Back in April, the Golden State Warriors had a dramatic boycott planned for their playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers had NBA commissioner Adam Silver not handed down an adequate punishment to Donald Sterling.
After Silver announced Sterling would be banned from the league for life, however, the game went on as planned, but now the talk of boycotting is sprouting up again among the players.
Silver has vowed to move as quickly as possible to remove Sterling from the league entirely, but now he might have a deadline to contend with. LeBron James made it clear that he believes “there’s no room” for the disgraced owner in the NBA, and according to National Basketball Players Association vice president and former Heat guard Roger Mason Jr., James is ready to lead a boycott if Sterling is still in place by the start of next season.
“If it’s not handled by … the start of next season, I don’t see how we’re playing basketball,” NBPA vice president Roger Mason Jr. said in an interview with Showtime’s Jim Rome. “We have player reps, we’ve got executive committee members. … Leaders of the teams, they’re all saying the same thing, ‘If (Sterling) is still in place, we ain’t playing’. … I was just in the locker room three or four days ago. LeBron and I talked about it. He ain’t playing if Sterling is still an owner.”
Rome then asked if players would consider playing if Sterling’s wife, Shelly, took over the reins.
“No Sterling deserves to be an owner of that franchise any longer,” Mason continued. “And I’ve gone down the line from LeBron to the other guys in the league that I’ve talked to, and they all feel the same way. There’s no place for that family in the NBA.”
Sterling broke his silence in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday, speaking for the first time since audio of him making racist remarks was released. Sterling told Cooper he hoped the league would forgive him for his mistake and give him another chance.
The Showtime interview with Rome and Mason premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.