The NBA is coming back and so is LeBron James.
After reports leaked Wednesday night that the Lakers — led by James — and the Clippers had voted to leave the bubble, there was a shift in thinking, leading to the decision to return at a meeting among players.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported James and others who had opposed returning to play had realized it was in their best interest to finish the season and relayed that to others in Thursday’s meeting. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that several Lakers talked through issues until the early hours Thursday after Wednesday’s initial meeting ended amid “uncertainty.”
The postseason is expected to restart Friday or this weekend at the latest. ESPN reported that there will be another meeting later Thursday between players and owners to discuss action moving forward on what can be done to address social justice issues.
Shortly after the reports came out of the resumption of the playoffs, James tweeted: “Change doesn’t happen with just talk!! It happens with action and needs to happen NOW! For me @Ipromiseschool kids, kids and communities across the country, it’s on US to make a difference. TOGETHER. That’s why your vote is @morethanavote.” He finished it by adding a Black Lives Matter hashtag.
On Wednesday, three playoff games were postponed as a protest against racial inequality and police brutality following the Sunday shooting of Jacob Blake, who is black, by police in Kenosha, Wis. It started with the Bucks refusing to play their playoff games against the Magic, and led to the league postponing that game, along with contests between the Rockets and Thunder, and Lakers and Trail Blazers.
As all this was happening, James tweeted: “F–K THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT.”
The WNBA followed the NBA’s lead, and five MLS and three MLB games were postponed as well.