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Obama encouraged James, Paul and others to resume playoffs

Former President Barack Obama advised Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul to keep the season alive following Wednesday's boycott of playoff games, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

James reached out to Obama for advice on the players' next steps, and Obama spoke with a "small group" of players, per Charania. That included James and Paul, the president of the union.

The call took place after Wednesday, after the players held a meeting to discuss whether to resume the season in light of recent social injustices. Charania and many others described that meeting as intense and "contentious," with the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers voting to cancel the rest of the season.

But Obama encouraged the players to continue the playoffs and to use the Disney campus as a platform to make their messages heard.

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That is exactly what the players decided, and after initially voting to cancel the season, James, the Lakers and Clippers reportedly had a change of heart.

The playoffs are scheduled to resume Saturday with three games. James and the Lakers lead their series against the Portland Trail Blazers, 3-1, while Paul and the Thunder and tied with the Houston Rockets, 2-2.