LeBron James’ attitude at meetings’ turned off ‘owners, young players

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On Friday’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith shed light on the role LeBron James played in meetings with his fellow players Wednesday night and the owners Thursday.“Calling him a leader at this exact moment would not apply,” Smith said. “When you talk to the people inside the bubble, let me tell you what I heard. I heard, first of all, that he was talking out of his pocket and talking to players in a way that really put some of these young cats off. It’s a new day. It’s a new generation. Like we said in previous shows, when cats were on the streets protesting and things of that nature, just talking about the younger generation, they don’t have it anymore. Well guess what, the younger generation of gamers didn’t have what they heard from LeBron James because of the way he spoke to them.

“So when he stormed out of there, I was told it was partly because of that. And he kind of thought like ‘I got mine, I don’t need this.’ And he went out.

“Now we learned later that the Lakers and Clippers were the two teams that didn’t want to participate. ”

The Lakers and Clippers decided Thursday morning that they would continue the playoffs, which led to a call between two player representatives from each team, the NBPA, Adam Silver, Michael Jordan and a governor from each team still in the playoffs. . Smith was informed, however, that the Lakers had four representatives on the call.

“When everyone thought the meeting was over, LeBron James took the mike, and from what I’ve been told, he speaks for about 15 minutes,” Smith said. “And he talks for about 15 minutes in a way that took everyone’s mind off because they had already agreed to what they were going to do to move forward. And he was talking about ‘The guys below me. I have to watch out for the guys below. me.’

“To the point where you had people saying ‘What do you mean… under you?’

“They didn’t tell him that, but they certainly did tell people like me, Woj and others who were covering the meeting. He appeared like he was the king with a crown and everything, and that was a real, real turnoff.

“Why is this relevant, ladies and gentlemen? It’s relevant because you’re trying to galvanize people with your More Than A Vote movement. This is the same LeBron James who has this excellent show executive produced by himself and my man Maverick Carter on The Shop on HBO. Remember you are speaking on this show, you want to own it. Well you already alienated the owners when you left Cleveland to go [to the Heat] the first time. You were obviously about to alienate the owners this time around. And it’s a good old boys club. They don’t have to let you in as the owner, which they ultimately want. ”

Smith pointed out how Larry Ellison had been trying to buy an NBA team for years, but the league and the owners haven’t let him do so until now.

“So for LeBron to have those aspirations, but by really turning people away like he has, some players, managers, owners… LeBron James has to be careful. He usually sees the forest for the trees. In the past two days, that was not the case. He put off a lot of people by the way he tried to impersonate a big time. He has to be careful about it, from what many people here have told me. ”

Smith said the message James delivered was to put pressure on the owners, but they had already agreed to help the players during his last speech.

“A lot of people are talking about it in Orlando because of the way it fell. He didn’t look good. “

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