Just how far are NBA players prepared to go if Donald Sterling is still in place as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers when the 2014-15 season begins?
Well, not as far as Roger Mason Jr. indicated in a conversation with Jim Rome on Showtime. “If it’s not handled by … the start of next season, I don’t see how we’re playing basketball,” Mason, first vice-president of the National Basketball Players Association, said. “I was just in the locker room with LeBron [James]. At the end of the day, you know we have leaders, we have player reps, we’ve got executive committee members. … Leaders of the teams, they’re all saying the same thing: ‘If this man is still in place, we ain’t playing.’ ”
Less than 24 hours later, Mason was walking that back.
Jim Rome is a good guy and I may not have been clear when I responded to his question, so let me clear it up.
Jim Rome is a good guy and I may not have been clear when I responded to his question, so let me clear it up.— Roger Mason Jr (@MoneyMase) May 14, 2014
Jim asked me about guys playing next season if Sterling remained an owner. I mentioned I spoke to LBJ as I speak to many players.— Roger Mason Jr (@MoneyMase) May 14, 2014
My bad if I was not clear.LBJ never said anything about boycotting.He’s a friend and I would never want to imply something he didn’t say— Roger Mason Jr (@MoneyMase) May 14, 2014
The bottom line is that our commissioner,team owners,fans, players, and the world all agree that there is no place for racism in our league.— Roger Mason Jr (@MoneyMase) May 14, 2014
James wasn’t available to the media during the day, but James Jones, the Miami Heat’s union rep. told reporters that “there is no boycott. There isn’t a lot of talk about a boycott. The union wanted to see the league step up and did what they did what we felt was appropriate – which was to remove Donald Sterling. They did that. It’s a process and we know it’s going to take time. But there is total trust between the union and the league and commissioner and the owners, knowing that eventually it will all play out the way we agreed — which is Donald Sterling no longer being the owner of an NBA team. We’re all on the same page. The Donald Sterling situation is a league situation. It’s not basketball.”