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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.

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.”