LeBron James came ‘very close’ to leaving the Orlando “bubble”, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
The superstar of the Los Angeles Lakers was frustrated with the lack of planning following the decision of the Milwaukee Bucks to boycott their game against the Orlando Magic for the first round of the playoffs as a way to respond to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
James supported the Bucks’ decision and was close to leaving the “bubble”. Yet, he was convinced to stay after he and NBPA president Chris Paul spoke to former United States President Barack Obama.
“When the Milwaukee Bucks staged an impromptu walkout of their game against the Orlando Magic in response to the Jacob Blake shooting, James again spoke with friends and advisers late into the night.
He supported the Bucks and the cause, but the lack of planning and strategy was frustrating. Those close to him say now that James was very close to walking away from the season that night.
What changed everything was when he and Paul got on the phone with former President Barack Obama. Before he was president or a senator, Obama was a community organizer.
His words late that night drew on that experience: Get something for this. Push the NBA, push the owners, push society to do more,” Shelburne reports.
James remained at Disney World and led the Lakers to the 2020 NBA Championship. This was the fourth NBA title and Finals MVP for James.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the most titles (17) in NBA history.