser

Purple84
Purple84

I WAS a Huge sports fan. Now the NBA, NFL, and MLB can KISS my ASS!!!

dbromon
dbromon

Just so you might listen for a minute and contemplate what they have to say, they are willing to risk the careers that they've worked their whole lives to become the best at (plus more money than most of us will make in a lifetime). Regardless of what you believe, what they are willing to risk should garner some bit of respect, if not a minute of your time to listen. At least stop your whining.

William Duke
William Duke

Not black I am old and white guy and a member of the human race. If my son was shot or strangled by a police officer. I wouldn’t have the composure and grace these black families have. If you can’t feel sadness for these grief stricken families. You are heartless b@55t@rds.

dan1964
dan1964

the nba and nfl are dead to me. i'm never watching again. tell the nba players they can boycott forever as far as i'm concerned.


NBA

FEATURED
COMMUNITY