LeBron Boycott Idea Fizzles When the Big Guy Speaks for Himself

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Thursday, 15 May 2014 11:51 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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NBA Players Association VP Roger Mason Jr. backtracked from his statements that LeBron James would lead a players boycott if Donald Sterling was still owner of the LA Clippers next basketball season after the Miami Heat superstar threw cold water on the idea.

The controversy over a James-led boycott started when Mason, a former teammate of James, suggested this week on "Jim Rome on Showtime" that James was upset enough about Sterling's racial comments that led to his lifetime ban that James would walk if Sterling remained an owner.

"I was just in the locker room with LeBron," Mason told Rome, according to the Bleacher Report. "At the end of the day, you know we have leaders. We have player reps, we've got executive committee members. …Leaders of the teams, they're all saying the same thing, 'If this man is still in place, we ain't playing.'"

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Mason doubled down on the boycott idea when Rome specifically pressed him about James's participation.

"(I was) just in the locker room three or four days ago," Mason said, according to the Bleacher Report. "LeBron and I talked about it. He ain't playing if Sterling is still an owner."

James, though, said Wednesday he supported the work of commissioner Adam Silver so far and wanted to see how Sterling's case worked its way through the system as far as forcing the longtime owner to sell, reported the New York Daily News.

"We see what Adam Silver is doing, and he's moving forward," James said before Heat eliminated the Brooklyn Nets from the second round of the playoff Wednesday. "If he continues, which we believe Adam Silver will do, continue to move aggressively on the situation, then we have nothing to worry about. There is a more in-depth, longer conversation that needs to be discussed."

Mason responded to the controversy on Twitter, saying that he was not clear in his comments to Rome and never meant to imply that James was ready to drive a players' boycott in his interview.

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