Los Angeles Lakers star small forward LeBron James was “very close” to leaving the Walt Disney bubble after the Milwaukee Bucks staged an impromptu walkout of their playoff game against the Orlando Magic in the first round as their way of responding to the Jacob Blake shooting in Wisconsin, per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.
While James supported the Bucks’ decision to not play their scheduled game since Blake was the latest unarmed Black man to be shot by the police, the Lakers superstar was frustrated with the lack of planning.
However, things changed for the Lakers’ leader after he and NBPA president Chris Paul spoke to former United States President Barack Obama, per Shelburne:
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.
Playoff games were restarted after players had a tense meeting at Disney World after the Bucks walkout.
LeBron James and the Lakers wound up coming together as a group and winning the 2020 title over Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in six games. The King won his fourth title and fourth Finals MVP award.
The Lakers are now tied with the Boston Celtics for the most titles (17) in NBA history.