The Los Angeles Lakers, along with the rest of their NBA peers, opted to sit out Game 5 against the Portland Trail Blazers in protest of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The players convened for a meeting to discuss next actionable steps, with LeBron James unsurprisingly taking point in discussions with team governors and the league. James reportedly made several points on a call that included Michael Jordan, a sign that the two sides were working together to ensure player demands are met.
The superstar has been one of the NBA’s faces since he entered the league, but has really taken it upon himself to advocate for change in recent years. His platform and voice carry substantial weight, so whenever he speaks he has everyone’s ear.
Assuming a leadership role is a tall task for anyone, so James explained how he is able to do so and what it means for the league going forward. “I pick my moments, pick my battles,” James said.
“I kind of listen, see what’s going on and things of that nature. Then I voice my opinion and what I believe is the best. You’ve got to understand that for me personally, it’s not just about me when it comes to this league. It’s about the other 300-plus guys that I’ve got to look out for as well. The same way that the OGs and vets looked out for guys like myself, D. Wade, Melo, Bosh and so on and so on.
“You understand that because this league will continue to go on well after you, and for me I just want to leave it in a better place as much as I can when I’m done and going to games and seeing the younger guys who now they’re vets. Seeing if they’ve been able to take some of the leadership I was able to create on and off the floor, being able to have a voice, being able to use that voice for change and good, and be able to pass that down to the next generation. That’s always on my mind.”
James as the elder statesman of the NBA has been a joy to watch and his ability to organize and mobilize has proven to be effective in regards to getting things done. The NBA is lucky to have a player like James willing to take charge in difficult situations.
LeBron explains approach to solving difficult issues
James has always been willing to educate himself on current events and how to best approach sensitive subjects that others are unwilling to do.
Each issue presents its own complexities, but James has established a solid process to handling them. “I lean on my advisory team,” he said. “I won’t name all of them, but I have phone calls, text messages and emails. I have a team that I truly respect and go to when there’s a call to action.
“We all bounce ideas off one another, they kind of tell me what they believe, and at the end of the day they always say ultimately it’s going to be up to me to make the final decision on what I believe.”
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