The 2020 NBA Playoffs will go on after one of the most surreal 48 hours in the league’s history. It all started with the Milwaukee Bucks boycotting their early Wednesday game against the Orlando Magic, eventually resulting in the rest of Wednesday and Thursday games being postponed while the players, coaches, and owners figured out the next steps. The players collectively felt as though they weren’t being proactive and were instead being reactive in their approach to create social justice change. This was all in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a shooting that has reportedly resulted in him currently being paralyzed from the waist down. LeBron James was heavily reported as a driving force in the many meetings that happened afterward, with it even being reported that he became upset in the main players’ meeting on Wednesday resulting in him, the Lakers, and the Clippers leaving the room.
It was also reported that Lakers’ players carried their conversations late into the night, with it now being reported that at some point in that late night, LeBron James and others spoke to none-other-than former president Barack Obama.
LeBron James led small group of players who sought advice of Barack Obama on Wednesday, and the former President offered them guidance to continue playing with plan of action.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 28, 2020
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the call between two giants in the world in general, which also included Chris Paul and other players:
Former President Barack Obama spoke to James, National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul and a small group of players late Wednesday evening, advising them to play and utilize the opportunity to contextualize action they want in order to play, The Athletic has learned.
James, Paul and others wanted to seek the guidance of the 44th President of the United States (2009-2017), and on the call broached forming a committee for player action that they want Obama involved in, sources told The Athletic.
Many have gone back-and-forth about whether or not the players would be able to make more of an impact by playing the rest of the playoffs, or if they boycotted the rest of the playoffs all together to put pressure on the owners to make legitimate impact by lobbying politicians. Obama, who definitely knows more about politics than everyone in the NBA combined, reportedly decided that the players continuing would be best.
Obama released a statement on the conversation:
Statement from President Obama’s office on conversations with LeBron James and co: pic.twitter.com/87VdRKCrdN
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 29, 2020
Obama and LeBron being together on a call is just another insane facet to a crazy 48 hours in the NBA. It all has resulted in the playoffs continuing, with the Lakers trying to close out their first-round series against the Trail Blazers tomorrow.